Google has finally made its popular Picasa photo editing and sharing tool available for Mac users. The free software now lets Mac users organize and manage photos in one place, edit pictures and share them online.
Picasa for Mac fully integrates with Picasa Web Albums, Google’s free photo-sharing site. Google previously offered both a stand-alone Picasa Web Albums uploader and an iPhoto plug-in for Mac users. Now Picasa for Mac consolidates these sharing and sync features for Mac OS X fans who use Picasa Web Albums.
The Mac app includes editing tools such as a drag-and-drop photo collage tool, retouching brush to wipe out scratches and blemishes, a slide-show movie maker that uploads users’ photo montage videos to YouTube, and auto red-eye removal.
Google has built a tight interface with iPhoto, the photo-editing app that ships with Mac OS X machines. Picasa for Mac duplicates files as needed, so the iPhoto library is never altered or moved (the app will always ask to create a separate copy of the original). It also provides “virtual editing,” which enables you to see changes as you apply them, although the original image is not changed until you save it. Even then, Picasa for Mac makes it easy to revert to the original image.
Picasa for Mac is still considered a beta (but so is Gmail, so don’t let that stop you). To run Picasa for Mac, you’ll need an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.4 and above. I haven’t used the Mac version yet, but I expect that it will be every bit as intuitive and flexible as its Windows counterpoint. Get your free download here
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