Aside from email, one of the most frequent things I do on my computer is manage my ever-growing digital photo collection. I'm no Annie Leibowitz, but I still enjoy taking and sharing my pictures with others. And this process just got a lot better, especially for people who already use Gmail.

Today, Picasa Web Albums introduced a new "name tags" feature to help you automatically organize your photos based on who's in each picture. Gmail's contact list plays a key role in making name tags work: not only does it help you quickly auto-complete names as you tag the people in your photos, but any new contacts you create in Picasa Web Albums automatically become accessible in Gmail.

Speaking of email and photos: alongside name tags and a shiny new UI, email upload is another new Picasa Web Albums feature. Sending a picture to a web album is now as easy as specifying the album name in the subject, giving you an ideal way to upload photos from your mobile phone. (It's also great for forwarding pictures sent to your Gmail account directly into a web album.)

It's worth noting that the next generation of Picasa software for your PC is available today as a beta, so you can organize, edit, and share all the photos on your home PC. Like earlier versions of Picasa, Picasa 3 integrates directly with Gmail, and allows you to email photos or entire albums with just a click. Of course, Picasa 3 introduces a number of other goodies, too, ranging from a powerful photo retouching tool to fun stuff like improved photo collages and simple video editing.

Check out the Google Photos blog for more information and head to to get started.