Monday, 11 May 2009


A photo of my PC running Hello in January 2005. Don't you love the pre-iPhone technology and my old Revo - which actually handled my address book better than any stuff today...

I have come late to the realisation that Hello, a free Picasa add-on from Google, is no more. It was for a few short years undoubtedly the best photo and chat-sharing program available, and even now, despite the creation of great programs such as Flickr, it has not been approached - let alone bettered - in power, ease of use or life-enhancing facility.

With Hello one could select any photo (or many) on one's hard disc and with a click, could send it (or many) practically instantaneously to any friend who had downloaded the software, while at the same time carrying on the easiest of chats in a large and secure space alongside. The photos appeared hi-res, and would be automatically downloaded to 'My Pictures/Hello' on the recipient's computer (PC only), obviating the need to save anything. Even the chat was permanently and automatically saved. And if one sent a photo by mistake, it could be recalled. How cool is that?

Delightful touches abounded: if one happened to type 'love', a shower of hearts would fall across the friend's screen.

I don't know for sure, but I think Hello used peer-to-peer technology, as there was almost no lag in transmission and it was totally private.

Nothing as simple, moving and effective has yet been created to take its place. Why on earth has Google discontinued it?

Join the 'Bring Back Hello' Group on Facebook!