Adobe Announces 'Lightroom Mobile' for iPad, Enabling Editing On-the-Go

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Adobe's professional photo editing software Lightroom has finally made its way to iOS devices with Adobe's new Lightroom mobile app for the iPad, allowing photographers who use the desktop version of Lightroom to edit and organize photos from anywhere. Lightroom mobile is not a standalone app, requiring both a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud and Lightroom 5 to function.

    Integrating seamlessly with the full version of Lightroom 5 for PCs and Macs, Lightroom mobile allows users to log in to the app with an Adobe ID to access the library of content stored in a desktop version of Lightroom. The app downloads Smart Previews of files from the desktop app, allowing for very fast content transfers between the desktop and the mobile app.
    Smart Previews do require an ongoing Internet connection to sync back and forth between Adobe's servers to prevent iPad users from having to download huge files, but files can also be downloaded in full for offline editing if preferred.

    Lightroom mobile supports much of the same functionality as the desktop version of Lightroom, offering users access to metadata and a basic editing toolbar that contains desktop presets (except for custom presets) and adjustment tools for altering shadows, clarity, contrast, and more. There are also crop and rotate tools for manipulating photos, and a simple three finger tap on the screen displays the before and after when editing.

    All of the adjustments made within Lightroom mobile are automatic and sync to Lightroom on the desktop, with history states saved as well, making all iterations of a final image visible at a glance.

    Adobe's new app has been designed with mobile productivity in mind and it is not, at this time, designed to replace the desktop version of Lightroom for editing. Adobe envisions it as more of a quick-use tool, allowing users to sort through images and make quick edits on files to determine what might need further editing via the desktop.

    Swiping through a huge number of images and using quick touch gestures to mark favorites can be done somewhat more quickly on a tablet, for example. Adobe's Lightroom mobile has intuitive gestures that include a two-finger tap as an app-wide gesture that controls a number of different functions, including toggling metadata, turning on the histogram, and more.

    Images are grouped by folders specified in Lightroom and displayed in a grid gallery. Tapping an image allows it to be viewed full screen and a simple swipe up or down allows it to be flagged for editing or rejected. Lightroom mobile also has some powerful organizational capabilities, letting users sort images by different aspects like capture time, file name, modification time, and more.

    Photos in Lightroom mobile can be saved to the camera roll or shared via social networking sites and images taken with the iPad can also be set to import directly into the app - and the desktop version of Lightroom via syncing. The app also contains built-in slideshow functionality, allowing users to use their Lightroom photos in presentations.

    Adobe purposefully left some features out of Lightroom mobile so the simple touch experience wouldn't be overwhelmed with a glut of unnecessary functions. Custom created presets are not available, for example, nor are star labels. The company did make it clear, however, that it is open to adding additional features that its customers want in Lightroom mobile in the future.

    With Lightroom mobile, photos will also be viewable and shareable on While Lightroom mobile is limited to the iPad 2 or later at this time, Adobe does has plans for an iPhone version later this year.

    Lightroom mobile for the iPad is available as a free download [Direct Link] but using it will require an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Access to the app is included with following plans: Creative Cloud Complete ($49.99/month), the Photoshop Photography Program ($9.99/month), which includes access to both Photoshop and Lightroom, Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition ($29.99/month) and Creative Cloud for teams ($69.99/month/user).

    Article Link: Adobe Announces 'Lightroom Mobile' for iPad, Enabling Editing On-the-Go
  2. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008

    ...and the Aperture 4 people are still waiting on their updates.
  3. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Finally! Been waiting for this so long, it's fantastic. And thank god that earlier report was false that it would require a separate subscription from Creative Cloud.
  4. mynewromantica macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2009
    Now give me a way to calibrate my iPad screen and I'll be set.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Umm...the bottom of the article said that it would be a free download but requires CC to work.

