Google upgrades Picasa, adds Face Movie, Picnick

August 18, 2010: 12:18 PM ET

The update also has some bug fixes as well as some great new functionality and is available for Mac and PC.

Google (GOOG) has been busy upgrading its cross platform photo editing and library application. I like Picasa because it not only works on a Mac or PC (and syncs to both), it also syncs to the web so that my photos don't die if my computer does. Picasa also syncs with smartphones including Android and has a great web interface for other Webkit smartphones.

Apple's (AAPL) iPhoto and Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Live Photo Gallery only work on their respective platforms.

Today's 3.8 update includes the ability to batch upload multiple albums at once as well as well as edit those albums inline. That's nice, but the two headliner features that users will get a kick out of are Picnick photo editing inside the native OS app and something called Face Movie.

Face Movie allows you to take a stack of photos of the same person and tell Google arrange them in movie form in a way that keeps their faces stationary throughout the video. Here's their example:

From Google:

Picnik integration
A few weeks ago we announced the integration of Picnik, the powerful online photo editor, into Picasa Web Albums. We're now excited to bring this same functionality to Picasa. You can now use Picnik's rich editing tools and effects from right inside of Picasa and see where your creativity takes you.

Batch upload from Picasa to Picasa Web Albums
With this new version of Picasa we're also fulfilling a popular request: batch upload from Picasa right to your Picasa Web Albums account. In addition to uploading multiple photos, you can now upload entire albums, all at the same time, plus remove albums from your Picasa Web account, change the upload size, visibility and sync state of photos that are already online.

Metadata updates
For those of us who enjoy the technical side of photography, we have some nice metadata (information stored inside of your image file) updates too, including support of Color Management. Picasa will now read the metadata from your photo and present the photo in the correct color space, thus improving the way your photo displays on your monitor or TV screen.

Picasa also has expanded support of XMP, which will be presented in an easy and accessible way alongside your image in the Properties panel. You can find people, places and tags in this space as well.

We're also adding a few other under-the-hood updates such as improved support of external drives, increased efficiency of CPU usage, and improved settings when sharing with your Gmail contact groups.

This latest release is in English only for now, but we plan to roll out additional languages soon. Download Picasa today and, as always, feedback and questions are welcome in our forums.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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