Google makes Nik photo-editing tools free to download

Anybody can get Snapseed's sibling plug-ins now.

When Google snapped up Nik Software, it acquired not just Snapseed, but also the company's photo-editing plug-ins for Photoshop and Apple Aperture. Now, the company is making those plug-ins completely free to download. The Nik Collection, a suite of seven editing tools that used to cost $150, can mimic the look of classic photography, turn images into dramatic black-and-white photos, adjust colors with filters, tweak HDR images and more.

They can make editing a lot easier for photographers, but keep in mind that among the seven, only HDR Efex Pro can fully run as a standalone program. Also, it's very much possible that Google won't continue developing the suite. In its announcement post, the big G says it's making the collection free, because it's focusing on mobile photography apps, including Photos and Snapseed. If you already paid for the plug-ins earlier this year, though, you can expect a refund notice to hit your inbox soon.