Adobe looks poised to release Lightroom for mobile devices

9to5 Mac spots an offer on Adobe's Web site for a $99 annual subscription to use a mobile version of the photo editing and cataloging software.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
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Stephen Shankland
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Lightroom 5.3
Adobe appears to be getting closer to releasing a version of Lightroom for mobile devices. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Adobe Systems this week tipped its hand when it comes to the future of its Lightroom, revealing on its Web site a subscription plan for a mobile version of the software for editing and cataloging photos.

9to5 Mac spotted the subscription, a package costing $99 per year called "Adobe Lightroom for mobile."

It's not clear exactly what the package would include, but an iPad version seems likely. Adobe showed a prototype of Lightroom-style photo editing for the iPad in 2013. That software used a cloud-computing service to keep photo changes synchronized with a Lightroom catalog hosted on a personal computer.

Last year's software demo included editing controls for exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, vibrance, clarity, temperature, tint, sharpen, luminance noise reduction, color noise reduction, whites, blacks, auto tone, and auto white balance. Buttons across the top of the app included options for flipping and cropping photos.

Adobe took down the Lightroom mobile option when 9to5 Mac contacted the company about it.

Adobe declined to comment on its plans: "Last year Adobe did a sneak peak on bringing certain Lightroom capabilities to mobile platforms, however we have not made any formal announcement about official plans and have no further details to discuss about Lightroom at this time," spokeswoman Marissa Lee said.

It's possible there could be other charges for the software. Adobe has moved aggressively to its Creative Cloud subscription, the high end of which costs $50 a month and grants access to any Adobe software -- except its mobile apps. Initially, Adobe had planned to include the mobile apps in the subscription, but app-store rules preclude that option, so for now the mobile apps cost money.

It's also not clear how the subscription will dovetail with a $10-per-month Photoshop Photography Program, which grants access to Lightroom, Photoshop, and 20GB of cloud-based file storage. That subscription is available for a limited time, though Adobe already extended its availability twice. The current deadline for signing up is February 28; only customers who purchased Photoshop CS3 or later are eligible.

Update, 12:12 p.m. PT Adds Adobe comment.