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Google yesterday announced that it has released Picasa 3.5 for Mac and PC, bringing several new features to the free photo organization and editing software. The Mac version removes the "beta" tag that had distinguished it since its January launch, as Google now considers the Mac and PC versions to offer the same feature sets.

The highest-profile change in Picasa 3.5 is the addition of facial recognition, a concept very similar to the "Faces" feature deployed by Apple in iPhoto '09 earlier this year. Known in Picasa as "name tags", the technology is the same as that used on Picasa Web Albums.
When you first launch Picasa 3.5, it will start scanning the photos in your computer's collection to create groups of similar faces. It puts all these groups into the "Unnamed People" album, where you can easily add a name tag to a set of faces by clicking "Add a name" and typing the person's name. Make sure you're signed into your Google account so names you type will auto-complete with your Google contacts.

After you add a name tag, all pictures that Picasa has identified as that person are automatically added to a new album named after them. As Picasa scans more faces, it will suggest pictures that it thinks match faces already in your people albums. These suggestions are shown with an orange question mark next to the person's album.
A second change is the integration of Google Maps within Picasa, enhancing the utility of geotagging to add location information to photo files. This feature is again similar to Apple's "Places" feature in iPhoto '09, with Google Maps appearing directly within the application with no need to launch a separate application such as Google Earth, which was previously required for Picasa users.

Picasa 3.5 also sees an enhanced photo import process, as well as a new panel devoted to tags to allow easy access to groupings of photos. A video overview of the new features of Picasa 3.5 is also available.



Article Link: Google Releases Picasa 3.5 With Facial Recognition and Improved Geotagging
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,278
1,382
Wonder if their facial recognition is much different (in accuracy) from iPhoto's?
 
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benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
it's better, from what I can tell.

this is google we're talking about here...

also, why is this article written in such a way that implies apple came up with these things? "also like iphoto" over and over...

all google did is extend their web-based facial recognition to the desktop app. They certainly had picassa web facial recognition running before apple even started on it as a feature.

same deal with geotagging, although why not say "just like lightroom" or "just like flickr" instead of "just like iphoto 9"?

iphoto is fine if that's all you need from your photos. the back-end of iphoto is messed up for a lot of people's uses, though, and so we can't use it.
 
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svndmvn

Guest
Nov 6, 2007
1,301
0
Italy
same deal with geotagging, although why not say "just like lightroom" or "just like flickr" instead of "just like iphoto 9"?

people are more familiar with iPhoto, I suppose. I didn't know web based Picasa suggested faces from your library, good to know.
 
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wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
3,854
571
Points of views and the comparison to iPhoto is valid.

it's better, from what I can tell.

this is google we're talking about here...
That is nice to hear, that is the recognition is better. But then you try to elevate Google to a level it doesn't deserve. The really notable thing with this App is that it is free, and has an interesting feature set. A set that could have come from anybody.
also, why is this article written in such a way that implies apple came up with these things? "also like iphoto" over and over...
I did not read that at all in the post. The article came across as a comparison of features.
all google did is extend their web-based facial recognition to the desktop app. They certainly had picassa web facial recognition running before apple even started on it as a feature.
What does that matter, if one is just comparing features the only thing important is the current feature sets. In Apples case there are rumors to the effect that they bought the technology from Omron. If true it just means they recognized a feature that became obviously important that they needed to play catch up on.
same deal with geotagging, although why not say "just like lightroom" or "just like flickr" instead of "just like iphoto 9"?
Well maybe because the software is aimed at non professional users of photo management software.
iphoto is fine if that's all you need from your photos. the back-end of iphoto is messed up for a lot of people's uses, though, and so we can't use it.

Well explain what you mean there as it might help people make decisions upon which to base there archiving software. Personally I flipped the bill for Aperture and am pleased with it. But that was some time ago and frankly many photo management apps have improved vastly since then.

For most of my photography though face recognition doesn't mean much. That didn't keep me from installing Picasa though, right along side iPhoto. Yes most of my pics are in Aperture but that doesn't mean either of the other two aren't handy from time to time.


