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Google Goes for Picture Perfect

Google today launched Picasa 2, the latest iteration of the free photo management software it has owned since acquiring Picasa in July.

Picasa 2 automatically recognizes digital cameras once users plug the devices into their PCs. They can then organize, edit and share the photos using a number of features available in the new version.

"With Picasa 2, we've made it easier for people to find, organize, improve and enhance their photographs, as well as create photo CDs, personalized slideshows, desktop collages, and much more," Lars Perkins, general manager of Picasa, said in a statement.

Users can select any number of effects to alter their pictures, said the company, including 12 photographic filters, color and lighting adjustments, red-eye removal, photo cropping and straightening. The program also allows users to add captions, search for photos on a computer and reorder pictures.

Once pictures are loaded and ready for public viewing, users can share them by sending them via e-mail, posting to a Blogger-based blog or discussing them in real-time using Hello, Picasa's free-to-download peer-to-peer software. In addition, the company said, photos can be archived on a CD or DVD or saved to an external drive.

And a couple of features borne out of Google's Web-based e-mail client Gmail allow users to attach labels and stars to photos as a way to improve their organization.

"Digital photos are an important and growing category of personal information," Perkins said, "and Picasa is in line with Google's commitment to develop advanced technologies that further help users to find, organize and share information that's important to them."



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