Skip to main content

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). Image used with permission by copyright holder

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]

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Lightroom update for iPhone and iPad deleted photos and presets
lightroom app update for ios deleted photos and presets in this photo illustration an adobe logo seen

An update rolled out earlier this week by Adobe for its iOS Lightroom app contained a bug that wiped user photos and presets from the device.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Adobe has since confirmed that the lost photos and presets are not recoverable.

Read more
Everything you can do in Photoshop for iPad, and what is still missing
photoshop for ipad guide 9443

Cramming software the size of Photoshop into an iPad app is no easy task. We've seen the Photoshop name on mobile apps before, like Photoshop Express and the new Photoshop Camera, but these apps are really nothing like the desktop version of Photoshop. That’s finally changing with Photoshop for iPad, a full -- or nearly full -- version of the program designed to run on a tablet.

Photoshop for iPad is not identical to the desktop software, but because it is based on the same code, the app looks and feels more like Photoshop than any other mobile app. Adobe says that the goal is to eventually achieve feature parity between the versions, but the app is starting slow by launching with only the most-used features.

Read more
Photoshop for iPad finally has Edge Detection — here’s how to use it
how to use photoshop for ipad refine edge selection hair cropped

Photoshop for iPad has a long way to go before it has all the bells and whistles of its desktop counterpart, but a new addition could give the tablet app a serious advantage. On Monday, July 27, Adobe began rolling out the Refine Edge tool on the Photoshop iPad app.

From the start, Photoshop for iPad has focused on elements that the touchscreen makes easier. The Refine Edge tool wasn’t among those original options, though the company previously shared that the tool was in the works. Adobe says the engineering and design teams needed to ensure the tool was familiar to use while maximizing the pencil’s interaction with pixels. Speed was also a focus on developing the tool.

Read more