Google and Yahoo embrace photo sharing

The easiest way to share photos is to publish them online, and the new Picasa Web Albums (from Google) and Yahoo Photos make that easier than ever. I liked aspects of both beta services, but I give Yahoo's service the early edge for its solid search features.

In what Google describes as "pre-beta" form, Picasa Web Albums feels as polished as some of its longer-running rivals. Google ties the site to beta version 2.5 of its Picasa software. You edit and organize your photos in Picasa, and then click the Web Album button to post them online. Picasa's defaults make albums public--so anyone with an invitation can browse them--but switching albums to private viewing is easy. You can upload photos at their original resolution or let the service downsize them to save storage space. Google offers 250MB of space free; you can pay US$25 per year for 6GB.

Google's site layout is attractive and functional. You can switch freely among your entire collection, your public albums, and other people's bookmarked albums. You can also see photo metadata like the camera model and exposure information for a selected image, view slide shows, and download photos (yours or others') to your PC.

Strangely, Picasa Web Albums forgoes Google's search prowess, and the company will not say whether such a function is coming later. Currently you have no way to tag photos or search for images.

In contrast, the single best feature of Yahoo Photos is its search function. You can easily add Flickr-like tags to your images so that you can find specific photos via a search box at the top of the page. And whereas Google's photo editing tools are all in the Picasa software, Yahoo's site includes exposure adjustments, cropping tools, red-eye reduction, and even fancy border effects.

Yahoo Photos' biggest weakness is its design. The interface is cluttered with ads and tiered menus that I had to experiment with--even then, I never really felt at home.

The upload system lacks an organizer application. And Yahoo sets images to private by default--odd, since the Web is all about sharing. Also, it's easy to miss the fact that you can upload images at their full size, because that feature is hidden behind a check box that describes the settings in terms of upload speed. At least for now, Yahoo supplies free, unlimited storage.

What Picasa Web Albums lacks in features it makes up for in polish and charm. On the other hand, Yahoo Photos will appeal to folks who like the idea of sharing and editing their photos, all online.

Google Picasa Web Albums

Beta Product, not rated

Desktop photo organizer combined with Web sharing is elegant, but why is there no search or tagging?

Price when reviewed: Free (250MB storage), US$25 per year (6GB storage)

Available at picasaweb.google.com

Yahoo Photos

Beta product, not rated

This powerful but cluttered photo organizer is a virtual replacement for your desktop photo apps--and it has a strong search function.

Price when reviewed: Free

Available at photos.yahoo.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dave Johnson

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?