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Hands-on: Adobe brings its Lightroom Mobile image editor to Android w/ Creative Cloud sync

Adobe Lightroom Android

Adobe has been working to bring Photoshop Lightroom from the desktop to mobile over the last year, and today the image editing app is landing on Android for the first time. Lightroom Mobile for Android joins the company’s existing creative apps for Android including Photoshop ExpressPhotoshop Touch, Adobe Revel, and more. Check out our hands-on with Lightroom for Android below for all the details on Adobe’s latest creative app for mobile users… Lightroom first went mobile last year with the iPad version in April, promising an Android version after the iPhone version which shipped in June, and now Lightroom Mobile for Android is available for Creative Cloud subscribers.

Just like the mobile versions of Lightroom for iOS, Creative Cloud users can easily work between Lightroom 5 on the desktop and Lightroom Mobile for Android syncing photos, edits, collections, flags, favorites, and more. Adobe highlights the following features:

• Sync edits, metadata and collection changes to the Lightroom catalog on a Mac or Windows computer
• Automatically import images from the smartphone gallery and sync back to the Lightroom catalog on the desktop
• Edit images using familiar Lightroom tools and presets, including non-destructive processing using Smart Previews
• Quickly flag and reject photos

For my own hands-on testing, I tried out the new app and features between Lightroom 5 running on Mac and Lightroom Mobile for Android running on a first-generation Moto G. Applying adjustments, sorting through photos, and cloud syncing all worked without a stutter even on the lower end hardware. While Adobe doesn’t pitch the syncing as instant, I was able to add photos to Lightroom on my desktop and see them appear on Lightroom Mobile for Android in under a minute.

Lightroom Mobile organizes photos within a collection in a nice mosaic grid layout. From this view and throughout the app, a two finger tap on the screen will cycle through displaying meta data like exposure, ISO, and aperture with another tap revealing capture time, file name, and dimensions. Another tip: when editing a photo, a quick three finger tap will cycle between the original image and the image with adjustments.

While you’re editing an image, a number of basic presets and filters are available for enhancing photos. Filters include creative options like creamtone, old polar, and sepia; color options like punch, low and high contrast, and dynamic; black and white options that play with contrast; and more. You can also make adjustments to color white balance, temperature, tint, exposure, and more.

Adobe’s Smart Previews feature within Lightroom is key as it enables to you view and edit RAW photos from your Mac or Windows computer directly on your Android device without losing fidelity. Once you’re back at your desktop, Lightroom reflects any mobile adjustments as if it happened from your computer.

Photo adjustments stay synced with Lightroom on the desktop over Creative Cloud, and once edited you can share your photos to various services like Facebook, Twitter, and more directly from Lightroom Mobile for Android. You can also share both images and collections either privately or publicly to

At launch only a couple minor differences exist between Lightroom Mobile for Android and iOS: Android users will currently toggle between star and flag picks while iOS shows both, and viewing comments shared on is not yet supported on Android. Stay tuned for a future update to see notification support added. There’s also hope for DNG (digital negative open lossless raw) format support eventually as Lollipop adds support. As it stands, Lightroom users can edit RAW images synced from the desktop to the mobile version and back without losing any quality along the way.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile for Android is available for devices running Android 4.1 and higher with 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended), 8GB internal storage, and a Quad Core CPU with ARMv7 architecture, 1.7 GHz processor (2.2 GHz or higher recommended) required. On the desktop side, you’ll want to have Lightroom 5.4 or later.

Lightroom Mobile is a free app from the Google Play Store and requires an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (Creative Cloud Photography plan at $9.99/month); new users can download Lightroom Mobile and start a 30-day free trial.

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