Google Abandons Its Free Photo Editing Tools


Google is abandoning the Nik Collection, its free suite of photo editing tools

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. The company isn’t killing the Nik Collection, so it will still be available to download and use. However, Google has decided not to develop it any further, putting the future of the Nik Collection in doubt.

The Nik Collection is a set of photo editing plugins for popular photo editing software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. The Nik Collection comprises seven different plugins which offer filters, darkroom-inspired controls, sharpening, and noise reduction, amongst others.

When Free Means No Longer Useful

Google first acquired the Nik Collection in 2012 alongside Snapseed. At the time Nik Software was charging $500 for the Nik Collection, but Google quickly lowered the price to $150. Then, in 2016, Google lowered the price to $0, making the Nik Collection completely free for everyone.

Unfortunately, that switch to free appears to have had a knock-on effect on Google’s commitment to the Nik Collection. Because, as first spotted by PetaPixel, Google is no longer committing any resources to the Nik Collection. So much so it won’t even work on Windows 10.

Google has recently added a banner to the top of the Nik Collection saying, “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.”

The Nik Collection is still available to download and use on Windows and on Mac. However, with Google no longer updating the collection it will become incompatible with newer versions of the operating systems. And unless Google open sources the Nik Collection its future is very much in doubt.

The Nik Collection Is No More

This must be a disappointing turn of events for anyone who currently using the Nik Collection to enhance their photos

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. Google is obviously well within its rights to abandon development of the Nik Collection, but that will be of scant comfort to anyone affected by the company’s decision.

Do you use the Nik Collection for photo editing? Have you only been using it since Google made it available for free? What do you think of Google’s decision to stop updating the Nik Collection? What do you think will happen now? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: David D via Flickr