Picasa Redefined for your iPhone

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | 8:00 AM

Joe WalnesSoftware Engineer, Google mobile team in London

I was sitting in the pub recently (I'm a Brit, it's what I do), and I wanted to show my friend a photo of the sunset I saw on my honeymoon. I pulled out my phone and started typing in the URL for Picasa Web Albums. Before I could continue, he threw his shiny iPhone into my hand. He told me to launch the Safari browser bundled on the iPhone and give that a try.

I had a look around some websites and I really liked how they looked on the iPhone. I could get to everything I needed. I went to picasaweb.google.com but it didn't quite feel right. It was using some very cool AJAXy features, but these were designed with a desktop web-browsing experience in mind. So the next day I had a go at creating a new interface for Picasa Web, designed for the iPhone.

Today, I'm happy to tell you that we've just released this new iPhone interface for Picasa. After you go to Picasa on your iPhone and log in, you can quickly see all your albums that you've uploaded to Picasa Web. If you click on any of the albums, you can get a full view of your picture with comments from your friends. Or you can click on Slideshow, sit back and watch the pictures scroll. You can also search for photos in your album or through community photos. Finally, with one of my favorite features, you can view your friends' albums through favorites.

What are you waiting for? If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch go to http://picasaweb.google.com and check it out. Alternatively, you can go to www.google.com and launch the application from the "More" tab. Note that we've only launched in English so far, so you'll have to change your language preference if you're not in an English-speaking country.

For those that have never used Picasa before, visit our web site for PC users or Mac users. You can easily upload all your photos from your desktop. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please leave us a comment below.



51 comments:

Dumitru said...

Is this interface available only for iPhone and iPod touch users?

How about other mobile users? Can they somehow get to use it?

Rupert P said...

I would love to know what Google's obsession with iPhones is? Why has it redesigned all its services to support iPhones, which must have a relatively small market share (so far) when there are other phones out there that have a larger market share, but that Google has ignored (Nokia browsers for example). And how about redesigning all Google service for the Wii browser?
My main point, why does iPhone get the special treatment? Is it because it supports all the necessary technologies that Google uses, whilst other mobile browsers do not, or is it just Google jumping on the "iPhone is cool" band wagon?

lookmark said...

'Cause it's not just iPhones really. It's Safari on OS X Mobile.

iPhones + iPod Touch + future OS X products = a rapidly growing new mobile platform.

Also, it's really neat. People at Google spend their 20% on things that interest 'em.

Benjamin said...

There has been Opera Mini 4 for a while which supports all that is needed as well. I use some pages which do not have a browser check with it and it works great. Would be nice if Google would create an interface for Opera Mini 4 (and later Opera 9 Mobile) browser. Maybe just add the user agents to the supported list. That would be great, thanks ;)

Mehdi said...

Again, as for the search for iPhone presented a few days ago here, would it be possible to have a URL that non-iPhone users can use to access the customized page? Why restrict this to iPhone users only when many other devices with as capable web browsers could benefit from this new interface as well?

Nielson said...

In my experience, the new interface will not load more than 100 photos in an album. I have an album with 183 photos, and it stops cold at 100. When viewing the 100th photo, there's only a 'back' arrow.

frosty said...

Rupert P: you say that the iPhone must have a 'relatively small market share' - a report released by Net Applications a couple of days ago indicates (at least, by their count) that iPhone web traffic has already overtaken that of Windows mobile (CE) - which runs on a *lot* of devices. I would say that's pretty significant.

"Total web browsing on the iPhone has topped the web browsing on all Windows Mobile devices combined, as this report shows. "

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=10&qptimeframe=M&qpsp=106&qpmr=14&qpdt=1&qpct=0&sample=4

joe razali said...

I still get the old interface from my iphone; any direct URL that will enable me to access the iPhone optimized Picasa?

rb said...

Nice work. It was great before, and it's even better now. "Best" would be the ability to zoom in on high res versions of the images.

Rupert P said...

