Google Picasa 2 review

Now in its second illustrious edition, Picasa gives you the world – for free

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Impossibly good for a free program

For

  • Interface looks great and is easy to use
  • Fun, extensive range of features

Against

  • Very basic ratings system
  • Some features hidden away

This program is completely free to download and use. Even so, it looks anything but cheap, with a definite cool sophistication to its design and some smart Web options - as you'd expect from a program that's pioneered by Internet overlords Google. The newest of these include Geo-tagging for your photos, courtesy of Google Earth, and quick links for adding your photos to blogs or even creating fully functioning online galleries.

In the limited but useful image-editing section, there's even an "I'm feeling lucky" button for applying automatic image fixes. While the interface is slick and chic, it's unfortunate
that this is at the expense of some commonly needed features being one step removed, and only accessible via the main pull-down menus.

These include the option to add keywords to image files for subsequent searching. Another disappointment is that the rating system is rather bare-bones in its execution, simply enabling you to add a star to your favourite pictures.

Picture this

As a photo library Picasa2 works beautifully, with elegant options for displaying folders in simple lists or in a tree structure. More enticingly, the swirling timeline not only functions flawlessly, but is a thing of beauty. There's also a handy slideshow feature and the ability to create poster prints, collages, screensavers and even to turn a sequence of photos into a video clip.

Fun to use, full of interest and packed with features, it's hard to believe that this is a free program. Our advice is to simply download it and have a play.