Adobe’s Lightroom lands on iPad, though you’ll have to pay out monthly for it

Lightroom users can now manage their images in the field – or on their sofa instead of at their desk – after Adobe launched its powerful photo editing software for the iPad late Monday. Adobe had demoed the possibility of Lightroom running on iPad last May, but, after nearly a year of further development, it’s now real.

Designed to work in conjunction with the desktop version of Lightroom rather than as a standalone app, the new software automatically syncs selected image collections and edited images between a PC and Apple’s tablet.

To use Lightroom for mobile, you’ll have to pay a $10 monthly subscription for Adobe’s Photoshop Photography Program or $50 a month for its more comprehensive Creative Cloud service. Those who’d prefer to give it a test drive before signing up can make use of a free 30-day trial.

lightroom mobile
You can edit RAW images (a version formatted in smaller sizes to accommodate mobile devices), which is then sync with the desktop version of Lightroom, via Adobe’s cloud platform. Regardless of which device you use, you’ll see the latest changes (images are non-destructive, meaning you can always go back to the original).

The desktop version of Adobe Lightroom has long been popular with professional photographers and serious amateurs alike, offering powerful tools to efficiently organize images as well as apply changes with its steadily expanding range of editing options.

According to Adobe, its new touch-friendly mobile version lets shooters:

Sync mobile edits, metadata and collection changes back to the Lightroom catalog on a Mac or Windows computer

– Automatically import images captured on an iPad and sync back to a Lightroom catalog on the desktop

– Work on images, even when your iPad is offline, for a truly portable experience

– Sync photos between Lightroom 5 and Lightroom mobile; synced photos can also be viewed from any Web browser

RAW support

The software is able to handle RAW files thanks to Adobe’s Smart Previews technology, allowing a user to make necessary changes to a compressed file on the iPad, with edits synced back to the RAW desktop-located version upon completion.

Those familiar with the desktop version of Lightroom will probably notice a few missing features with Adobe’s mobile version – for example, you can’t import or save presets, though Lightroom’s own built-in offerings can still be utilized to jazz up your photos.

Workflows unlocked

Commenting on the launch, Adobe’s Winston Hendrickson said that with the introduction of Lightroom for mobile the software giant had “unlocked professional-class photographic workflows from the confines of the desktop.” He added, “Lightroom and Photoshop redefined digital photography on the desktop and now photographers can perfect images, wherever they are and, via Creative Cloud, seamlessly synchronize them back to their desktop catalog.”

Lightroom for mobile works on the iPad 2 and later, but the tablet must be running iOS 7. In addition, users need to ensure they’re running Lightroom 5.4 for Windows or Mac before they can sync it with Lightroom for mobile. Subscribing to the Photoshop Photography Program, however, will get you the latest version, as long as you remain a subscriber.

Apple iPhone support is coming later in the year, Adobe said, with support for Android devices following after that.

Anyone interested in the new software can read about how to get started with it by checking out Adobe’s dedicated instructions page here

[Adobe’s Lightroom for mobile in iTunes]

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