@ frosty

well, I stand corrected, Apple's domination continues unabated then, so it only makes sense for Google to make modifications for the iPhone. I find it amazing that despite the vast number of Win CE apps (so thats PPC 2002, 2003, 2003SE, Win Mobile 5 and 6) there are more people with iPhones accessing the internet, crazee dayz...

Steelso said...

@ Rupert P

I think the main reason for a higher usage of the iPhone opposed to the platforms you mention is that the iPhone seems to be created to view websites, it seems a much more integrated, thought through experience. Add to that a large, bright, crisp screen and an unlimited data package it all adds up to being a more conducive experience overall.

steve cavrak said...

why iPhone? i'd think it's because

iPhone -> safari -> webKit -> android

this becomes more fun when i can upload to picassa from my iphone :)

Pankaj said...

why not picasa for mac? my only question to picasa team. I have this question millionth times...

John said...

Hi,
what about sticking the slideshow button for searches - i.e. I can get a slideshow of images of balloons or whatever.
John.

Muzaffer said...

@ Rupert P: Because the CEO of Google is actually one of the board members at Apple. Eric Schmidt.

Rupert P said...

@Muzzaffer

lol, hole in one I think!

Muzaffer said...

@ Rupert P: LOL!

joey said...

How about some BlackBerry love?

Jason said...

I love the fact that you are making these fast loading web apps. My only complaint, Make them work for other small browsers. I own an Archos 605 that loves Iphone specific pages, but no love from Google.

Harjit said...

This is great! The new Picasa web interface for the iphone/touch is top notch!-- Things I would like to see--

- albums seem to be limited to a 100 photo limit

- ability to zoom

- ability to tag photos and add them to your favorites (put in a favorites tab or favorites album)

- ability to email photo(s) from the interface

- links to friends albums

- assign pics to contacts in gmail

- ability to delete pics from albums

- ability to create/edit pic caption

jcb said...

I'm getting the old interface as well at the url

http://picasaweb.google.com

Help?

Help!

Tim said...

As you would say in the U.K., it works a TREAT on my Touch! Thanks from California, U.S.A.

Robb Montgomery said...

Steve wrote:

this becomes more fun when i can upload to picassa from my iphone

Um, you can already do this with my iPhone using the iFlickr app. Works like a charm.

I demonstrated this app recently at a lecture to Medill journalism students at Northwestern U. Very handy tool for reporters out in the field.

http://code.google.com/p/iflickr/

Enjoy.

Floogy said...

pankaj: See http://picasa.google.com/web/mac_tools.html for a Picasa plug-in that works with Mac, iPhoto, etc.

njonji said...

@Rupert P

"iPhones, which must have a relatively small market share (so far)"

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/12/14/canalys-symbian-apple-iphone-already-leads-windows-mobile-in-us-market-share-q3-2007/

Eddie said...

can you add the display of caption?

BaNdOra said...

Picasa for S60 mobile phones would be useful.

kathy green said...

This is very nice. I think it take a little tweaking to make a good interface for what is simply a smaller x by y screen. I look forward to more special "apps" for the iPhone. Thanks.

me said...

Joe wrote:

> [...] I wanted to show my friend a photo
> of the sunset I saw on my honeymoon.

Shame on you. I once belonged to a photo-club which, where photo-motifs were concerned, had but one rule on which everybody could agree: display of any sunset would be subjected to an immediate fine (equivalent to a price of a pint as I recall). Beers all around, Joe?

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smokeonit said...

yeah, a tab to upload directly from the iphone to picasa would be cool!

flickr is getting so annoying and the 200 pix limit for non paying customers sucks big time!

Rian Fowler said...

A couple of suggestions: native iPhone app that uploads pictures from phone OR like facebook allow some sort of mobile uploading via email.

This is a smart move since the vast majority (like 85%) of US mobile browsing is done on iPhones.

Snigit Team said...

Picasa is a great way to upload, share, and manage photos. I first used it to put a photo album on a website a few years back. I'm glad to see that developers are moving toward more and more support for the iPhone.

