On Thursday, March 24th, 2016, Google made its Google Nik Collection free for the taking. The Nik Collection is a set of premier photo editing plug-ins originally priced at $500 and later at $150. Google bought Nik in 2012. Google says that it will fully refund 2016 purchases of the software.
Google hints that the tools are now free because Google will concentrate on designing complementary mobile applications of it in the future:
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 Google Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.
The Google Nik Collection consists of seven plug-ins
Analog Efex Pro — the look and feel of classic cameras, films, and lenses to your photographs
Color Efex Pro — color correction, retouching, and creative effects
Silver Efex Pro — nearly 20 popular black-and-white photo effects
Viveza — image tonality and color without complex masks and selections
HDR Efex Pro — high-definition photo creation with a wide variety of options
Sharpener Pro — selective control over focus, contrast, and more
DFine — contrast and noise control reduction
The Google Nik Collection web site offers tutorials, keyboard shortcuts, help, and troubleshooting tips for each product.
The Google Nik Collection works with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.