After extensive beta testing, Google’s latest version of Picasa has been rolled out with a user-friendly new application called Picasa Web Albums.

Picasa Web Albums is integrated into the software so that one click uploads images from a user’s collection straight to their new online photo gallery. It also gives users the options to download friends’ images into Picasa.

The social networking aspect of the site comes into play by letting users post comments on their contacts images.

Picasa has also been improved so that its folders mirror the folders on the hard drive, rather than using its own, rather confusing system. And image edits can now be saved so that the image can be opened in other programs with its Picasa changes in place – although its possible to undo the save feature and return to the original files.

Frequent travellers will be thrilled to learn that Picasa now works with Google Earth, so that photos can be tagged with location information and viewed on a 3D globe.