SAN FRANCISCO (10/20/2003) - A new combination photo-sharing and chat application from Lifescape Solutions Inc. is now live, enabling users to send JPEG files almost instantly over a peer-to-peer connection.
Hello is a free downloadable companion application to Picasa ($30), Lifescape's user-friendly photo-management package.
Both parties need to have the downloadable application installed, although the recipients don't need to be running Picasa. If they don't have that program, however, they will have to import their pictures via a Browse command, which is a little clunkier than just clicking over to Picasa.
Hello is similar in appearance to Picasa, with a clean, uncluttered look. Also like Picasa, Hello has an uncomplicated learning curve. It's easy to send images from Picasa albums straight into Hello. It takes only a click or two to send your pictures to friends or family running the program.
By clicking and scrolling through your picture tray, you can control what your friends view--in what order, at what speed--and it's easy to send big bundles of images from one person to another. The lag time when sending even up to 20 images is shorter than what you might see in AOL Instant Messenger or another chat client when sending one large image file.
Hello also lets you send a screen capture of a Web page. Your buddies can launch a browser to open the page simply by clicking the image on-screen. You can even share shots from your Webcam or digital video camera. All the while, you and your buddies are chatting about what you're seeing.
Hello allows users to chat with multiple friends at once, as well as to save and review chat logs that include pictures you've exchanged. Simply invite friends to download Hello, and they can join your private network.