Mac OS X has been always known for its ease of use and simplicity. One of its biggest qualities is that you can use it right after you’ve turned it on for the first time, since it comes with a large number of preinstalled applications. Perhaps the best known is the iLife suite, which includes photo and video managers, as well as some creative music apps. Even though iPhoto is surely one of the most popular photo editors for Macs, many other companies are also trying to present their own ideas of what a great photo manager and editor should be. One of these companies, who already produced interesting and quite popular photo editor for Windows, is Google.
Picasa is Google’s photo manager and editor, whose latest stable version is 3.9. This shows that Picasa is under the constant development, so it actually became quite useful and interesting photo editor for Mac OS X.
The best way to review Picasa and to show how it actually manages your photos is to compare it to its biggest rival – Apple’s iPhoto. As you probably know, iPhoto stores your images into its own picture library where it classifies them according to its own rules. You manage and edit your photos directly within iPhoto, so in case you’d like to move it to your USB, you can simply drag it from the iPhoto window to a desired destination.
Picasa does things a little bit differently. It doesn’t have its own library, but it actually uses paths to photo folders that you need to set up. This can be helpful in case you’ve got several partitions and pictures scattered across all of them. This way you can set up Picasa to look for all your personalized pictures folders on all these hard drive partitions and to show your library within one Picasa window. After that, you can create specific albums and folders to reorganize photos the way it most convenient for you. So, even though iPhoto offers famed Apple simplicity, Picasa can be used in a number of time-saving actions.
Picasa is not only photo manager, but it also has some nice editing tools. You can use a wide range of basic photo retouches to improve your photos and there are some interesting tools like collages and preloaded photo effects. Each new version adds new effects, so with the version 3.9 you really have a plenty of options. Google has decided to separate effects into two groups: basic and advanced effects and each one of these give you some really nice fine-tuning options.
Since Picasa is Google’s online photo depository which is connected to your Google account, Mac application has a lot of ties with its online service. You can directly edit online photos, rearrange them, tag people who appear on your photos and upload them. You can also share your photos with your Google+ circles.
Overall, Picasa is a very nice application which features a lot of capable photo editing tools. Surely, you can benefit the most in case you’ve got a Google+ profile and in case you’re using online Picasa service.