Plug-ins for everyone: Google makes Nik Collection free to download


posted Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 3:52 PM EDT


Starting today, the Nik Collection of plug-ins is now available to all users for free. After purchasing Nik software in late 2012, rebranding it and slashing its price in 2013, Google has now decided to make the suite of photo editing plug-ins available to everyone at no cost.

You can read more about this decision in a short post made on Nik Collection's Google+ page. For users who purchased the software in 2016, they will be receiving a full refund in the "coming days."

The Nik Collection includes seven software plug-ins, Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine. You can read more about each plug-in and download them all here.

As a longtime Nik user, I'm glad that all photographers will now be able to use them. However, the language of the announcement is concerning regarding future updates to the software:

"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…"

In fact, the last actual update to the feature set was in May of 2014 when Analog Efex Pro 2 was introduced. Since being acquired by Google, only Analog Efex Pro has been introduced and subsequently updated, all other plug-in software has seen only bug fixes.

Nonetheless, the Nik software suite is excellent and, at its new pricepoint of $0, is a must-try set of plug-ins for anyone looking to expand their post-processing toolbox.