    Yet another way for Adobe to suck customers' money.
  6. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Mmm...yeah, that sure would be nice. iPad has a great screen and the out of box calibration tends to be pretty decent as those things go, but it can't match a custom calibration. I'd settle for software, but I'd love to hook my USB calibrator up to it.


    I was referring to an earlier report that claimed you would need another subscription in addition to Creative other words, it would not be included with CC. Thankfully, that is not the case. Now if you don't have CC, sure, that sucks. But I use the hell out of CC (I use After Effects, PS, Illustrator, Premier, and Lightroom every day), so it's well worth it for me.
  7. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Seriously. This incentivized me to buy Adobe's Photography bundle with Photoshop + Lightroom for $9.99/month. Haven't decided if I'm going to switch from Aperture entirely, but quite possible since the mobile app is really nice.
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Nice! Can't wait to check it out and have a play. :D
  9. petey2133 macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Sooo im confused. Why is this good? The ipad takes terrible photos in comparison to a DSLR. So there is no reason to use anything other than instagram to edit photos that are taken with the ipad lol .. Then your telling me I should plug my camera into the computer and unload all of my photos (RAW and JPEGS) and separate them to upload them on to my ipad. Then edit it with possible limited features and access.. Then I am supposed to re load them back on to my computer?

    Wait, where do I plug my full frame nikon into the ipad again?

    Just another reason for me to see people calling themselves photographers while editing stuff on an ipad lol
  10. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    You can edit/organize photos that have been taken with a DSLR on your iPad -- Lightroom mobile syncs with your desktop Lightroom library. You can't really use this as a standalone app.
  11. Singin Hobo macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    I'll go ahead and jump in with the necessary meat of the discussion.

    Screw Adobe and their software rental programs.
  12. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I already own Lr5, I'm sure as hell not buying an extra Creative Cloud subscription in order to get Lr for iPad.

    I think I need a Lr replacement. Too bad Apple has all but abandoned Aperture...

  13. flux73 macrumors 65816

    May 29, 2009
    What's the point then? The only reason I'd want Lightroom on my iPad is so I can use it while away from home shooting, and not needing to lug my Macbook Pro along. If it requires a notebook version of Lightroom (on a bigger calibrated screen with trackpad control), why would I even bother using it on the iPad at all?
  14. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Wow. You completely missed...everything.

    The iPad has been able to accept DSLR files since iPad first launched.

    You can use the Camera connection get to get the photos from your DSLR to your iPad. You can also use the Mac/iOS app called Photo Transfer to do it wirelessly, which is what I do. The best thing is you can transfer CHOICE photos from your DSLR. You DON'T have to transfer all of them.

    Know what you're talking about first before resorting to saracsm. Adobe's bread and butter is image processing software, hence why they do everything they can do be the first thing you think about when processing images on your desktop or iOS device.

    More than I can say for Apple, who's probably scrambling to add features back to the release of Aperture 4, which I'm sure they stripped beyond reason, before they feel the heat of user feedback. Pro software is no longer Apple's bread and butter. Accept it.
  15. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

    Oct 12, 2004
    You might want to read the article again. You load your photos into the desktop LR5 like usual, and the mobile version syncs to and fro to it with your edits and organizations.

    Also... Even though I don't plug my 'Full-Frame' Nikon into anything to offload my pics (I only plug it into Nikon CC from time to time). You CAN plug in your card via an Apple CCK (camera connection kit) and a card reader.


    Edit: Damn Razeus, you type faster than me. ;-)
  16. Raylai328 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Should I granted the freedom to manage the large files by my own if they allow me to pay the app rather than rent it?

    Since when we have to rent a software with a premium ?
  17. Beasty34 macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Nottingham, UK.
    Haha yeah, we're sat here twiddling our thumbs whilst Lightroom makes even more progress.:(
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
  19. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    A simple response would've been. "This just isn't for me" :rolleyes:
  20. joncdixon macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2006
    Adobe gets it!

