I’m a big fan of Picasa, a free application from Google which allows for sharing of photos on line as well as fantastic photo management. I’ve recommended it for years to many clients and continue to do so. It is free, but that’s not why I like it. There are a whole host of reasons I prefer it to other photo management software, but I will save those details for another blog.
For tonight, I simply want to voice a frustration over what the developers are doing with a ridiculous thing they call Auto Awesome. It came out some months ago and I can only describe it as AUTO ANNOYING. I do have a client or two which find it fun (and their children enjoy it). But overall, I find it frustrating and something I turn off immediately for all new users.
Auto Awesome is described as: See your photos and videos with fun special effects by using Auto Awesome. Some effects, like falling snow or GIF animations, may be automatically added to your photos. If you have an Android device, you can choose to add some of the effects to any photos you choose.
They go on to describe: When your Google+ photos match certain criteria, you might get copies of them made into things like short animations or wide-screen panoramas.
What all this means in English is that they’ve gotten a programmer to create some algorithms or some such nonsense to “recognize” photos in a series and then automatically create a new version of that photo. Say you’ve taken a photo of children jumping off a boat dock into the water. The Auto Awesome feature will “batch” those photos together into a little mini video where it appears the children are actually jumping in the water. Or maybe you have a bunch of ski trip photos with snow…they add animated sprinkling snow to the photos. (Okay, that one is kind of neat). But the bottom line is I don’t like anyone creating more photos for me to organize and keep track of than I already have created for myself.
Last night my client was showing her friend some photos on her phone, and up pops David Hasselhoff in her photos. Are you kidding me? How irritating? She was surprised and miffed…was wiping away an imaginary tear wishing she could step back in time to her pre-Picasa days – perplexed by what the heck had happened to her perfectly nice photo of her children. Luckily I knew exactly what caused it and we went in and turned off Auto Awesome so that won’t happen again. (I appreciate her allowing me to include the silly photo here to show you what she saw on her phone…egad!)
I want to know why Google (or anyone for that matter) would think that having David Hasselhoff or any other uninvited guest in my personal photos would be something I would like. What it did for me was lead me to remind everyone on my staff to make sure Auto Awesome is turned off ALWAYS and to make sure all my clients know what’s going on.
If the new “celebrity photo bomb” is just another piece of “fun” from Google, I guess I don’t have a sense of humor. I’m not amused when something causes me more effort. It’s not like they edit my original photo, thank goodness. But by adding a “cute” version of the photo with sprinkling snow or a celebrity, it means I have more to keep track of and/or locate and delete. No thanks! As much as I love Picasa, I have to JUST SAY NO to Auto Awesome. Yuck!