The title of the article deserves three exclamation marks, because this is one of the best news I have seen in photographic history! Google has just announced that it has made the best plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom, bundled into a single “Google’s Nik Collection” absolutely free (it was priced at $150 per license before). This is awesome, and no, it is not an April 1st Fool’s Day joke! As of today, March 24th 2016, you can download Google’s Nik Collection for free by visiting this page and clicking the “Download Now” button on the top of the page.
Here is the official announcement from Google, which was posted on Google+:
Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.
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.
The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.
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.
We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.
What’s also cool, is that Google will be refunding people their money, if they had made the purchase of the software in 2016! If you have never tried Nik Software, hurry up, visit the Nik Collection page and give it a try. My favorite tools that I use constantly are: Viveza, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, Sharpener Pro and Silver Efex Pro. Going forward, we are planning to release more tutorials on how to use these amazing tools on our website!
My only concern is, I hope this announcement does not mean that Google will completely abandon this project. With new operating system updates and patches getting released every month and with higher resolution screens becoming more common, I hope Google will continue patching up and updating the software in the future.
Thank you Google, this is the best gift you could have given to the photographic community. Please, don’t forget to keep the tools up-to-date. It has been a while since the plugins received updates!