Google Nik, a photo editing suite for desktop, just went from $149 to…free.
The Internet giant announced the news in a blog post on Thursday. “We continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed,” the Nik team explained.
Google bought the German Nik back in 2012, the company behind the Snapseed mobile photo app.
Such a development could be surprising. But Google has trotted out similar, photo-friendly freebies in the past. During its annual I/O developer summit in 2015, Google debuted free unlimited storage space for images and videos up to certain resolution ceilings on the then-refashioned Google Photos (a revamped iteration of Picasa).
Thus, the move to make the desktop version of Nik software free is probably another sign that Google is focused more on growing its on-the-go photo editing toolset and less on elaborate, high-end professional photo editing computer software.
The move comes just as Adobe, owner of the popular Photoshop editing software, also puts more cash into wooing mobile app developers.
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The seven plug-in tools in the Nik suite can be integrated with software from other providers, including Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom as well as Apple Aperture. Those plug-ins cover retouching, color correction, photo filters, and image sharpening, among other facets.
Google added if customers already purchased the Nik collection in 2016, the company will issue a refund.