April 8, 2014 Last Updated 6:39 am

Adobe releases Lightroom iPad app; requires Creative Cloud or new Photoshop CC monthly plan

Adobe yesterday released an iPad app version of its photo management and editing software Lightroom. Adobe Lightroom, the iPad app, requires that the user be a Creative Cloud or new Photoshop CC monthly subscriber and have a copy of Lightroom on their desktop.

Lightroom-iPad-splashLike other Creative Cloud apps, Lightroom is free to download and access (assuming you are paying for CC, of course), and the introduction of a mobile app makes perfect sense as so many photographers (and others) are now using their tablets for work while on the road. The absence of an iPhone version will probably be rectified eventually, but this app is really about being able to edit and manage your photography on the road, not simply to edit new photos. The iPad is a better device for that than an iPhone, which is why the promotional video for the app shows a photographer with a professional grade DSL camera, not an iPhone or other smartphone.

For many Creative Cloud subscribers who are not Lightroom users, this new tablet app may convince them that they should start using Lightroom regularly – the download would be free, of course, with their CC subscription.

For those who don’t see the value in Creative Cloud, but are Photoshop users, Adobe has introduced a Photoshop CC and mobile app combination plan – $9.99 per month.

For those not familiar with Lightroom, here is a bit of an explanation as to its capabilities: one can edit and manage photography collections that are collected as part of the desktop version of Lightroom; the mobile app opens to immediately seek to access those collections (no desktop photographs stored in the cloud via Lightroom means there is nothing for the mobile app to work with); edits are nondestructive and would be familiar to any Lightroom or Photoshop user.

Adobe obviously is pushing its subscription to CC very hard, to the frustration of many long time Photoshop users. But despite complaints online, one does not see Adobe turning back to purchase options. But if this is the direction Adobe is going, and it is, at least they are providing mobile solutions, too. This new app, and the one coming for the iPhone, will help keep current Photoshop and CC customers happy and in the Adobe ecosystem. Those who say they won’t use the new Adobe Lightroom iPad app because it requires a subscription were not subscribers anyways. Adobe doesn’t want to wait, the way Microsoft did with Office, before introducing iPad solutions – to do so would risk losing existing customers.

Here is the promotional video for the new iPad version of Lightroom:

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