Download of the day: Picasa

The photo app that just won’t quit

Here’s an odd thing: Picasa shouldn’t exist. Google announced its retirement earlier this year, but like a detective who can’t retire while his nemeses are still doing crimes, Picasa is still around to tame your photo libraries.

It’s available for both Windows and Mac, although it won’t be updated now that Google has turned its attention to its newer Google Photos product. The selling point of Google+ integration isn’t what it was either, but that’s not to say that Picasa isn’t worth a place on your desktop.

Why you need it

It might not be Google’s favourite thing any more, but in its day Picasa was head and shoulders above most other free photo organisers: it was fast, offered useful facial recognition, made online storage simple, and included a whole host of decent camera effects. And that’s still true today, apart from the online component (Picasa Web Albums), which is no longer available.

If that’s not a deal-breaker there’s still plenty to like here including geotagging and text overlays, the excellent Fill Light tool to improve darker shots and its effective blemish removal tool.

Picasa is a great alternative to other image viewers/editors like Irfanview. It’s just a shame that it’s not going to get any updates in the future.

Download here: Picasa



Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," he says. "And there's a lot of crap."