Picasa 3.5 finds friends' faces in photos (video)

Google's Picasa updates to version 3.5, bringing with it a few new features to streamline how you organize and share photos.

Line up the freeware photo manager/editor combos and you'll quickly realize that Google's Picasa stands out in its class. The latest version, Picasa 3.5 (Windows | Mac), is no exception, offering one huge new feature and a few little ones, to offer you more choices for organizing and sharing photos from your desktop.

Facial recognition is the big news here, and Google's team has handily translated the face-tagging feature that it had implemented in the online version, Picasa Web Albums, to the desktop app. You can even download tags you used online into Picasa 3.5.

If you're starting out fresh, you'll notice that Picasa now displays an extra tab, one organized around the people in your albums, and not just the pictures. After naming your contacts (made slightly less laborious with a little help from your Google contacts list), you'll have a photo album dedicated to each friend. With it, you'll be able to find other photos, create a face collage, and plot photos on a Google map. How? We won't hold you in suspense any longer. To see Picasa's new features in action, check out the first Look video above.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.