We last took a look at Picasa back in 2008 when it was in Google beta. As we noted then, it looked pretty cool, and had a decent enough feature set to match anything on the market at the time. The other day I installed the latest Picasa Version 3.6 and wow, it’s grown up into quite a product.
The basics are all still there of course, but the feature set has now exploded beyond the far galaxies. The emphasis of the product is still very focused on managing your collection of images, spurred no doubt by the fact that most of us are now storing thousands of photos on disk. It’s no coincidence they call it a ‘photo organizer’.
But the developers have added to the feature set as well, and how. As well as the usual editing tools like crop, redeye, text and clone etc, you’ll now see functionality to recognize and catalog faces, create image movies and passport photos, geotag with Google Earth, create web albums and find duplicate images.
The killer feature for me, though, is the ultra fast disk search and browse function. If you’ve ever tried to find a photo on a disk full of images you’ll know how tedious it can get. Picasa has this function down pat. Instant search, and amazingly fast thumbnail browse, make it a snap to trawl through your collection to find your shot. Superb.
Basically if you haven’t looked at Picasa recently, do so now. It’s still free, and from what I can see it’s way out ahead of the competition in terms of photo management functionality. Recommended.
Together, Picasa & Picasa Web Albums make it easy for you to organize and edit your digital photos, then create online albums to share with friends, family & the world.