After a long wait, Google has finally released a version of its Picasa image editing software for Mac computers. Though still in beta, Picasa for Mac will have 'most of the core features of Picasa on Windows' according to Google, including photo organization, basic editing, slideshows, collages, movies and synchronization with Picasa Web Albums.

Picasa for Mac will import a copy of the contents of the iPhoto library and leave the original data unmodified, so you can try this tool without fear of losing or modifying their original image files. It is a nice and easy-to-use alternative to iPhoto – Apple’s own photo app that comes bundled with every new Macintosh – which you can download here.

Of course, it didn’t take long for Apple to up the ante with iPhoto ’09, which was announced today at Macworld and, besides offering the usual photo organization and editing features, introduces some nifty new options like the ability to tag people in photos and sync them with Facebook or synchronize geotagged pictures with Flickr.