Google has brought to Linux the beta version of its new Picasa 3 software for image editing, cataloging, and uploading.
The new release catches the open-source operating system up with Windows, which got the Picasa 3 beta one month earlier. There's still no word about a Mac OS X version, although Mike Horowitz, Google's Picasa product manager, told me earlier that "Macs are important to us...We're always looking for new ways of making sure our users are happy, so it's something we're looking at."
The new version adds a retouching tool, automatic synchronization of photos on the PC with those stored at Google's Picasa Web site, and a collage mode that lets people combine numerous snapshots into a poster-size collection, Google programmer Lei Zhang said in a blog post announcing the new version. The new version also is faster, he added.
However, it does lack the Windows version's movie maker feature that can turn photos into a slideshow with a soundtrack that can then be uploaded to YouTube.
The software runs using Wine and an open-source software layer that translates a program's Windows instructions into commands for Linux instead. Google has contributed about 850 patches to the Wine project so far this year, Google said. Better video support in Wine is still a work in progress, though, which is why the movie maker feature is disabled.