If you are photo enthusiast and plans to use Google Nik Collection for enhancing your photographs then its good news for you because Google just announced that they are making Nik Collection of desktop photo editing software 100% free.
It means instead of $149, the whole package of Nik’s Collection (which includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine) sf available for download for free. You can download it from here. Google had acquired Nik Software back in 2012 along with its Snapseed app and Nik Collection (the photo editing plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Element, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture).
From the Google’s official announcement :
Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.
Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.
It means if you have purchased it recently then you will also get it refund. Just to add here, before acquistion by Google, Nik Collection was being sold for hefty amount of $500 and was pretty popular among photographers. They were considered must have plugins if were using photoshop / lightroom for photograph enhancements.
However, some users are complaining that Google is not maintaining Nik Collection and there hasn’t been any update recently. By making it free they don’t want to face the pressure of paid users to further develop this product. In other words, they might be just thinking to have their own way to develop this product. However, it is said that Google had acquired Nik Software for Snapseed which is a direct rival to Instagram and was also declared App of year by Apple. If users to be believed, the Google got what it needed from Snapseed so making Nik collection for desktop free as they are not much of their use.
What we think that it would be too early to say anything, may be Google wants to get this software more popular, however the targeted audience is professional community which already uses image manipulation suite like Adobe Photoshop, Element, Lightroom etc. Let us see how things turns out in future, meanwhile enjoy the goodness free software.