Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Please don't kill Picasa

Why Google's photo app rocks

2nd August, 2014

Picasa is an unusual piece of software.

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First of all, that a desktop app has survived in Google’s portfolio for 10 years (it was bought from Lifescape in 2004) is quite special.

Anyone remember Google Desktop, for example?

But in a world of Photoshops, Flickr, Aperture, the Cloud and ever-increasing megapixels, Picasa offers simplicity, speed, and great organisation capabilities combined with some absolutely wicked face recognition kit and powerful search.

Sure it has its drawbacks. Google+ photo sharing does feel like it was bolted on in a bit of a rush (as did the Picasa Web product before it). The face training UX leaves a little to be desired. And the interop between Picasa and other applications is basically deferred to the OS.

But with the rumoured reshuffle in Google+, including the potential split out of Photos having only just made it over from Picasa Web, I hope that whoever has been vociferously campaigning for Picasa’s survival this long inside Google keeps going through this next transition.