Nov 072014
 

imageMany of us are using smartphones and tablets as our primary cameras these days. And, many of you may not even have a computer – finding that the smartphones and tablets meet all your computing needs. But what to do with all those pictures? I know that a lot of you just keep taking pictures until one day, your phone displays a message that it is full and it can’t take any more. Now what?

Even if you do have a computer, you may find that storing your pictures in the cloud is more convenient. If you don’t have a computer, it’s the only way to get them off your phone and into more permanent storage.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have a computer, and I love Picasa – the computer software. I will keep importing the pictures from my phone and tablet to my computer, and using Picasa for organizing, editing, and uploading/sharing them. I just want to recognize that there is another way to do things now, and one future day, it may be the only way.

1. Upload Pictures from devices to the Cloud

The easiest way to do this with Google+ is to install the Google+ App on your phone or tablet, then turn on the option called “Auto Backup.” I wish they had named it “Auto-Upload” instead of Auto Backup because something called “Backup” implies that there is a way to “Restore” your system to how it was when you backed it up. That is not what this does. What Auto Backup does is to notice every photo taken by the camera app on your device (smartphone or tablet, Android or Apple) and automatically upload it to your account in Google+.

After installing the app, find the Settings option and turn Auto Backup on. Then there are options for the size of the uploaded photos and the connection used to upload them.

  1. Size for uploading: choose between
    -Full Size: uploads the fullsize original picture. Use this if you need the original resolution but realize that it will be using up your storage allotment in Google+
    -Standard Size: downsizes your photos to no more than 2048 pixels. This is plenty big enough for any viewing on a computer and it enables the unlimited free storage option for Google+
  2. Connection used for Uploading
    -Over Wi-Fi or mobile network: this will use your data plan (mobile network such as Verizon or AT&T) If you have a limited plan, you could incur substantial charges
    -Over Wi-Fi only: this will only upload your pictures when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. We assume that the Wi-Fi is free
  3. Delete the photos from your phone or tablet. This is a decision for you to make, but realize if you never delete pictures that you take with your phone or tablet, it will fill up.

2. View the Cloud Pictures from your device

The Google+ App on your phone or tablet will allow you to view all the photos that were uploaded to your account. You can also select pictures to be organized into Albums, so you can then browse pictures by album. As long as you have a data connection on your phone or tablet, you can view all your photos online – no need to have them on your phone.

 

2014-11-07 18.55.43

Every week Geeks on Tour presents a free web-show where we explore features and uses of smartphones and Tablets. Episode #19 will focus on your pictures in the cloud. It will air live this Sunday, November 9 at 2pm Eastern time. If you watch it live, you will be able to leave comments that we will answer on air. If you don’t watch it live, it is recorded as a Youtube video and will be available below. To get the links for watching live or later,  see our Geeks on Tour Weekly Show page.

Mar 112014
 

picture-workflowDo you have a photo workflow?

What’s that you say?  You don’t work any more?  You’re retired.  You just play and travel.  I hear ya!  We want to erase the word ‘work’ from our vocabulary, but, if you don’t have some kind of process for managing your photos – they’ll just get lost.  We take all these great pictures for a reason: to preserve the memories and to share them.  You can’t do that if you don’t know where they are!  For me, there are 3 reasons to have a workflow;

  1. To make sure I collect all the pictures taken with various cameras.
  2. To winnow them down to just the best, and make sure those best photos are great!  I also want to have some labels, captions, keywords, or filenames on my best photos so I can easily find them.
  3. To share just those best photos, making sure they’re easily accessible to me at any time.

Showing Pictures of Alaska

A couple of weeks ago, we were in a campground with some friends who are planning an RV trip to Alaska this summer.  I told them how I lived in Alaska for many years when I was a kid, and my first RV trip was from Alaska to Guatemala.  I love telling that story of my first RV trip, I like it even better to show pictures!  I was able to grab the smartphone from my pocket and quickly find pictures of that 1962 trip.  How did I do that?  I certainly didn’t take that picture using my phone!  Well, actually I did!  I found an old photo album on the shelf at my Mom’s – it had these Alaska pictures so I took out my phone and snapped pictures of the pictures.  I plan to do a lot more of that.

