Adobe Lightroom now available for Android, just as good as iOS version
When I first reviewed Adobe Lightroom Mobile, I needed to borrow an iPad to make full use of it, since my daily-driver tablet is a Note 10.1 running Android KitKat. At the time, Adobe’s Tom Hogarty promised they’d be rolling it out for iPhone — which they did later in the year — but was coy about plans for Android. Now, nine months later, Adobe Lightroom Mobile is available for Android smartphones, and I’m happy to report it is every bit as good as the iOS version. Essentially, the two versions are almost identical. Both of them allow you to make quick, non-destructive, edits to your images from the road, and to synchronize your smartphone photos with your main Lightroom catalog. The Android version actually has one or two small improvements in the UI for rating images.
Adding your Android smartphone to your Lightroom workflow
One of the two clear use cases for Lightroom Mobile is to be able to easily upload images taken on your mobile device to your desktop version of Lightroom. Currently it only works for JPEGs, but Adobe clearly wants to add support for the new DNG-based Raw file capture in Android 5.0. To further improve your productivity, star ratings and edits you make in the mobile version of Lightroom are also reflected on your desktop, so you can do some image review and correction while you are on the road, and have the benefit of that work when you get home.
Editing your Lightroom images on the go
The second major use case for Lightroom Mobile is reviewing and correcting your desktop Lightroom images while you are on the road. Through the use of its clever Smart Previews technology, Adobe can download small versions of your desktop images (about 5% of the original size of a Raw file, for example) to your mobile device. You can then edit or rate the image on your mobile device, and the modifications will be applied to the full-size original on your desktop. Adobe currently allows you to apply any of its presets to an image (but not ones you create), or to use a set of sliders that represent a subset of the corrections available in the desktop version of Lightroom. You can also flag images or give them star ratings.
Available now for all Creative Cloud subscribers
Just as with Lightroom Mobile for iOS, the Lightroom Mobile app for Android is free — you can download it starting immediately from the Google Play store, as long as your device is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later. However, to use its features, you’ll need to sign in to a Creative Cloud account. For photographers, the most cost-effective option is the $10-per-month Creative Cloud Photographer plan — which provides access to Photoshop, Lightroom, and their companion mobile applications — while those who need access to more of Adobe’s suite can pony up the $50-per-month for all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps.
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[Image credits: David Cardinal]
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