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Adobe Officially Announces Lightroom Mobile for iOS

By Anthony Thurston on April 8th 2014

It all started with rumors and conjecture, but now it is a reality. Adobe has just officially announced Lightroom Mobile for iOS, a companion app for your favorite photo management and editing software.


I need to get this out of the way before we go any further, this is not meant to be  standalone app for editing your images. This is meant to be a companion, hence the term companion app, to your computer running Lightroom 5.4. The idea is that using smart previews, the app gives you the ability to make quick edits to your images from your tablet.

The best part of all is that it is free, at least in that you don’t have to pay any extra to be able to use it. Creative Cloud subscribers now have access to the new App for no additional cost to their subscriptions. However, the app is not available for non-CC subscribers, so if you are one of those CS6 holdouts then you will not have access to the app – at least not at this time.

Lightroom Mobile for iOS

It looks pretty neat if you ask me. Sure, it has some holes in the concept. Like not being able to pull images from your camera (yet), meaning you are still dependent on your computer to import the images to a catalog.


Then, there is the reliance on being online to sync, which means planning ahead so you have files you need in offline mode. Another major hole in the system is a lack of support for custom presets. this mean, for example, that if you wanted to use your SLR Lounge Preset System v5 Presets, you would be unable to do so. Adobe says they are working to add that functionality, but it is simply not there yet and no timetable was given for it.

The app is also currently limited to iPad 2 and iOS 7 or higher. So, if you have an old original iPad you are out of luck.


But, those few things aside, I feel like what Adobe has produced here is a great addition to the Creative Cloud. I am excited to download it and give it a try further here over the next several days. Stay tuned for a full review.

If you would like to learn more about Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile for iOS you can check out the website.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jacob Jexmark

    I love this app, it has helped my culling while travelling. I often shoot tethered if I can or if I can’t at least I have a laptop with me. Then after a shoot I can transfer my CF cards to my laptop then sync to LR Mobile. Then with easy swipes I can flag my keepers. Yes I have a laptop with me BUT, I find culling on the iPad while flying, going on a train or even while lying in a tent after a days shooting at a festival much more fluid and not as cumbersome. And just more fun. Also my iPad has a better screen since I haven’t got around to get myself a laptop with a decent screen. Not yet atleast. I see a 13″ MacBook Pro or the new 14″ Razor Blade (3200×1800) in my future.

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  2. Matthew Saville

    I think the more exciting thing would be to be able to cull images on an ipad, not so much editing them. Culling on an iPad would allow me to DRAMATICALLY increase productivity, I think. But I know that many different people will see many different uses for this app!


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    • Andy

      Agree Matt, but for me the current flow is backwards. What’s the point in being on a mobile device if you have to sync w/ the PC in the first place. I want to be able to import my RAW files to the iPad for culling/tagging, etc while out on a shoot before I then return home to do the heavy editing.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Andy, I think this is a limitation of iOS and tablets in general, NOT Adobe. Apple has long been VERY averse to allowing the wanton transfer of random files to their mobile devices as if they’re just a wireless external hard drive. I don’t even know if it’s possible to get a RAW photo onto an iPad, PERIOD.

      Which does kinda stink, but then again if I start using an iPad in my RAW workflow, that’s just another 64-128GB device I need in addition to my already quite compact Macbook Pro. Why “waste” $800 on a 128GB iPad when I can just tether to my laptop when serious jobs require it? An iPad is even less color-correct than a laptop display, too.

      Overall I can see how Adobe is in a tight spot. The current workflow seems backwards and/or restrictive, however if you think about all the options, it still isn’t perfect. But then again, more options are always better than fewer options. ;-)

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  3. Dave Kai Piper

    Epic – Downloading now !! Can not wait to try this !!

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