2014-03-11 10.46.55I take a lot of regular pictures with my phone and I have a process where I import them to my computer and then erase them from my phone.  That way the phone never fills up.  I also use my phone to snap pictures from old photo albums – like the ones from Alaska.  After a little bit of editing in Picasa, they’re looking good and I upload them to Google+ Photos.  At least, that’s what it’s called now.  It used to be called Picasa Web Albums and I’ve been uploaded there for many years.  All my best pictures from the last 10 years are there.  All I need is the Google+ App on my phone, and I can easily pull up any of my photo albums from Google+ Photos.

 

My Complete (current) Process

I’ve developed my Photo Workflow over the years to match our photo-taking style.  I often revise it to take advantage of new tools that are available as well.  Your system will probably be different.  My goal in detailing my process is to get you to think about it.  Do you have access to all your pictures regardless of what camera took them?  If your computer with pictures on it crashes, do you have those pictures somewhere else – backups?  Can you find a picture from any given event in your life?  If you’re visiting a friend and want to show them pictures of that event, can you?  If you can answer yes to those questions, then you have a good system.  If not, perhaps reading thru my process will give you some ideas.

1. We take pictures with multiple cameras, then collect them all on one computer.  For cameras with SD cards, I import directly from the SD card to the computer.  For cameras from mobile devices, I install Dropbox on each device and set it to automatically synchronize to a ‘camera upload’ folder on my computer – then I move them from the camera upload folder to the My Pictures folder.  Once the pictures are safely on my computer, I erase them from the camera card or phone/tablet.  I normally put pictures into folders by the month they were taken.  Sometimes I find an event deserves it’s own folder.  Each year, I move that year’s folders off my computer and onto a USB External hard drive.  I use Picasa to browse all my pictures.  It can include the folders on the external hard drive , as well as the folders on the computer in its library.  I call this my master library.

2. I recently turned on the new Google+ Auto-Backup feature and set it to automatically copy every photo on my computer’s My Pictures folder.   I use the Standard Size option to reduce the pictures to 2048 pixels so I have unlimited free storage of these backed up pictures.  Realize that, if I have followed my #1 step correctly, this is only backing up my last year’s worth of photos because the others are on an external hard drive.
3. Picasa manages my master library.  I use it to view my pictures, make them look good, add captions, add tags, make collages etc.
4. Also using Picasa, I upload my best pictures to Google+ photo albums, and I share them publicly
5. Once a month / quarter / and year I backup that month/that year to DVD and put those DVDs in a separate location – a family members house.  I may stop doing the monthly or quarterly backups and only backup to disk at the end of each year since Google+ Auto-Backup is already making one backup for me online.
6. Install the Google+ App on all my mobile devices so I can view my entire life on Google+ photo albums from any device.

Sep 152013
 

If you click on the button in Picasa to ‘Edit in Creative Kit’, today this is what you’ll see:

creative-kit

What was Creative Kit?

If you don’t know what Creative Kit was, here are some articles I wrote about the useful tools in Creative Kit that do not exist in Picasa3 proper.  Now they don’t exist for Picasa/Google+ users at all!

What is the Replacement?

If you have joined Google+, there is a new Edit button when you’re looking at a single photo.  When you click it you get several photo improvement tools.  Other than the ‘Selective Adjust’ which allows you to change exposure for selected areas of the picture, I don’t see anything that you can’t otherwise accomplish using Picasa3 on your computer.  And, you must be using the Chrome browser for this new edit tool to work.

google edit

Are there other Options?

The Creative Kit button began as a plugin to the Picnik photo editing website that Google bought a few years ago.  Some of the Picnik folks have gone on to create the websites PicMonkey.com, and Ribbet.com.  Check ‘em out!  The Ribbet.com website looks a lot like the old Picnik / Creative Kit with effects, stickers, text, and many more features.  The basic tools are free, then there is a Premium version for more.  The Premium version currently is free for a limited time.  Ribbet can connect directly to your Picasa Web Albums / Google+ Photos, so it is almost like having the Creative Kit back – only better!  The only drawback is that it’s not accessible with a button from within Picasa3 on your computer – like the old Creative Kit was.

Picmonkey.com has it’s own look and feel, but seems to include all the features you could possibly want for editing, enhancing, and embellishing your pictures.  I also notice that it is integrated with Dropbox!  Hmm, could this be a complete alternative to Picasa Web Albums / Google+ Photos.  I know a lot of people who would love to have all the capabilities of online photo storage and editing without the need to be a part of Google+!  If that is you, then PicMonkey and Dropbox are worth investigating.

