Inevitable? I really hope not!

Google Photos IconBack in November I posted on the inadequacies of the new Google Photos offering. Since then there have been a few improvements and some of the things that I was unhappy about then can be circumvented by adopting the “View on Web” approach, such as commenting on individual photos in albums.

However last week, perhaps the announcement that I had feared would one day come was made. Google are “retiring” Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. Let’s not focus on the suggestion that this is a forward-looking development – they use the phrase “moving on” to announce the killing-off of a much-loved friend – let’s just pause to reflect upon what this actually means for anyone who invests time and effort into using “free” infrastructure, provided by a large corporate. The significance of this announcement and others recently from Oxygen Cloud and Copy (Barracuda/Seagate) are that one should be very careful in choosing what IT cloud infrastructure you decide to use and also, and more importantly, be very mindful of what you should do if that infrastructure is taken away from you.

Now this “event” may turn out all right in the end. Google may actually make an API available for developers to upload images directly into Google Photos in the same way as Jeffrey Friedl did to allow photos to be uploaded from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to Picasaweb. And yes, nothing has been lost in this case as all my Picasaweb photos and albums do appear in Google Photos. And yes, I can upload to Google Drive to the Google Photos folder, but somehow, as yet, it’s not as clean and straightforward a way of uploading the images to the cloud for onward sharing, as it had been.

Perhaps, I ought to use Apple’s iCloud – after all as I have a nearly 100% Apple IT ecosystem my investment should be safe there … shouldn’t it?. Or alternatively, perhaps I ought to use Adobe’s Creative Cloud storage – after all as I rely so heavily on their software – they’ll look after me … won’t they?

It’s just events like these that make me wonder whether I want to be reliant on a large corporate and ponder on whether there’s another way, and perhaps there might be … watch this space.