50 Mac Essentials #28: Picasa



If iPhoto leaves you cold, or perhaps doesn’t run so well on your older Mac, there aren’t many options for a similar application that combines photo editing and photo library management. Not many, except for Picasa.

Google’s free photo app is a great alternative to iPhoto, generously packed with features and a good choice for people who want to quickly upload photos to the web.

In most respects, it compares very well to iPhoto, including features like face recognition and geolocation data. It comes with a selection of quick edit presets, and easy (but basic) slider controls for detailed editing.

What’s particularly nice about Picasa, though, is its speed. It roars through photo libraries that leave rival photo managers struggling to catch up. On first run, it will zip through your iPhoto library – not copying any files (so don’t worry about disk space) – but indexing all your data there and building up its own copy of the iPhoto library.

Picasa is one of those things it makes sense to have around. It’s free, it’s packed with useful stuff, and even if you don’t put it to immediate use, there might yet come a day when you’ll be glad you have it to hand.

(You’re reading the 28th post in our series, 50 Essential Mac Applications: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more, or grab the RSS feed.)