Google looks like it is slowly phasing out the use of its Nik Collection, the desktop PC-based photo editing tools. A new message on the collection’s official website has confirmed that Google now has “no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.” There’s no specific reason given for why this decision was made.
Google first acquired the Nik Collection in 2012, as part of the purchase of the Germany-based Nik Software. The seven tools (Analog Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Dfine, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, and Sharpener Pro) are in fact plug-ins for the Windows and Mac versions of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture. Before Google acquired the Nik Collection, Nik Software sold the plug-ins for $500. Later, Google lowered the price to $149 and in March 2016, the company made the Nik Collection free to download and use.
While the Nik Collection is still available to download, the fact that there will be no more updates strongly suggests that Google plans to eventually retire the plug-ins, so if you want to snap them up for your desktop Photoshop use, now might be the time. Google continues to support image editing tools for Android, including the main Google Photos app as well as Snapseed, the latter of which was also originally acquired as part of the purchase of Nik Software.