Picasa is a web-oriented tool used to store, organize, view, and edit your photos. Initially developed by Lifescape, Picasa was acquired by Google and benefited from all of Google’s power and resources. Unlike multiple picture managers out there, Google Picasa put a strong emphasis on social functions. You can share your photos via Google+, create online albums, send photos by e-mail, highlight yourself or other persons you know on a picture, add geo info to photos, etc.
Interestingly, Picasa doesn’t have its own local storage for photos, instead it automatically organizes the existing pictures found on your computer into a custom hierarchy easily adjustable and configurable by a user. Google Picasa natively integrates to Google Web Albums photo-hosting service, providing a super-easy way to upload your photos and access them later from any place and any device with Internet access. Currently, Google provides 1GB of free space to store pictures with the ability to rent as much as 400 GB for $500 annually.
In addition to basic viewing and organizing, Picasa offers powerful yet easy picture editing including transforming images, applying effects, resizing photos, and creating spectacular collages accompanied with background music. All editing is applied to the image on the fly, while the original remains intact. And even if you save all changes, the program creates a backup copy of the original file, so you can always revert to what you had before.
Google has always focused on the user interface, and Picasa is no exception. Extremely straightforward and intuitive, it provides a great user experience. Uploading a picture, making changes, finding a certain photo by keywords – all tasks are effortlessly accomplished in seconds. While some advanced features may take longer to find for an inexperienced user, a comprehensive online guide will never leave you stuck with the program.
A brilliant interface, a handful of functions, and exciting ways to share your best photos with friends, family, and colleagues – that’s what Picasa is all about.