Why did Google Make this Change?

We REALLY don’t know!  The new Editing button is completely different … not an upgrade of what was there.  The Google/Picasa folks don’t maintain any communication with us like they used to back in 2009 when they had us do a joint webinar with them.  I think the team is all new people, and we don’t have a clue what their plans are.  It’s been clear for quite a while that Google’s priority is bringing everything together under the umbrella of Google+.  In fact, Creative Kit was getting so good, I was almost ready to say they planned to do away with the Picasa3-on-your-computer program and insist that you do all your editing online.  But, the new online Editing doesn’t have anywhere near the features that Picasa3 has!  We’re at a loss.

All comments are welcome!

p.s. Thanks to Ribbet’s facebook page, I did find a little more information on this article: Google’s Bet On Native Client Brings Chrome And Google+ Photos Closer Together.  So now I understand that the change is because of a technology choice – my hope is that they will start enhancing these tools and add things like text and stickers and facepaint back in.

Aug 082013
 

Change is hard. Those of us who have been using Picasa Web Albums for years, to share our pictures on the web, didn’t like that Google is changing to Google+ Photos and leaving Picasa Web Albums (PWA) behind.  At first, the Google+ picture display fanned out your pictures in each album like cards fanned out in your hand.  I found that to be annoying.  They don’t do that anymore. There were several features in Picasa Web Albums  that were initially missing from Google+, like slideshows, and downloading albums.  Google+ is catching up, those 2 missing features are there now.  For the few features that are still missing, it’s easy to go to Picasa Web Albums and use them there.  What I really love about Google+ Photos now is the way it displays my pictures. It fills the screen with just my photos.  And it automatically enhances them.  Once in a while, I go to Picasa Web Albums and the display makes my pictures look old and plain by comparison.    Here’s a sample of the pictures from my most recent album – shown with Google+ Photos.

google photos

Reasons to Join Google Plus for your Photos

I’m not saying that the confusion is gone.  There’s still a lot to learn when it comes to sharing with Google+, but you can still just share with a link like we’ve always done with PWA.  See this past article on What Happened to Picasa Web Albums.  But, if you tried it before and didn’t like how it handled your pictures, it’s time to give it a second chance. Whenever you log in to your Google account, you probably see this screen (below) where you can join Google+.  Just make sure your name is correct, add your gender, and birthday and you now have Google+ as part of your Google account.  If you should decide you don’t like it, you can always remove the Google+ info from your profile – just make sure you don’t remove your whole account. 

google join

That’s it.  Now, when you upload from Picasa on your computer – you will see them online using Google+.  Here’s Google’s official page explaining Picasa Web Albums and Google+.  Here are the reasons I like using Google+ Photos:

  1. Unlimited free online photo storage if you agree to limit your uploaded photos to 2048 pixels.  That’s plenty big enough for sharing online, or even printing, and the resizing is handled automatically by Picasa on your computer.
  2. Automatic uploading of pictures from your phone or tablet and stored privately online for free.  Just install the Google+ app on your phone or tablet.
  3. Ability to share with ‘circles’ of friends, in addition to the existing public, or private sharing.  You can still share with link.
  4. Beautiful display of your pictures, including auto-enhancing (you can turn this off if you don’t like it – I love it.)
  5. Photo editing, organizing, displaying, and sharing procedures are getting better all the time since Google is putting their efforts into the Google+ product and not Picasa Web Albums
  6. Why not use Google+?  Picasa Web Albums is still there, just use the link: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1 and you’ll be seeing the same albums using the Picasa Web Albums interface.

Try Searching

You can do this with Picasa Web Albums as well, but it’s just nowhere near as obvious as in Google+ Photos.  In Picasa Web Albums, when you search for ‘beach’ the default is to search all the public photos anywhere on Picasa Web Albums.  In Google+ photos, the default is to search your own photo library.  It picks up the word ‘beach’ in captions, tags, or album titles, just like Picasa on your computer.  In the sample below, these beach pictures come from Oregon, Florida and Mexico – all from my Web Albums. 

google PhotoSearch

What about You?

Do you use Google+ Photos now?  Are you avoiding it? 

Apr 212013
 

slideshowI’ve written several articles in this PicasaTutorials website about the transition we are undergoing between Picasa Web Albums and Google Plus Photos.  Although Google + Photos has added many new features and is quite impressive these days, there is one feature it still lacks and that is the ability to embed a slideshow of your pictures into your blog post or website.

