Adobe squeezes its Lightroom into an iPhone app (hands-on)

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Rounding out its Lightroom suite, which currently consists of a desktop application and iPad-only Lightroom mobile, Adobe now offers an iPhone-optimized version of as well. Dubbed Lightroom mobile for iPhone, the app is a feature-equivalent version of the iPad app, with an interface unsurprisingly translated for the small-screen experience.

Like the iPad version, it requires both a Creative Cloud account and the most recent version of Lightroom desktop. Given those two things, it's free.

More on Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

The iPhone version operates almost exactly the same as the iPad version, though it necessarily feels a little more cramped. For a complete description of its features and operation, I suggest you read that review.

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The biggest perk of the iPhone version is the ability to autoimport iPhone photos, which then get automatically synced back to your desktop catalog. New to both iOS apps is support for custom sort orders. Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

On the upside, you don't really miss or expect the features that feel like a big hole in the iPad version -- notably lack of metadata editing, color labels or ratings and the inability to use saved presets or Smart Collections.

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The bottom is our typical screenshot display of an iPhone app; the top inset is the size the app actually becomes on the phone when used horizontally. Lori Grunin/CNET

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Working on the iPad version (left) vs. the iPhone version (right). Note there's no filmstrip view option on the smaller screen. Lori Grunin/CNET

For quick-and-dirty flagging or rating passes through photos, the occasional pre-upload adjustment, or for working a little more seriously with iPhone photos that you need to sync back to the desktop, Lightroom mobile for iPhone is a nifty little Lightroom adjunct.

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Adobe Lightroom for iPhone (iOS)

Part Number: CNETLightroom
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Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Photography and image editing
  • Compatibility iOS