Given that Picasa originally began as Windows PC software, you might be surprised at how many Macs you'll find floating around our Santa Monica office (which is where Google's photos-related work mostly takes place). Of course, Picasa Web Albums, our online photo-sharing site, is browser-based, and used by millions of Mac folks every day, so much of what we do is platform-independent.
Still, what makes Picasa Web Albums really shine has always been its special integration with Picasa software on your home computer. Picasa and Picasa Web Albums work together to let you do things like automatically sync photos between your computer and the web, quickly download entire original-resolution photo albums from friends and family with a click, and so on.
We're therefore excited to announce that we're bringing the full version of Picasa to Mac OS X. Like its Windows and Linux counterparts, Picasa for Mac is a standalone program that helps you organize photos anywhere on your hard disk, edit your photos to perfection, and then easily share them online.
Picasa for Mac looks and works almost exactly like Picasa on other platforms. It can keep track of photo files scattered across your hard drives, and will automatically account for new photos as you add them to your system. Picasa for Mac also features non-destructive editing, so you can explore different photo adjustments and effects without worry.
In building Picasa for Mac, we've tried to make sure it "plays nice" with iPhoto. Picasa takes a special read-only approach to editing photos stored in the iPhoto library, duplicating files as needed, so your iPhoto library isn't ever affected when you use Picasa. Avid iPhoto users who currently use our Picasa Web Albums plugin for iPhoto can of course continue to do so, though features like automatic web sync, photo collages, and more are only available in the Picasa application. Take a look:
As you'll notice on the download page, Picasa for Mac is initially being released as a Google Labs product -- it's very much a beta. Some smaller features like geotagging and 3rd-party printing aren't functional, yet, and you may well stumble across other rough edges as you use this beta. Please let us know how Picasa works on your Mac, and what you'd like to see -- if you're at Macworld this week, come talk to the Picasa engineers in person. We'll be giving demos of Picasa at the Google booth throughout Macworld's run, and very much want to hear from our users.
Sound good? Head over to the download page, and give it a spin!