Back in August Google added collaboration to the Picasa Web Apps / Google Sites. This update was a relief to people working on photo projects or groups / family’s wanting to collaborate and share photos. The downside however with using this new feature was (and why it was seldom used) users were forced to use the webapps or Google Sites if they wanted to collaborate and unfortunately Google Sites just isn’t the must intuitive apps to setup and get going.
IMOP, Google jumped the gun and launched the feature before it was ready for their primary application Google Picasa Web Albums. Finally with the Picasa 3.6 update, Google has enabled users to collaborate from the Picasa desktop platform. There are a few other goodies included in the patch, let’s take a look.
If you go looking for the feature, it may be hard to find at first. The same old Upload to Picasa Web Albums… button remains, however this is where you’ll find several new features.
Google has changed things around a little bit, and you can now upload photos in their original size. Previous we were limited to photos to 1600 pixels or smaller. Picasa now allows you to share your pictures via web albums directly through the upload page. You can select entire groups or individual contacts that you would like to give access as well as the ability to contribute their own photos and details.
Once you’re invited to become a contributor, you can easily contribute to other peoples web albums now too. When selecting an album, you’ll see the option to Contribute to a friend’s album… From there you’ll see all the folders your contact has granted you rights to contribute to and you can pick which one to send your photos.
Another update to Google Picasa was closing up a really big annoyance with Picasa facial scanner. Having a program automatically go through all of your photos and tag their faces can be a real invasion of privacy. For some it’s a feature, but there was never an option to turn it off. With the 3.6 update you can now disable the auto-Face Detector from the Folder Manager. Granted, if your using Facial recognition for your private collection is one thing but if your collaborating with friends on a public site, this is something I REALLY don’t want enabled.
If you’re building a photo-set and none of the preset sizes work you’re in a real pickle… Until now! With the 3.6 update you can assign custom aspect ratios to the crop tool to make it easier for editing multiple photos with the same dimensions.
I noticed a few other upgrades and improvement however the only other ones I noticed was
some fairly significant improvements in Facial Tagging. Although I’m not a fan using faces on public sites, at home it’s a great way to quickly tag my photos. Picasa 3.6 not only finds faces with more accuracy but now they will suggest a person once you click on the Add a name Box if Picasa has a close match.
Regarding the Updates from Google:
Collaborative albums — Upload from Picasa — In August 2009, we introduced collaborative albums in Picasa Web Albums. Now you can upload to a friend’s album directly from the Picasa software. Learn more
Geotag your photos with Google Maps — Quickly add geotags using the newly integrated Google Maps. Click the Places button and drag your photos to the location where you took them. Of course, you can still use Google Earth to tag or view photos if you prefer. Learn more
Import, upload, and share, all at once — We’ve improved the import process so that you can star your favorites, upload to Picasa Web Albums, and share with Google contact groups at the same time. Learn more
Tags — Better bulk tagging, quick tags & tag counts — We’ve improved the tagging experience. Just click the new Tags button on the right side of the Photo tray to add Quick tags , see tag counts for groups of images, and manage tags more easily. Learn more
That covers the 3.6 update of Google Picasa. Did you notice something new I forgot to mention? Drop a note in the comments!