Adobe has heard the call from its users, and it’s bringing Lightroom to mobile devices, beginning with the iPad and coming soon to iPhone. The Lightroom mobile app offers the ability to work with RAW photos as you can on the desktop version, as well as smartphone and mobile images to get the most out of those shots you take on the fly. It automatically syncs with Lightroom 5 on the desktop, but there’s a catch – you need to be a Creative Cloud subscriber to take advantage of what Lightroom mobile has to offer, so owners of boxed copy Lightroom software are out of luck.
Making Lightroom mobile a Cloud Service exclusive is clearly a selling tactic – Adobe knows people have been asking for this for a while now. But it offers a lot of great features for the price it incurs, too. As mentioned, it syncs all changes to your desktop automatically, and it works with almost any image format you might come across. It imports photos directly from your iOS device camera roll, and includes sharing options for popular social destinations so you can amp up your art before you reveal it to your network. There’s also a slideshow feature built in, and you can access your shared libraries from the web via the online Lightroom portal.
The interface for Lightroom mobile is redesigned to work best on your iPad or iPhone’s screen, with the image taking up the bulk of the UI and sliders and touch-optimized controls taking up the remainder of the screen. All of the tools around exposure, color and tonal adjustments are here, just like in the desktop version, but the two versions of the tool (desktop and mobile) are definitely designed to be complementary, rather than having one replace the other entirely in your workflow.
To get Adobe’s new Lightroom mobile, you’ll need to be a member of one of four Creative Cloud programs:
- Photoshop Photography Program (USD $9.99 per month)
- Creative Cloud complete plan (USD$49.99 per month)
- Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition (USD 29.99 per month)
- Creative Cloud for teams complete plan (USD $69.99 per user per month)
Users will have to have an iPad 2 or later to run the software, and will also need to be on iOS 7 or later. Adobe says it’s working on an Android version, but firm plans on launch or release date for software compatible with Google’s mobile OS just yet.