Yesterday was the first time I finally felt confident enough in Lightroom to turn off iCloud Photo Library. I had been jumping between the two services for a while, using Lightroom as my main photo library, but still keeping a few backups in iCloud.
I still love how iCloud Photo Library syncs so beautifully in the background. I liked the ability to just open up my iPad and have all the shots from my iPhone already there, as if by magic. But the major caveat to iCloud Photo Library is that it just doesn’t do a very good job of optimizing a photo library for easy, consistent access.
Lightroom 2.4 for iOS came out last week, and I’ve been using it quite a lot over the past few days. The big breakout features are RAW edits and local adjustments, so let’s dive right into those.
RAW files are big and harder to process than JPEGs, but they provide a lot more room to edit colours, highlights, and shadows. Until this update, there really hasn’t been any elegant way to manage and edit them on the iPad. So the simple fact that Lightroom can now handle RAW files — on iOS 9 no less — is awesome. I would have really enjoyed having this capability during my Japan trip (although it probably would have meant staying up later processing photos).
My 128 GB iPad still lacks the storage space to keep everything on board, but it definitely has enough room to download my shots after a few days of shooting. This matches the way I approch RAWs very well, since I tend to keep just the JPEGs, and only bring a RAW file out when I’ve messed up exposure and need more leeway for editing.
I’d like to make known my displeasure over the latest change to photo sharing in Lightroom mobile. I noticed this over the past few days as I used the share button to help me get pictures from Lightroom over to messaging apps like LINE and Google Hangouts.
Pictures shared using the app’s Share button are now appended with extra text that encourages other people to download Lightroom from the App Store (see the above screenshot for an example). Whenever I share, I now have to consciously select that text and delete it so that I don’t spam up my own chat channels. I find this move strange because it was unannounced in the release notes for Lightroom 2.3.1, and it really should be something I should be able to turn off. This would make more sense if Lightroom were only available to free users, but I am a paying Adobe customer and have signed up for $120 USD worth of service for the year. I already tell people about Lightroom mobile and how capable I think it is. I don’t need to spam them with useless text with every picture I export.
However, this isn’t just indignation. This change has actually affected my ability to share pictures as easily as I was even a days ago (before the latest Lightroom update). iOS 9 would have me use share extensions to share with other apps, but certain ones can be laggy, even on the iPad Pro. Hangouts can be particularly bad because it’s Share extension stays in the way for a good 15 seconds, even though the picture has already been sent to chat.
So one workaround for situations like that is to use the Copy function in the share sheet instead. This used to work perfectly because I could just copy a picture from Lightroom and paste it into LINE or Hangouts. It was very quick to do, and exactly how I wanted it to work. However, there seems to be an issue with pasting both text and images simultaneously into these apps. They’re really built to accept one type of input at a time. Unfortunately, the thing that ends up being cut from the transfer is the actual picture I was trying to paste into LINE or Hangouts in the first place. All the ends up being pasted into the chat is the useless text to encourage my friends to download Lightroom.
To be blunt, this is a bad experience for paying users and I’d really like the old behaviour back. I can’t imagine that this new mandated share text is very popular among users now, and if this implementation has to stick around, then Adobe should at least allow paying Creative Cloud customers to turn the text off in settings. I have posted about this in Adobe forum and contacted someone on their support team on Twitter, but since I have a platform to write from, I figured I’d also say something here.
I am enjoying my time with Lightroom Mobile and I think it’s growing in leaps and bounds, but one of the most important aspects for me is the ability to share photos quickly and easily, and I’m hoping Adobe will correct this issue as quickly as they introduced it.