Using Photonic with simple parameters the gallery short-code can now be used to display albums and photos from Picasa:

The main switch for Picasa is the type parameter. You also need to have a user id:

 [gallery type='picasa' user_id='abc'] 

You can also control various skinning aspects of how the thumbnails are displayed.

Google Photos vs. PicasaWeb

In its infinite wisdom, Google’s current Google Photos doesn’t have a public API, and the old Picasa API remains. As a result Photonic is compelled to use Picasa’s API. In the opinion of many, Google Photos is a giant leap backwards:

  1. Unlike PicasaWeb there is no easy way to determine the ID of an album. I have gotten around this by providing a “Helper” for it. You can go to Photonic → Helpers → Picasa / Google Photos, put in your user name, and get the IDs. To get the IDs of Google Photos albums you will need to authenticate.
  2. PicasaWeb used to support a mode for “Limited” sharing. As long as it was still around, in PicasaWeb, restricted albums created in Google Photos showed up as “Limited”, while the classical PicasaWeb option of “Limited, anyone with the link” also existed for the same album. This permitted you to use the authkey provided by PicasaWeb. But now that PicasaWeb is fully gone, this option doesn’t exist. Google introduces something similar at first glance, wherein it generates a shortcode for an album that you can hand out. E.g. for one of my albums it gives me the link https://goo.gl/photos/TuWyKAdameiXTmdo6. I can visit the link, which expands out, but none of the details in the link help in the API. Moreover the shortcode cannot be expanded by the API without authentication! Try this link. For older albums created with PicasaWeb, the authkey still works, as shown on the Albums page.
  3. In perhaps the least thought out move, Google made it very, very hard to make an album public. In fact, there is no way currently to determine a user’s public albums in Google Photos – you only see the older PicasaWeb albums. There are certain third-party workarounds that let you make albums public, but the process is very convoluted.