Google Picasa Web Albums Review with Screenshots

Picasa_logoGoogle can’t help but stay in the spotlight. Today’s latest: Google Picasa Web Albums. I quickly signed up for this “test” (rather than “beta” for some reason) product and gave it a test spin. Initial impression: yet another impressive, free tool from Google for online collaboration. Read on for features and screenshots:

First and foremost, it asks you to install the latest version of Picasa which supports web albums (or it updates your current version). Here’s a picture of the startup screen with a little graphic explaining the simple steps to upload images from your desktop once Picasa is installed (click to view full size):

Picasa_web_albums_start_screen2

Once Picasa is installed/updated on your computer, you simply select a folder and then click on the Web Album button in the bottom of the window to get this login screen from your desktop (click for full size):

Desktop_login

Once logged in, you’ll get a screen asking you for an album title, description (optional), and upload settings (three to choose from, pictured):

Send_options_1

There’s also an upgrade storage button, which takes you to this screen that explains details on how to sign up for six gigabytes (instead of the standard 250 megabytes) of storage for $25 a year (click image for full size):

Upgrade_to_6gig_2_1

Once the album is uploaded, you can view an overview shot of all the pictures (with three different picture sizes depending on how many you have in the album) with a description shown here (click for full size):

Photoalbum_view

Here’s a shot of the account settings page where you can change your nickname, how others see and access your content, and your RSS feeds:

Web_album_settings2

Alternatively, you can upload pictures from the web interface rather than from the desktop interface. Here’s what that screen looks like (click for full size):

Upload_from_computer_2

Overall, it has the typical Google polish: Just enough flexibility to be very usable without undue complexity. The handy interface has easily accessible features such as slide show (web-based, really nicely done!), sort, rearrange, share (speaking of which, check out the screenshot below), etc. all there to help you share and manage your photos online. It won’t be long before we’ll forget we ever used email to share pictures.

Share2

Oh, and I almost forgot, click here to see the public pictures I uploaded through this review.