Also, I wanted to let you know that there is a new site designed specifically for iPhone users to post their cool pictures to. It's called Snigit.com

It's fun, it's free, and it allows people with iPhones to quickly and easily post their pictures to the web w/o needing a blog of their own. Check it out and post a quick pic with your phone.

Cheers!
Tyler Youngblood,
Founder, Snigit.com

dom said...

It would be great to allow to save the image to iphone and like others said, post images from iphone

Kei said...

Picasa is great on the iphone, I am loving it so far. The only thing that I would really love to see is if you could have the same great experience that you do with viewing, navigating and zooming as you would on iPhone photo album.

I like that it loads the full image by default. But you cannot zoom into it using the zoom gesture on this screen. I realize that you can tap on the zoom icon, but then you cannot go to the previous or next image and you have to click on "back" first and then next again, and then "zoom " again if you want to see the next picture zoomed in. I see this as quite a disruption in the picture viewing experience. I and I'm sure many iphone owners would love to see this change made as well. Thanks!

Dustin said...

This app is great, bit I don't always need to use it. At the moment, instead of asking for feature additions, I am begging you to provide a way to exit out the the regular Picasa site. I have searched everywhere to a way to see the same site with my iPhone that I do with my computer. There are just too many features like the map of galleries that I need to see from my iPhone.

gina said...

When is google going to fix the limitation of 100 photo in a album ?

J said...

I agree with Dustin

I'm enjoying picasa and the mobile version seems great but I don't like being directed to the mobile version on iphone without an "out" to the full version. Its a similar feeling I experienced with microsoft (probably pre-web) when they offered various products but then began to take them away, repackage them, bundle them etc.

Perhaps there is a simple out but its not obvious to me - I don't like the feeling of being controlled / directed by Google.

Blank said...

What is being done about fixing the limited display on my iPod Touch of album pictures? I can only see 100 of my 167 photographs in any of my albums (http://picasaweb.google.com/themikepenny/ClayHillPotters# or http://picasaweb.google.com/themikepenny/NewnhamStreetFair14thJuly2007#). Why is it limited? You can even run a slideshow past the 100th photo.

Michael Mayer said...

as others have posted...

please fix the 100 photo limit.

it sort of makes an otherwise great app worthless.

also, add video capability.

the desktop version of picasa web albums allows video upload. This functionality is gone from the mobile version.(the iphone plays youtube w/o any problem so this is essentially the same functionality wrapped into the native picasa app.

thanks

Jesse said...

This is really nice except there seems to be no way to save images to the iphone as you can with normal safari browsing. It would be great if I could save photos normally from my picasa albums so I could use images for my contact list or archive my favs for offline viewing in the iphone photo reel.

dominic.curtis said...

As others have said, please remove the 100 photo limit!

John said...

Yeah, I would have to agree that the 100 photo limit is a bit annoying.

Aldi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Aldi said...

Like others have said before, it's annoying this app doesn't allow you to view the video's. But the limmit to 100 pics is no less than agrivating. I want to be able to view the 'complete' website. How can I see all my photo's like this?
Ofcourse it looks sweet, but give me the bitter if it allows me to view the whole site.
So... Nice try, try again!

Jordan Bowness said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Jordan said...

It would really be great if we could use Safari's ability to SAVE the images in Picasa web albums...

Travel To The Florida Keys and key West said...

Please remove the 100 photo limit and also allow to display all albums, I have 267 albums and I only can see 50

Now that Picasa software is working on Mac, a Native iPhone version will be killer and I will gladly pay for that (I'm already paying for xtra web albums storage
)

Travel To The Florida Keys and key West said...

Please remove the 100 photo limit and also allow to display all albums, I have 267 albums and I only can see 50

Now that Picasa software is working on Mac, a Native iPhone version will be killer and I will gladly pay for that (I'm already paying for xtra web albums storage
)

AnthonyB said...

Please address the 100 picture/30 album limitation of picasa on the iPhone. I'd rather have the plain old web experience where I could at least view all the content than your beautiful and otherwise well crafted iPhone version where much of the content is off limits. The problem is really that bad.

Jeffery said...

Is there any work-around for the 100 photo limit yet?