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Google testing Picasa for Mac beta

Long the domain of Linux and Windows users, Google's Picasa photo management tool is currently being tested for Macs, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the matter say the search engine giant has just begun internal beta testing for the Mac-native version of the software.

While its proximity to a final release is still unknown, Picasa for Mac would serve as one of Google's few fully offline Mac apps and has often been one of the most conspicuous omissions on Apple's platform from a company otherwise known for its cross-OS friendliness in programs like Google Earth and SketchUp.

The company has previously made gestures towards integrating the app with Macs, including iPhoto and web plugins to upload images to Picasa's Web Albums service. To date, however, most observers have seen Picasa's basic organization, editing and sharing features as making the app a direct competitor to iPhoto that hasn't been as necessary as on Linux or Windows platforms, which have generally gone without rough equivalents.

A representative for Google did not return emails seeking comment.