Old family photos are precious. They can also be fragile and may have been damaged due to time, weather, and exposure to the sun. Photo editing software can be extremely helpful to genealogists who want to salvage old family photos. Those who are using Picasa need to be aware that Google is retiring it.
Google announced on February 12, 2016, that it will be “moving on from Picasa”. It seems that they have been considering doing so ever since they launched Google Photos. Google has decided that it wants to focus its energy on a single photo service rather than keep two of them going. They chose to retire Picasa, but will keep Google Photos.
One immediate solution for genealogists who were using Picasa Web Albums as photo storage is to use Google Photos instead. Google suggests that you log in to Google Photos and notes that you will see that all of your Picasa photos are already in Google Photos. You can use Google Photos to continue to upload and organize your memories, to search through your photos, and to share images.
Google is not going to immediately make any changes to existing Picasa Web Albums. They will start rolling out changes on May 1, 2016. Until then, you can keep using Picasa Web Albums as you normally would.
What if you don’t want to use Google Photo? Google is planning on creating a new place where you can access your existing Picasa Web Albums data. That new place – which hasn’t been created just yet- will let you view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums. It will not let you create new ones, organize the existing albums, or edit albums. If you want to be able to do that, you will have to use Google Photo.
Google will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15, 2016. That doesn’t mean it will immediately stop working. Instead, it means that Google is no longer going to develop it further. There will be no future updates. There will no longer be a support team that can fix whatever problems eventually happen or to teach you how to do things with Picasa.
It is important to know that Google Photos has a limited amount of photo editing ability. You can crop a photo. You can rotate a photo. You can adjust the color or lighting in a photo. Google Photos is not going to help you fix an old family photo that has been badly damaged. Google Photo also sets limits on the resolution of photos.
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