This previous post tells you how to use the Picasa Web Albums interface to embed a slideshow, but the problem is that when you try to go to www.PicasaWeb.Google.com (the address for your Picasa Web Albums,) you are automatically redirected to Google + Photos.  And, there is no command for embed slideshow anywhere to be found.

If you look carefully at your Google+ Photos screen, you will see a message to “Click here to go back to Picasa Web Albums.”  It does exactly what it says and deposits you at the Picasa Web Albums interface to all your pictures.  There you will find the ‘”Embed Slideshow” link as directed in this previous article.

If you don’t see that yellow box with the link, then try adding the no redirect option to your Picasa Web Album URL.  Just click here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1

web-albums-slideshow

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Android Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Oct 212012
 

InstantUploadI take lots of pictures with my Android smartphone.  But, then what?  They’re just on my smartphone right?  In my case they are also in the cloud – in a private album called Instant Upload on Google+.  The Instant Upload album is also viewable thru Picasa Web Albums.  Google+ Instant Upload is available for Android and iPhone – or other iOS devices.

So, if I take a bunch of pictures with my smartphone, later in the day when I’m at my computer I will be able to view them by going to Google+ and opening the Photo Album called Instant Upload.  I gotta admit, the first time this happened it was a little freaky.  How did those get there?  So, I looked into it a bit and realized that I had recently installed the Google+ App on my phone, and Instantly Upload photos is a default setting.

Unlimited Storage on Google+ Photos

When Google+ does the uploading, it resizes the picture to a maximum of 2048 pixels on the longest side.  So the picture of our dog, Odie above is 2048X1155 pixels and takes up 1133KB of space.  I use my pictures primarily on web pages, and I think 1024pixels is plenty big, so the 2048 limitation imposed by Google+ is just fine with me.  The picture that still is stored on my phone is 3264 pixels on its longest side and takes up 3.25MB of space.  As long as you accept the default size that Google+ imposes, you have unlimited storage space for your photos!  For Free!

For Geeks on Tour Members, here are some tutorial videos that discuss sizing of pictures, see Explanation of Sizing Pictures, Exporting Pictures for Use in Another Program, Resizing a Batch of Pictures, and Resizing Pictures to Width and Height

How to Start

If you want this feature, first you need to be a member of Google+.  If you have a Google account, you almost there, just go to www.plus.google.com and find the blue ‘Upgrade’ button.  This will upgrade your Google account to a Google Plus account.  Be aware that you are joining a social network – kind of like Facebook.  (see member tutorial videos: Picasa 3.9 and Google Plus Sharing, and Removing Google Plus if you Don’t Like it)

googleplus-playNext, you need to download the Google+ App to your phone.  go to your Google Play Store on your phone and search for Google Plus, then click Install. It’s free.

Third, and last, check the settings on your Google Plus App to be sure they match what you want.  For example, if you have a limited data plan on your phone, you may want your photos to be uploaded ONLY when you are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot – that’s a setting.  OR, in my case, I have unlimited data, so I don’t mind the upload taking place when I’m using my Verizon data, but I don’t want to drain my battery any more than necessary, so I set the setting for Battery to only upload pictures when the phone is plugged into a  charger.  With the Google+ app opened, just touch the menu button on your phone, then Settings, and you’ll see all the options.

From now on all the pictures you take on your phone will automagically be uploaded to your Google+ Photos, in the private album called Instant Uploads.  Then, if you want, you can download them to your computer!  (see tutorial video: Import Pictures from an Android Smartphone – to see how to get pictures directly from your phone to your computer.)

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Aug 152012
 

2014 Update: You can also try the Picasa command on the File menu: Import from Google+ Photos

If you have been patiently waiting for the features in Google+ photos to catch up to what we’ve had all along in Picasa Web Albums, your patience was rewarded this week.  One by one, the features we’ve come to expect from PWA are being added to the Google+ interface, and the latest one is the ability to download albums.

downloadalbum

How to Download an Album from Google+ Photos

While you’re viewing an album in Google+ Photos, you should see a menu option in the upper right labeled ‘More.”  Just click on the drop-down arrow to reveal the list and you should see Download Album as an option.  Click that, select your download location and click save.  This will put all the album’s photos into a packaged ‘.zip’ file, so there’s one more step before you’ll see your downloaded photos in Picasa.  You need to UNzip that file (Windows: right-click and Extract all, Mac: open .zip with archive utility)  and put the resulting picture files into a folder in your My Pictures area – or any other folder that Picasa is watching.