Dave


Dave
 
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ArthurS

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2006
27
0
No PPC support. Go on, ask me how I know. :rolleyes:
Google uses WINE to run Picasa on Linux, as it is originally a Windows application. Presumably, they also use Wine for the port to OS X. Wine requires an x86 processor.
 
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lamadude

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2006
432
0
Brussels, BE
Google uses WINE to run Picasa on Linux, as it is originally a Windows application. Presumably, they also use Wine for the port to OS X. Wine requires an x86 processor.

Yups, and I know many people on this forum refuse to use it for that reason alone. But the reality is that, even though it uses WINE, it works a lot faster than iPhoto 09 doing similar tasks.
 
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bug67

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2007
155
0
Alaska
Does it have anything to do with "Requires Intel CPU" on their webpage?

D'oh! Didn't see that part. Guess I was in too much of a hurry to download anything to replace iPhoto. :eek:

I use Picasa on both my Windows and Linux boxes and love it. To bad it no worky on my, apparently now ancient, PPCs. :rolleyes:
 
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MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0
Whoopty Dooo! I like iPhoto! :D

Picasa's UI seems really cluttered to me. Not a big fan of Google's UIs. :(
 
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lamadude

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2006
432
0
Brussels, BE
Do you have to install the dodgy always-running Google Updater Thing to use Picasa?

No, I don't think so, I have Picasa 3.5 installed (and google earth as well) and I don't have google updater, I also checked system monitor and there is no google updater running there either.
 
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cawesjmu

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2004
382
0
Richmond, VA
I still have iPhoto 08 (the one without faces or places) and I was waiting for Picasa to get out of Beta for Mac. Now that is has, I'm thinking about using Picasa exclusively. Has anyone moved their photo library from iPhoto to Picasa? How time consuming do you think it'll be for 42 GB of photos? You think the easiest way is to copy all the pictures, and then trash the iPhoto ones?
 
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lamadude

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2006
432
0
Brussels, BE
I still have iPhoto 08 (the one without faces or places) and I was waiting for Picasa to get out of Beta for Mac. Now that is has, I'm thinking about using Picasa exclusively. Has anyone moved their photo library from iPhoto to Picasa? How time consuming do you think it'll be for 42 GB of photos? You think the easiest way is to copy all the pictures, and then trash the iPhoto ones?

I have done that, but make sure you really do prefer picasa over iPhoto before deleting all your iphoto settings :)
I just exported all my photos to an external HD (you could do this to another map on your internal HD as well), then trash your entire iPhoto library, and have picasa look through this new folder.
Apart from the (IMO) improved usability and faster response times, it also seems that my picasa library uses less space than my iphoto library did.
 
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cawesjmu

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2004
382
0
Richmond, VA
Thanks for the response. I'll try out 3.5 for a bit, but I liked the Beta and was just waiting for the faces and places equivalent. The only thing I thought might prevent me from switching to Picasa is the interplay between other iLife apps like iWeb or iMovie. But I imagine I can get a picture from Picasa into iWeb if I need to by hand. Have you found any other cons to using Picasa?
 
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flottenheimer

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2008
1,284
301
Up north
Thanks Google. I love my gmail. I love my Google Reader. I love your maps. I'll install this and do a little research on how Picasa treats the files and deals with the file structure (iPhoto is a mess when it comes to that).

The more Google stuff I use, the better the Google experience gets.

Nope, I don't work for 'em. I just like what they do.
 
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jmcguckin

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2008
121
0
Akron, OH
hmm, if my experience with Google's offerings in the past is any indicator of how well this latest version of Picasa works, I just may have to give it a shot (though I have no complaints about iPhoto '09)... I've been a pretty die-hard fan of their apps/email service for quite awhile now, so if my testing with Picasa goes well, it will be just one more reason for me to migrate my info/files to Google's alternatives to Apple's products/offerings (no sense shelling out money for additional Apple-produced software if Google has a suitable free alternative to it).
 
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Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
Even cooler than that is that they used the updater to send out an update that deleted all copies of itself!

Google Updater has been retired, but don't get comfortable. Google Earth installs the "Google Update Engine" instead, which has (as best as I can tell) all the same issues.

A.
(who has no Google software installed, anywhere)
 
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