RIP Picasa, but no thank you Google Photos

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For many years I have been using Google’s Picasa to organize my images. I have found the Face Recognition to be helpful, the editing tools are handy for quick fixes, and above all the interface is so easy to understand. Yes there are issues. The lack of an auto save when you make changes is a big problem for new users, and the duplication of every photo edited takes up a lot of hard drive space, but once you get used to saving your changes every time, and you get an external hard drive, it really is a great program. Best of all it was free!

Roll on 2016 and Google have announced that they a retiring the program. It will no longer be updated or supported.

For now, while I’m using Windows 8, Picasa is still an option for me. Picasa as a program is not going to suddenly stop working. But what will happen with Windows 10 and future versions? Will it still be a viable option as technology improves and updates while Picasa stays the same?

Google are trying to get everyone over to their newer Photos App. So I though I’d give it a try…

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Unfortunately it wasn’t a successful experiment.

I thought the Photos App really was a good idea. To have all your photos stored online and accessible by all your devices; PC’s, Tablets and phones. The auto upload is very handy. Download the app and it works away in the background, uploading all your photos to your unlimited online storage and organizing your photos in its own auto-magical way.

However, if like me you have a less than decent broadband connection. This uploading can seriously hamper your internet usage until everything is uploaded. It can also take a LOOOOONG time depending on how many photos you have on your hard drive.

This is not software in a traditional sense either. The Photos App is simply an uploader, which then means you have to be connected to the internet and your online gallery to actually do anything with it.

Sorry, but not with my connection speeds.

I also found a problem with this auto-organizing arrangement. Scanned photos will have the date of scanning embeded in the meta data. But I want it on my timeline for the date it was taken. There is a very complicated way of changing the date which I never really discovered. I got halfway through reading the instructions and decided I wasn’t going to stick with the app. Too much effort to do something I could do in 10 seconds in Picasa.

Maybe after a few updates, it will be something I can use. Until then it is too automatic. There is no way I can see of tagging or manually organizing my photos within the app. Also I don’t want to rely solely on online storage for my photos. I also want to organize the 30,000 photo on my hard drive as well as backing up to an online service.

I realize that I may not have given the Photos App much of a chance, but I really don’t have that kind of time to devote to studying a program. If I haven’t fallen in love within the first hour, it’s probably not going to happen.

At the moment I like the look of Corel’s Aftershot Pro 2 as my editor/organizer and Picasa replacement. It does however cost money. I’m still looking at options, but Google’s Photos isn’t one of them.

Craig Lucas

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