If you don’t see the Download album Option

That means that the owner of the album has UNchecked their Google account setting to ‘Allow Viewers to Download Photos.’  This is an account-wide setting, it is not something that can be controlled for individual albums.  To find the setting, click on the Gear icon, click Settings, and scroll down to the Photos section.

Show Me How!

Here is a tutorial video showing you exactly how to download an album from Google Plus.  This is just one of many tutorial videos on Picasa available for Geeks on Tour members.  You can see the whole list here.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, orbecome a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Jul 302012
 

Although Google+ Photos has now given us a way to view a slideshow of our photos, I still see no way to grab that slideshow and put it into a Blog or other website.  But, that feature is still there if you use the Picasa Web Albums interface.

Sometimes it is just so much more efficient to view a slideshow than to have numerous pictures posted on your page.  Like these pictures of our week in the Connecticut area:

Open your Album using Picasa Web Albums

Make sure you are logged into the Google account that has the album you’re looking for, then point your browser to https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1  You should now be seeing all your photo albums in the Picasa Web Album interface (and it won’t redirect you,) even if you have a Google+ account.  Click on the Album you want, then you will see some options at the right.  Click on ‘Embed Slideshow’.

slideshow.PNG

Copy the HTML code

Now you will be seeing some options for your slideshow.  Choose the size you want, and choose whether you want captions to show.  Then copy the HTML code from the bottom box.  Now, come back to your website, or Blog, editor and make sure you are in the HTML or Source view.  Then paste the code at the location you want the slideshow to appear.  It will look something like the image below.  Notice that it starts with <embed  and ends with embed>. 

html

When you go back to your normal editing view, you will see the slideshow rather than the code. A wonderful thing about using this slide show feature is that it is a live link. If you add more pictures to the album, they will show up in your slide show on your website or blog. Same thing if you delete them. You might even use this technique for a constantly updated set of pictures on your home page.

Learn to make a Blog/Website

If you don’t have a website or Blog, you can learn to make one with Geeks on Tour tutorial videos on how to make a Blog/website.  It’s so easy!  And Blogger is completely free.  Go to the Blogger Learning Library on GeeksonTour.TV.  The first 3 videos are free for you to watch.  To view the rest of them, you need to be a Geeks on Tour member – it’s only $7/monthly, or $58/yearly, or $68 for one year.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Android Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Jun 282012
 

One of the great features about sharing your photos with Picasa Web Albums has been the ability to simply send your friends a link to your album and they can view a slideshow of your photos.  Then Google added Google+ as the preferred way to view your photos … see this past article: What Happened to Picasa Web Albums?  There are some nice new features like online photo editing, automatic cell phone uploads, and unlimited storage, but one missing feature was simply unacceptable to many – the ability to view your pictures full-screen in a slideshow.

Good News!  Google+ Now has Slideshow!

When you’re viewing a photo album in Google+, you need to click on one picture.  When you’re viewing that one picture, you will see a slideshow option in the lower left.  If you click on the image below, it will take you to my photo album so you can try the slideshow feature.

1-Fullscreen capture 6282012 91911 AM.bmp

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Android Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

May 312012
 

Picasa Web Albums is still there, but with Google entering the social networks game with Google+, the Web Albums are caught in the middle.  Pictures are the number one things that people want to share using social networking sites.  Google is trying to transition from Picasa Web Albums to Google+ Photos, leaving Picasa Web Albums in tact for those who choose not to join Google+.   This transitional period is messy, and it’s changing daily. 

Picasa 3.8 –> Upload to Picasa Web Albums
picasa-webalbums
(click for larger image)
Picasa 3.9 without joining Google+ –> ‘Upload to Web Album’3.9 web album
(click for larger image)

Picasa 3.9 with Google+ account –> Upload and Share on Google+googleplus-albums(click for larger image)

When I sat down to write this article, I was hoping I could make sense of it all and give you a nice, neat explanation of how it all works right now.  I can’t.  There’s just too much, and it’s changing too quickly. 

