First impressions of the New Lightroom Mobile App

By Mark


At the keynote address at Photoshop World we got to see the release of Adobe’s long-rumored and much anticipated  Lightroom app for iPad.  They have had a mobile version of Photoshop out for several years which is one of many available tools for editing pictures.  As more and more people find that their cell phones and tablets are their primary cameras, managing and keeping track of all the images has become a real challenge. Photographers have been looking for better ways to show off their work to clients, select,rate and then make edits on pictures without having to lug around their laptops, and then to have those changes automatically synchronize with their home base system. Well, Lightroom Mobile does most of those; some better than others. 

Previously Lightroom introduced smart previews which provided a smaller sized display image. Supposedly they were intended to speed up the rendering of the previews.  They also provided the opportunity to edit photos which were “offline”, like on an external hard drive. It was a new way of applying the equations to show the edits.  That's one of the underlying strengths of LR, which we have touted before.  It is built to be completely nondestructive.   What the engineers at Adobe did was brilliant. Instead of actually editing the image, you have the same set of editing controls from the basic panel (for now) as you would have on your desk top. All that is passed back and forth is the small file of instructions. Let's jump back to the beginning though.

In order to use LR mobile you need to have lR5.4 loaded on your base machine and yes, have an Adobe Creative Cloud account. New,at the top of the screen is a new button which logs you into LR Mobile. 

Sharing images across platforms starts with Collections.  To the left of each collection is a new button which indicates that you want those images synchronized. You can watch the progress as the images are shared via the Adobe cloud. 

The transfer works both ways; you can add images from your mobile device and have them show up on your desk top.

Back on your mobile device you can begin to cull your images by flagging them for selection or rejection.

There are four basic controls at the bottom of the screen: filmstrip, basic editing, effects, and cropping. 

In the Editing panel, tapping each individual control such as White Balance, opens a slider. As with most good iPad apps, the controls are intuitive.  

Editing control sliders

Editing control sliders

For the Effects panel, they have built -in presets. Currently users do not have the ability to add new ones. Adobe indicated that was in work though.  

Effects Options

Effects Options

Finally the crop module does exactly what it says. They have common sizes defined, but you can straighten and crop by dragging as well.   That's about all I've had time to play with so far, but I've seen more capabilities in the KelbyOne training videos.   Download it and try it for free