Google Picasa earns enthusiastic reviews for offering free photo-editing software and excellent organizational features. Reviewers are most impressed with its photo-organizing features, which make it easy to find and catalog large photo libraries. These include facial recognition, for scanning photos and automatically organizing them by who is in the shot, and geotagging, which lets you add geographic data that can be used for organizing or by other programs (displaying images on a map in Google Earth, for example).
Image-editing tools can't compare to those in more sophisticated programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 (*Est. $100), but are powerful enough to handle basic needs, with a few additional tricks such as a brush that lets you retouch just part of an image. Other pluses include sophisticated web integration and even a basic movie editor. However, some reviewers are annoyed that Picasa includes integration with its own Google+ social-networking site, but not Facebook or Flickr, which are undoubtedly more popular. Picasa runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Only a few sources review the latest version, Google Picasa 3.9. PCMag.com does an excellent job of breaking down the pros and cons of this free photo-editing software, while PC Pro also presents a balanced analysis. Both sources provide an overall rating.
The latest version of Google Picasa earns an Editors' Choice award from PCMag.com. "As a standalone photo editing and organizing app, Picasa remains one of the best free options you can choose," says Michael Muchmore.
Review: Google Picasa 3.9, Michael Muchmore, May 15, 2012
2. PC Pro
PC Pro gives Google Picasa a high overall rating of 5 stars (out of 6). Jay Stansfield raves about Picasa's organizational tools, and he finds it fast and easy to use. However, he thinks advanced users should look elsewhere.
Review: Google Picasa 3 Review, Jay Stansfield, March 6, 2012