Friday, 27 May 2016

Picasa Photo Hub for Windows 10 Is Finally Out

After months of gruelling work, Picasa Photo Hub is now ready and released for Windows 10 Desktop and Mobile!

This has taken a long time as while the last update for Picasa Photo Hub laid the ground work for this upgrade, the UI has been re-written from the ground up. This means that the Windows 10 version of the app now includes:

- Viewing photos and albums from within the app itself
- Sharing photos manually makes use of the background transfer service so you don't have to wait around for them to be uploaded.
- Drag and Drop photos into the app to start uploading them into your collection (Desktop Only)
- Search your photos within the app like you can on other platforms. Try searching for "food" and see what photos come up :)

But unfortunately, with this update some features are going away. Not because I didn't have time to implement them, but because Google have announced that they are retiring the Picasa services in favour of Google Photos. This happened smack bang in the middle of development and I was torn whether to carry on with the update, or to just leave Picasa Photo Hub to die. I decided that even though the service was being retired, what I was learning during development could be used in future applications. I also felt like the users of the app deserved it to work as well as possible on Windows 10. This announcement is also the reason why the UI for the Windows Phone 8.1 version has remained untouched, and will largely be the same app you already know.

However, along with Google's announcement, they have also removed the following features which have been reflected in the application:

- Commenting on photos
- Replacing photos
- Deleting Photos

So what does the future hold for Picasa Photo Hub? If a public way for interacting with Google Photos arrives, which could happen with I/O development conference just around the corner, then the app may evolve into a Google Photos application. But for now, I have decided that development on Picasa Photo Hub will be limited to bug fixes going forward.

It's been a great ride for the app, and who knows, the application may live on in some form in the future...