Picasa is a Google product that helps you manage photo libraries. It has a very friendly interface and does a great job at facial recognition so you can associate pictures with people in your contacts. Makes for a nice search experience.

In recent times it appears that Google is trying to replace Picasa with its “Photos” app. A lot of the functionality appears similar. I haven’t converted over to Google Photos for three key reasons:

  • It’s user-centric, not family-centric. I have pictures, my wife has pictures, and we want to keep them in a single place. Right now, my wife can open up Picasa under her Windows user account and see the same set of pictures I see in the same groups. Google Photos would make one of us the “owner” of the photos and we’d lose that single, central “picture repository” we currently enjoy.

  • Picasa has great print control. If I want to print photos, Picasa has really nice control over print preview, resizing to fit paper, and all of that; with Google Photos, it’s all web-based so the print mechanism is up to the browser. No good.

  • Picasa associates people with contacts, Google Photos doesn’t. I like that Picasa can say, “This face belongs to this person in your contacts list.” Google Photos just groups similar faces. I’d like to put a name to the face, as it were. No can do.

In 2016 Google dropped Picasa support and went entirely to Google Photos. At that time I switched to PhotoDirector.