Saturday, October 18, 2008

Introducing Picasa 3.0 (and big changes for Picasa We...

A little over two years ago, we launched Picasa Web Albums to make publishing photos online easy. Now Picasa Web Albums hosts billions of online photos from around the globe, with users adding millions of new snapshots every day. Each of these photos records a different moment, or a different perspective, but one thing they all have in common is that in each case, the person behind the camera wanted to share their experience with a friend, their extended family, or maybe the world.

Today, we're rolling out major technology upgrades to both Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. As you might have guessed, these are largely focused on how we share and enjoy our photos with others.

For starters, there's a brand-new feature called "name tags" in Picasa Web Albums that helps you quickly label all the people in your photos, so you can organize and share your photos based on who's in the picture. Name tags uses advanced technology to automatically group similar faces together. That way, you can quickly label all the people you care about in your photo collection. Once you've labeled your photos, it's then a snap to do things like create a slideshow with every picture of you and your best friend, or easily share party photos with everybody who appears in that photo album. This demo video shows you what you can do with name tags:

There's more to Picasa Web Albums. The site now has a fresh, clean look that makes photos look great, and a new "Explore" page that allows you to browse some of the most interesting public content on our site, including "Recent Photos," a near-real-time view of public photos uploaded to Picasa Web Albums. You can now also email photos directly to Picasa Web Albums.

Of course, Picasa Web Albums is only half the story. The great advantage of Picasa Web Albums has always been its integration with Picasa, Google's free photo management software for your PC. And today we're making public the beta version of Picasa 3 at

Sharing photos with Picasa has always been remarkably simple, but in Picasa 3, we've made sharing so simple you don't even have to lift a finger. A new 'sync to web' button allows you to sync specified albums on your PC to the web. If you edit or add photos to the album on your PC, those changes will be automatically reflected on Picasa Web Albums. You can even specify who you'd like to share your web albums with from the Picasa software itself.

We've packed many other new features into Picasa 3. There's a slew of powerful new editing tools to retouch and restore photos, automatically detect and fix red-eye, or attractively add text to your images. Plus, there's plenty of the fun stuff -- we completely overhauled things like photo collages and slideshows, giving you more creative freedom over composition and layout. Not to mention a brand-new movie maker that can blend photos, video, webcam capture, and music to create customized movies that you can easily share on YouTube.

You can learn more about Picasa 3 and the new Picasa Web Albums on the Google Photos blog, or by watching the overview video below. Please give both a try -- and give us feedback!

Posted by Mike Horowitz, Product Manager

Link - from The Official Google Blog
Introducing the winners of the Android Developer Challenge I
A fresh take on the browser
Video-sharing goes to work
Quality scores and ad auctions

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