    I can't afford to purchase CC in full and organizing pics takes time.
    Low monthly rate and mobile access... THANKS for understanding!!
  21. Small White Car, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC

    I've been hoping I could just stick with Aperture. I DO like it.

    But I've been saying Apple should have made this since 2010. This might be what finally kicks me in the butt to switch.

    A mobile-Aperture would have sold more iPads than any other program I know. Photographers need backups, why not do them on a device with a nice big screen that lets you organize them as well?

    As it is the photographers I know are buying stand-alone hard drives for backing up photos instead of big iPads. Those are products that shouldn't need to exist anymore! This might change that, dunno why Apple waited 4 years for Adobe to beat them to it.

    And for those who ask what it's for: I'm going on a trip next week. I need SOMETHING to back photos up to. It's really really great if that something can let me put star rating on photos on the drive/flight back so when I get home I'm already well into my editing process. Cutting 2,000 shots down to the 300 I want to edit takes time. I love to do it on the road and I hated bringing a laptop for only that. (And hey, if I can through some proofs online with the same device while I'm at it? Even better!)

    Recently I've been storing photos on my iPad but not doing anything else with them. It's just a dumb hard drive. Maddening.

    Looking forward to this, super annoyed I have to transfer all my photos because Apple's too lazy to see a good idea right in front of their faces.
  22. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Mine (all of them) look damn good. Which iPad do you have? Too warm/cool? Color/Tint? I can't believe how accurate mine have been. We use Eizo and NEC for final grading, but these iPads, even the lower resolution (for their time) have been pretty darn accurate. The other nice option, they don't 'float' necessitating the process bi annually or quarterly ...all of ours need continuous maintenance. Anyway, thought that was an interesting comment considering how incredible mine look! And we use several...running an audio/video and still production company. A half dozen iPad 4s, a pair of Airs and the rMini x2 as our personal devices. I'm continuously amazed with their calibration 'out of the box'. No other panel...home TV, display for computers, professional or for the kids...none have matched the consistent quality of calibration ....stock, as we've purchased from Apple.

    You can buy it. Couple hundred bucks. OR, $9.99/month with continuos updates and LR6 when it drops. I've been a CC member for two hears. My first was the entire suite ($2800 Master Collection) for $29.99/month, as I'd had an earlier suite. The year was bumped to 'month2month' $49.99 and I've never thought TWICE about canceling. It's amazing @ $600 a year to have the $2800 package...but without the upgrade costs associated with 'updates'. You're renting their software...who cares? They're not keeping anything personal if you choose to cancel...and for aspiring amateurs, pro-sumers and the ilk, the price of a pack of smokes once a month is a bargain for LR...much less some of the PS options available. And at $50/month how in the WORLD is this a 'raw, bad, nasty deal' because we're "renting their software?" It's an absolute bargain as a long time purchaser of these suites, LEGALLY! It's also a write off, EVEN as a hobby! The IRS does allow a certain amount to spend each year in your pastimes. If photography is your thing, or your doesn't get any nicer. Seriously, using Adibe for over a decade, I've NEVER received as common and frequent updates as I do with CC6. It's. Awesome!

  23. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    In Adobe's words, they basically want to get to that point but there are technical issues like bandwidth in the way, i.e. having people upload RAW files via the camera connection kit and then to Lightroom on desktop would take massive amounts of bandwidth. Vice versa, uploading from Lightroom to iPad uses smaller files with Smart Preview so it's less of an issue (minus anything you want to fully download for offline editing).

    I think they're looking at Lightroom mobile as a way to do some of the heavy lifting of editing in a simpler way -- say you upload thousands of pictures from a shoot into Lightroom, you could then sync them to Lightroom on the iPad and use that as a way to flip through and flag/do some minor editing on what you want to keep while watching tv or what not.

    Seems to me like its a nice fit into some workflows but it's definitely not going to replace Lightroom on a laptop for field editing.

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