An official blog post last week advised that Google will be “killing” their Picasa Photo product over the coming months. Of course that’s not the words they used, but I’m rather upset so am being a little overdramatic. This has been one of my favourite programmes on both my Mac and PC over the last five or six years to organise, edit and share my photos.
I did notice recently that it was crashing regularly and now this announcement confirms that there will be no future updates. Those with the desktop application will be able to continue to use it, but I suspect that the performance will continue to decline to the point where it’s no longer useful.
It’s actually a surprise that it’s been kept running this long as Google has focussed on their G+ and Google Photo offerings. I really WANT to like them. I do. The power and potential of Google is huge. But none of the major changes to Google Photos have won me over. If they had, I would mind a little less about losing Picasa. The blog post hints that better things are to come…but what are they waiting for?
Last night, I spent a few hours trying to get to know Google Photos better. From my point of view, it has very limited functionality and isn’t very intuitive. Sure, I shouldn’t complain when it’s a free product and of course it takes some time to get used to new things. On the plus side, they are marketing that you can store a lifetime of photos – for free if they are the low res option.
I have tried this via my iMac before, but ended up cancelling it as I just couldn’t figure out their system and it was messing with mine on my computer – I save all my photos in folders depending on the day they were taken, but this app seemed to be (at least then) copying all of these into other folders on my computer which freaked me out a little. I didn’t ever lose any photos – but it was just annoying. I don’t know if this still happens.
Sharing photos with people is still a bit confusing. It’s hard to know if you’re sharing just a photo or an album, and as not many of my friends are using G+ or Google photos, I end up cutting and pasting links across to Facebook – making me wonder why I don’t just share them there in the first place.
Picasa was just such a nice way of really quickly organising stuff into albums, making basic edits, renaming folders and essentially providing a great interface to sort things out on my hard drive. I also used it to create collages, and search for different albums. I’d bulk-upload an album into G+ or export it to my desktop to upload to Facebook or where-ever else I chose.
So now, I’ll just have to find another way of doing all these things. iPhoto is an option but I’ve also never quite fallen in love with that either, especially with the push now to store stuff in the iCloud, which works fairly well but is super expensive, and not easily compatible with my PC products.
Another option is to really take the time to learn Adobe Lightroom, again I’ve tried a few times and ended up going back to Picasa, but now I can’t do that perhaps it’s the right time.
There’s still a chance I’ll fall in love with Google Photos too I suppose. After changing from Apple to Android recently, I do like how I can take a photo or video on my phone and have it appear seconds later in my Google Photos account.
The quirky little auto-assistant on Google Photos is something I’m not sure if I like or not. It tends to throw together random stuff, which probably has more to say about my photo-taking patterns than its algorithms. I mix photos of my kids, my work and things I want to remember….and Google doesn’t know how to seperate these very well (sometimes neither do I). Occasionally though, it comes up with a nice auto video, but one that I have little control to edit -seems you can currently make some small edits on a tablet or mobile but not on a desktop.
Did you ever use Picasa? Will you miss it?