Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Photography > Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Lightroom Goes Mobile

  • Print
  • + Share This
With the Lightroom 5.4 release in April 2014, Adobe introduced Lightroom mobile, a subscription service that enables two-way syncing between the desktop application and the new Lightroom for iPad. John Evans, contributor to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5: Classroom in a Book, takes Lightroom mobile for a test drive.
Like this article? We recommend

As you'd expect, Lightroom 5.4 boasts support for even more color-matching profiles, lens profiles, and camera raw formats, and also extends the list of cameras supported for tethered shooting—but the main thrust of the update is the introduction of Lightroom mobile.

Lightroom mobile is a cloud-based subscription service that enables you to sync photo collections between your desktop computer and a companion app on your iPad (with iPhone and Android versions to follow), so that you can review, organize, share, and even edit your photos anywhere, anytime. Whether you're working in Lightroom on your desktop or on your iPad, any modifications made to a synced collection or the photos it contains will be automatically updated on the other device.

Lightroom mobile syncs high-resolution Smart Previews to your iPad, rather than your original photos. At a small fraction of the original file size, these Smart Previews won't take long to sync, or use up all the storage space on your iPad, which means that you can even work with raw images while you're away from your desktop computer. Edits you make on the iPad are synced back to the originals in your Lightroom catalog as needed.

Photos added to a synced Collection from your iPad's Camera Roll are downloaded to your desktop at their full file size.

What you need to get started

To test-drive Lightroom mobile, you'll need the latest version of Lightroom (5.4) on your desktop computer, the new Lightroom companion app for your iPad, and an Adobe ID that you'll use to sign in to the service from both devices.

Lightroom 5.4 runs on Windows 7, Windows 8, or Mac OS 10.7 or later. The update is free for Lightroom 5 users through the automatic update mechanism; if you're not already using Lightroom 5, you can download it free from Adobe.com on a 30-day trial basis.

Lightroom for iPad requires an iPad 2 or later (or iPad mini) running iOS 7 or later. You can download the app free from iTunes or the App Store.

If you don’t yet have an Adobe ID, you can create one for free on the Adobe.com sign-in page, or as part of the Lightroom mobile sign-in process in Lightroom 5.4.

Once your 30-day trial ends, subscription to Lightroom mobile is free if you have either a full Creative Cloud subscription, or the $9.99 per month Photography Bundle, which includes the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop CC, 20GB of CC cloud space, Behance Portfolio membership, and an unlimited amount of Lightroom Sync space.

Getting ready to go mobile

Once you've installed both the desktop and iPad applications, you'll need to decide which of your Lightroom catalogs you wish to work with before you sign in. Lightroom mobile does not support syncing from multiple catalogs; if you sync images from a second catalog, you'll overwrite any photos you've previously “imported” to Lightroom on your iPad.

Lightroom mobile syncs selected Collections from your catalog, rather than folders or individual photos, so if your Lightroom workflow is folder-based, you'll also need to create at least one Collection to work with.

Signing in

To sign in to Lightroom mobile from your desktop computer, click the Get Started With Lightroom Mobile prompt in the identity plate at the upper-left of the workspace and choose Sign In in the fly-down menu.

Enter your Adobe ID and password in the Lightroom Mobile dialog box and click Sign In. If you don't yet have a free Adobe ID, click the Create An Adobe ID button at the lower left to get one. When you're signed in, your name and a notification of the number of days left in your Lightroom mobile trial replace the Get Started With Lightroom Mobile prompt in the identity plate.

To sign in from your iPad, tap the Lightroom app icon, enter your Adobe ID and password, and then tap the check mark.

Lightroom for iPad opens to the Collections view, which will remain empty until you have enabled at least one Collection for syncing from the desktop application.

Syncing Collections with Lightroom mobile

To enable a Collection for syncing from Lightroom 5.4, click the check box to the left of the Collection's name in the Collections panel.

The empty checkbox is replaced by a two-way arrow icon to indicate that the collection is enabled for sync. A count of photos yet to be synced appears above your name in the identity plate so that you can easily monitor the progress of the operation.

You can also right-click/Control-click the Collection and choose Sync With Lightroom Mobile from the context menu or, for a new Collection, enable the Sync With Lightroom option in the Create Collection dialog box.


Tip: To stop a Collection from syncing with your iPad, click the two-way arrow sync icon next to the name in the Collections panel or right-click/Control-click the Collection and un-check Sync With Lightroom Mobile in the context menu.


