Lightroom Mobile App

9, April, 2014

I have have read several reviews today of the new Lightroom Mobile, all of them by computer geek IT guys, and none from a photographers viewpoint. I think there is an uphill Climb for Adobe!

The long awaited Lightroom Mobile App by Adobe is finally with us! Or is it? 

I, like a good many Lightroom fans, have long waited for the advent of a mobile version of Lightroom. Unfortunately, and this piece is only my opinion, the only things about Lightroom Mobile that resembles Lightroom, is in the name.

Perhaps it is best if I start listing the things I really like, and find extremely useful about Lightroom

Smart Folders
Colour Filtering
Star Rating Filtering
Develop presets
Sharing with my Facebook Business Page (I use a Jeffery Friedl's plugin for this)
Folder Watching any folders for automatic importing (I use a Jeffery Friedl's plugin for this)Keyword applying
Printing Presets

And it dismays me to say it, but none of the above are in Lightroom Mobile!!

The App strikes me as being not so much an accompaniment to Lightroom, but Lightroom is an accompaniment to the App. It is clear that the app really is a conduit for getting your pictures from your iPad into your Desktop version of Lightroom. 

I am going to list some of the pros and cons of the App

Good News.... The App is free
But.... You have to use it via Adobe's Creative Cloud, which isn't free and requires a monthly subscription!! THIS IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST BUG BEAR FOR MOST PEOPLE!!

Good News.... The App will synchronise with a folder in your Lightroom Catalog
But.... It will only do so with a Collection Folder.

Good news... The Collection folder can have images from any other folder in your Catalog
But.... It can't be a smart collection, so you have to manually click and drag into your nominated collection folder.

Good News.... All images in the Collection can be adjusted in both the App and desktop versions and the alteration will affect both versions
But... I have tight fisted mates that are quicker at buying a round of beer than it takes to update in the Creative Cloud and then populate the other version.

If we look at the App as a conduit for taking images to your Lightroom App than things become a little clearer. So what can the App do?

Enhance Images


Use it's own inbuilt Presets
But... not your own

You can view some pieces of Metadata
 But.... not ones you can add yourself, and not keywords

Select or reject images
But.... not rate them

Remove them from your collection,
But.... not from the Cloud

Share with Facebook
But... personal profiles only, not business pages

But.... not to Google Mail


It is possible to create collection folders within the app the load to Lightroom

It is possible to auto synch your camera roll, and hence any image you take on the go, to the App and on into Lightroom. For me this is what the App is really for, taking images on your iPad, enhancing them and saving them to Lightroom. 

I was hoping to be able to possibly use the app on an iPad to help customers at an event, in a scaled down, but similar way as the desktop Lightroom, but this is so far off being a user friendly App that it almost seems useless.

One option would be to use an Eye-fi card to transmit to Shuttersnitch on your iPad to automatically load up in to your Camera roll and load into Lightroom Mobile which in turn could populate a collection in Lightroom. then again you could just as easily get the Eye-fi card to transmit in direct mode straight to Lightroom on your laptop.

One other problem is that the iPad screen cannot be adjusted, so any serious alterations to image would have to be done in Lightroom anyway. I sorry Adobe, but there are better Apps to do all that this App does and more, and does them better. Lightroom Mobile has a ing way to go before it will be must have companion to Lightroom desktop

To me Lightroom is a serious piece of software for professional and amateur photographers alike. I really struggle to see where this App would be useful. For instance there is currently no Android version. I don't see this being a serious App for professional photographers, especially Social Event photographers, but rather for iPad hobbyists. And if this last statement is true, then why wasn't the first release for the App on smartphones which 99% of the mobile phone owning population own. So if this is the case, who is going to pay for the Creative Cloud to be able to use a poor smartphone App? This all really baffles me, especially when you have the likes of Shuttersnitch, Snapseed, Camera+ and so many more other Apps on the market available. If all you want to do it synchronise images and met data between your iPad and Lightroom then why not use Photosmith App which has no monthly subscription?

I'm fully aware that this is only version 1, but Adobe has a long way to go before this becomes a must have App for any serious Photographers!

Thank you for reading.


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Comments (1)


on 9, April, 2014 5:17 PM
Many thanks Paul for such an in-depth review. The biggest killer for most I think would be the need to use the Cloud,especiallly as most people have yet to upgrade to CC.
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