Google quietly kills off Nik Collection, has no plans for future updates

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Screenshot via YouTube / Image by Katarzyna Białasiewicz / 123RF

The Nik Collection of Adobe photo editing plugins that Google bought out in 2012 is no longer compatible with the latest version of Photoshop. The website for Google’s popular image editing plugins that handle tasks from black and white conversion to sharpening, now states that the company has no plans to add future updates to the system.

The Nik Collection website now shows a banner saying that the collection is compatible through Photoshop CC 2015, but Google has no “plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.” The plugins are still compatible with OS X 10.7 and Windows Vista 7 and 8 and older versions of Photoshops, but updating to Photoshop 2017 drops the plugin entirely. Without an official announcement from Google, it is unclear when the company announced the change.

The Nik Collection grew in popularity not necessarily because it handled tasks Photoshop couldn’t, but for its ability to create advanced, precise edits quickly and simply. The Nik Collection included a number of different tools for adjusting a photo, including the popular black and white conversion Silver Efex Pro, as well as Analog Efex Pro, a platform for creating film-inspired effects. The suite also included tools for sharpening, reducing noise, and creating high dynamic range images.

Google bought the Nik Software in 2012, dropping a $500 set down to a $149 family of size plugins. The acquisition included the Nik Collection as well as the developer’s other programs, including Snapseed, a free photo editing app that as of March was still receiving regular updates. At the time of the acquisition, Google said it still had plans of continuing to develop the software.

Last spring, the Nik Collection became even more popular after the entire suite became a free download. At the time, however, fans were worried the move to a free collection wouldn’t give Google any motivation to continue enhancing the programs. Now, those features apparently were not unfounded as the Nik Collection, which is still available for download, will not see compatibility with future Photoshop versions.