(Dick Eastman’s Daily Newsletter – February 17)
Bad news: Google will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates.
Good news: Google is replacing Picasa with Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. In fact, Google Photos is a better app than Picasa although I am sure it will take some time for Picasa users to get used to the change. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location.
I just checked and found all of my photos from Picasa and from an Android cell phone are already waiting for me at https://photos.google.com/. For an Android user, Google Photos is an excellent automatic backup service for all photos taken with the Android device’s camera.
Google Photo is a more powerful, mobile-focused service than Picasa ever was. It lets users backup an unlimited number of photos and videos to the cloud for free, and also comes with a search function that leverages artificial intelligence technology. For example, you can search for smiles and the app will show photos that include people smiling.
Google apparently wants to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products.
You can learn more about Google Photos at https://www.google.com/photos/about/.