Here’s what I can tell you:

  1. Your photos are being uploaded to one physical location.  There are two interfaces to view that one set of photos: Picasa Web Albums and Google+ Photos  DO NOT delete pictures from one and expect them to still be there in the other – your online pictures only exist once, if you delete them using either interface, they’re gone. Think of it like separate parents with joint custody. Both Picasa Web Albums and Google+ Photos have joint custody of your uploaded pictures.  When you’re using Picasa Web Albums, you have all the PWA features like slide-shows which are not yet implemented in Google+.
  2. If you haven’t joined Google+ then you will only have the Picasa Web Albums interface available to you.  Nothing has changed except the button in Picasa 3.9 is now green and reads ‘Share’ rather than ‘Upload’ as it was in PIcasa 3.8 – see screenshots above.
  3. If you have joined Google+ then your default interface will be Google+ Photos, but you can manually go to the Picasa Web Albums interface at www.picasaweb.google.com/home
    note: when I say you ‘have joined’ or ‘haven’t joined’ … I mean that you’re logged in with a Google account that ‘has joined’ or ‘hasn’t joined’ Google+.  For example, I have several Google accounts – only one of them has joined Google+.  If I log in with one of the others then I ‘haven’t joined’ Google+
  4. Using Picasa 3.8 on your computer, the button is called ‘Upload’ and you will be using the Picasa Web Albums interface whether you have joined Google+ or not. 
  5. Using Picasa 3.9 on your computer your options are slightly different.  If you have not joined Google+, the button will say ‘Share’ and you’re using the Picasa Web Albums interface.  If you have joined Google+ the button will say ‘Share on Google+’ and you’re using the Google+ interface to your pictures by default.  Remember – your pictures are being uploaded to the same physical location either way (see #1 above.) 
  6. Using Picasa 3.9 and Google+ to create an album viewable by anyone with the link: If you don’t ‘Add circles or people to share with..’ then you are just Uploading – not sharing on Google+.  The album created will be private. Then you can go to the album on Google+, click on Options and change to ‘Share Album via Link.’  This is the equivalent of Picasa Web Album’s visibility property of ‘Limited, anyone with link.’  (see member tutorial video: Picasa 3.9 and Google Plus Sharing)  If you want to join Google+ but you want to keep managing your Web Albums the same way you did in Picasa Web Albums – by sharing links – then this is the technique for you.
  7. Image Size and Unlimited Storage: Using Picasa 3.9 and the Share button, if you leave the image size at ‘Best for Web Sharing’, then you have unlimited storage for free on your Web Albums.  Specifically, any uploaded picture under 2048 pixels (aka ‘Best for Web Sharing) doesn’t count toward your 1GB of free space.
  8. Automatic Uploads from your Phone.  If you have Google+ installed on your smartphone, then it will automatically upload any photo taken with your smartphone to a private album called ‘From Phone’ or, in Picasa Web Albums ‘Instant Upload.’

Removing Google+

If you’ve tried Google+ and you don’t like it and want to go back to the way it was before Google+, you can delete your Google+ Profile.  Do not delete your Google account!  That will delete all your photo albums, email accounts, blogs, and whatever else you’ve created with your Google Account.  To remove Google+ from your Google Account:

  1. On any Google product page, click on the dropdown arrow next to your picture in the upper right corner and choose Account
  2. On your Google account page, click on Google+ from the left side menu, then scroll to the bottom where it reads, “Disable Google+” and click the word ‘here.’
  3. Choose ‘Delete Google+ Content’ and then click the button Remove selected services.
  4. That’s it!  Any content you added to Google+ will be gone – but your pictures will still be there.  Remember?  Picasa Web Albums had ‘joint custody’ with Google+.  If you remove Google+, Picasa Web Albums now has sole custody again.  For more details see member tutorial video Removing Google+ to use Picasa Web Albums.  This video takes an existing Google account and adds Google+, showing what happens to the Web Albums.  Then it removes Google+ and shows the results.

Conclusion

If you used Picasa Web Albums like I did … to house photos that I shared with friends via a link (or to embed in blog)  … then there’s no reason why you can’t join Google+.  The text in blue above, #6, explains the procedure I follow to maintain the same functionality.

Some people really like Google+.  It is a lot faster on my smartphone (and Android i.e. Google phone!) than Facebook.  I really like how it allows me to automatically share my Blogger (also Google) blog posts to all my Google+ friends.  And, the new ‘Local’ feature I expect will be very handy for finding friends’ reviews of favorite eating places and other businesses. 

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

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