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(Pocket-lint) - Google-owned Picasa will be no more after this spring.

The photo service was acquired by Google around 12 years ago and has long included native apps for Windows and Mac OS X as well as an integrated web app. However, Picasa and its companion Picasa Web Albums service started to be discontinued in March and saw the final stage of the rollout happen on the 1 May as part of Google's effort to focus on Google Photos, a smart and feature-rich photo-sharing/storage service that was spun out from Google+ last year.

If you're a Picasa diehard, have no fear. Google has outlined what you can do with your photos and videos prior to Picasa shutting down. And we've laid out all that information below and more, with the purpose of making this abrupt transition a little easier on you.

Picasa: What is Picasa and Picasa Web Albums?

Picasa is an app that you install on your computer to let you edit and organise your photos and videos on Windows and Mac OS X computers- all while preserving your original media. It also lets you upload pictures to photos.google.com. Meanwhile, Picasa Web Albums is a website where you upload and share photos and videos, and you can see the same media in your Google Photos account.

You can read more about both services from Google's support page.

Picasa: What is Google Photos?

Google Photos is a mobile app for Android or iOS smartphones. It's also a website. Both versions let you upload photos and videos from your device, then edit them, and share them with friends. There is also automatic tagging, auto-enhancing, and an animation creator, among other intelligent features. You can read more about Google Photos via Pocket-lint's in-depth review or this official Help hub for Google Photos.

Picasa: Why is Picasa shutting down?

In a blog post, Google gave the following explanation:

"Since the launch of Google Photos, we’ve had a lot of questions around what this means for the future of Picasa. After much thought and consideration, we’ve decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos. We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products."

Picasa: When is Picasa shutting down?

  • Picasa - As of 15 March 2016, Google stopped supporting the Picasa desktop app. It will continue to work as it currently does; but Google won't develop it any further, and there will be no future updates.
  • Picasa Web Albums - Google has created a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data and will start rolling out these changes on 1 May 2016. There's no word yet on what that "new place" is or how it'll work. 

Picasa: What's happening to your photos and videos?

  • Picasa - Google recommended switching to Google Photos, so you can continue to upload photos and videos using the desktop uploader at photos.google.com/apps. The company will continue to update users along the way, but it emphasised that Google Photos is a "new and smarter product, that offers a better platform for us to build amazing experiences and features".
  • Picasa Web Albums - Google said if you simply "log in" to Google Photos, all your photos and videos from Picasa Web Albums will be there, and you will be able to access, modify, and share most of that content. If don’t want to use Google Photos, Google plans to create a new place for you to access your data, allowing you to view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums. You just won’t be able to create, organise, or edit albums from this new place, so using Google Photos is probably your best best.

Want to know more?

Google said it plans to take some time in order to "do this right and provide you with options and easy ways to access your content". Check out Google's blog post for more details.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 12 February 2016.