Viewing your photos on the iPad

When the sync is complete, the Collections view displays a cover image for each synced Collection. Tap repeatedly with two fingers on the gray background to display several levels of metadata information about your Collections.

Tap the down-facing white arrow centered at the top of the screen to change the sorting order in the Collections view.

To view the photos in a Collection as a slideshow, tap the triangle at the lower-left of the cover thumbnail. Tap the three dots (…) at the lower right of the cover image to access the Collection options.

You can choose to add photos to the Collection from your iPad's Camera Roll, enable Auto Import so that any new photo captured on your iPad is added to the Collection automatically, enable the Collection for offline editing, rename it, or remove it from your iPad, which will disable syncing for that Collection on your desktop.

To create a new collection of photos from your iPad's Camera Roll, tap the plus sign icon (+) at the upper-right of the Collections view.

Back on your desktop, the Catalog panel shows a new All Synced Photographs listing, and the new Collections you created on your iPad are now listed in the Collections panel.

In the Collections view on your iPad, tap the cover image to see a Collection's contents in the Grid view.

Tap the arrow at the upper-left of the Grid view to return to the Collections view, the arrow below the Collection's name to change the sorting order, or the Share icon () at the upper-right to select photos to copy, move, or remove from the Collection. Choose from the Share menu to post a photo to a social networking site, attach it to an e-mail message, or send it to a nearby friend's mobile device via AirDrop.

Tap and hold a thumbnail in the Grid view to call up a context menu, where you can designate the photo as the cover photo for the Collection.

Sorting and editing your photos on the iPad

Tap a thumbnail in the Grid view to see the photo enlarged in Loupe view. Tap the enlarged photo repeatedly with two fingers to cycle through views with and without metadata info and histogram overlays.

The Loupe view is where you'll mark individual photos as Picks or Rejects and perform a range of editing operations. From left to right, the four icons centered at the bottom of the Loupe view screen provide access to:

  • The Filmstrip, which shows thumbnails of all the images in the Collection in a sliding strip across the bottom of the screen, providing easy access to your photos.
  • The Adjustments controls for editing your photos manually.
  • The Presets menus, which display “live” thumbnail previews showing how your image will look a wide range of different preset effects applied.
  • The interactive Cropping tool overlay and related options.

Loupe view - Filmstrip mode

Loupe view - Adjustments mode. Lightroom's familiar Basic panel controls are arranged in a sliding strip across the bottom of the screen; tap the desired control, and then drag the slider at the bottom of the enlarged image. Tap the photo with three fingers to toggle between before and after views; then tap the Adjustments button again to apply the edit.

Loupe view - Presets mode. Lightroom's preset categories are arranged in a sliding strip across the bottom of the screen; tap the desired category, and then choose from the menu.

Loupe view - Cropping mode. Crop ratios are arranged in a sliding strip across the bottom of the screen; tap the desired ratio, and then drag the sides or corners of the cropping box.

In any of the Loupe view modes, you can tap the enlarged image to see it without the distraction of controls and other interface elements; then, tap again to show the controls. In all but the cropping mode, you can swipe up on the photo to flag it as a Pick, or down to mark it as a Reject.

The modifications you make on your iPad are synced back to your desktop computer automatically when you move on to a new photo or a different Collection. Alternatively, you can initiate immediate syncing for the current photo by clicking the small cloud icon at the upper-right of the Loupe view.

As with the desktop application, all your work in Lightroom for iPad is non-destructive; only the developing instructions are synced back to your desktop catalog.

For more detailed information on working with Lightroom on your iPad, go to the Adobe website.

Viewing and sharing your synced collections online

Even without your iPad, you can view your Lightroom mobile synced collections—and share them with friends or clients—online at Lightroom on the Web.

In your default web browser, go to lightroom.adobe.com and click Sign In at the upper right of the page. On the welcome screen, type your Adobe ID and password, and then click the check mark.

Lightroom on the Web opens to a Collections view, just as the iPad app does.

Click a Collection to see the photos inside arranged in a tiled grid; once again, this page is very similar to the equivalent view on your iPad. In the grid view, you can click individual photos to see them enlarged, play a slideshow, or share the Collection.

Click Share at the upper-left of the page.

All Collections are private by default—only you can see them, unless you choose to share them. Click Make Public to make the Collection available for sharing.

To share the Collection, click one of the icons for integrated social networking sites, or simply copy the URL provided and paste it into an e-mail message (see Figure 18).

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020