Picasa is now just a memory. For years, Google’s photo management software was the best in its class, but in 2016 the company decided to ditch Picasa.
The app that replaces Picasa, Google Photos leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, it has lots of cool features, but for people who like a hands-on approach in their photo organizing software, it’s not powerful enough.
Amazingly, even after all this time, there is no app that you can definitively call the best Picasa replacement. So instead, we have compiled a list of the best Picasa alternatives.
For Online Options
Of course this is the most obvious choice. Google Photos certainly offers several advantages over Picasa; it integrates with other Google services (including Google Drive), you don’t need to open a new account, it’s free, it offers basic editing options, it supports photographers using RAW files, and the interface is very easy to use.
Unfortunately, it also has a number of drawbacks. The editing tools currently available are very limited, especially compared to Picasa. Photos you upload from your mobile device are automatically minimized to save space in your Drive, and you only have a limited amount of storage space for non-minimized photos.
Basically, you will be making a lot of compromises. Therefore, it is not a bad choice. The automatic uploader ensures that all your photos are backed up in the cloud, and because it’s a Google product, sharing is super easy. There are also web-based and mobile options, which is great if you do a lot of smartphone photography.
You also get editing tools powered by Aviary; they’re not the best, but you can do all the basics you could possibly need, like adjusting brightness and contrast, and removing red-eye.
Paid Flickr Pro removes limits and ads, allows you to upload unlimited photos in any resolution, and offers advanced statistics and metrics.
And while $100/year isn’t cheap, it’s not too bad for 1TB of space. The biggest advantage here is that the extra space can be used for other things, too. You can store music in the cloud or for collaboration at work.
For Desktop Options
The best thing about Picasa is that it is great for organization and also has powerful editing tools. Unfortunately, that’s rather rare on the photo management software scene, so many of the apps listed here will only perform one of those functions. You may have to start using two different software to manage and edit your photos.
This software is actually meant to be a media browser, and not just a photo browser, so you can get all the same kind of information for videos, audio files, and over 500 recognized file formats.
XnView software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. And it’s free, which is definitely a selling point. The company also publishes mobile photo editing apps, so it’s possible that more desktop editing capabilities will emerge in the future.
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Download: XnView MP (Free)
FastStone Image Viewer
Its features include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustment, and even music slideshow.
More advanced users can benefit from RAW support, curves, levels, noise reduction, sharpening, exposure adjustments, and clone and heal tools.
This app is free.
Download: FastStone Image Viewer (Free)
It includes a number of features that users love about Picasa, such as facial recognition (though this reportedly doesn’t work either), easy-to-share uploads, and the ability to create fun scrapbook pages, calendars, and other printables. And it has the photo-editing power of Photoshop behind it, which means you can rest assured that your photos will look flawless.
The downside to using Elements is the price tag.
Download: Photoshop Elements ($99.99)
The biggest benefit of using Photos is that the interface is very clean, very easy to use, and if you have a Mac, you already have it (in fact, it probably opens automatically when you plug in your camera). The biggest downside here is the lack of editing capabilities, but most people will be happy with the amount of tools it provides.
Like the Photos app on macOS, it is a native app available for Windows users from the Microsoft Store. It offers basic editing features and organizational functionality.
Interestingly, this app also has a video editor. You can use it to create videos from your photo collection and make tweaks to existing videos.
Download: Microsoft Photos (Free)
If your needs are simple, and you just want a program that will help you organize your photos and perform the most basic edits, JetPhoto could be a contender. The Studio version of the app is free (though you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version to work with RAW files), and it provides a pretty decent interface for organizing your photos.
Editing tools are almost as basic, so you’ll want to rely on an image editor to make tweaks. JetPhoto is definitely the best at organizing and is a decent lightweight app for what it provides. It is also available for Windows and macOS.
Download: JetPhoto Studio (Free)
Features like layers, curves, levels, and Paint.NET’s entire library of brilliant extensions are usually reserved for more expensive photo-editing applications, but Paint.NET offers all of this for free. It’s not the prettiest editor out there, but it gets the job done, and won’t cost you a dime. Unfortunately, however, it is only available on Windows.
Using Paint.NET? Make It Better With This Great Plugin
Download: Paint.NET (Free)
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