Adobe Lightroom Mobile Gets A Big Update

In Lightroom, Photography by Matt K14 Comments

Adobe just released a new version of Lightroom Mobile for the iPhone, and it’s gotten a pretty big update from an interface perspective. I wanted to do a quick write up here to let you know what’s new, but I’ve also got a free 10 lesson video course for you where you can see it all for yourself.

A Free Course?

Yep, I created a free 10-Lesson Lightroom Mobile Tutorial right here. Here’s why. I’ve been teaching LR Mobile at my workshops and online for the last year. Everyone that comes to these classes loves it when they’re done. But beforehand, they’re a little leery at first – they just don’t really understand where LR Mobile should and would fit in. So, right now, I just don’t think it’s something people are going to invest too much $$ in to learning. But I feel really strong about how I think it can help your photography – so I created a free Lightroom Mobile tutorial in hopes that you’ll check it out and start using this tool that most of you already have included for free.

And even if you don’t watch the whole tutorial, at least watch Lesson 1 where I talk about how the phone is becoming more important in our photography, even if we have a bigger camera. I think it’ll start to connect the dots for you.

Wait! A New Interface!

Okay, on to the LR Mobile stuff…. Yes, there’s a new editing interface. It’s definitely different and if you were used to the old interface it can feel weird to switch. But, for me, the old interface felt like a different/foreign land from Lightroom on the desktop. So for me personally, it’s a welcomed change since I never liked the old interface. I’ve been using the beta for a couple of months now, and I found I got used to it pretty quick.

For starters, I like it because it brings me back to what I consider familiar with Lightroom on the desktop – sliders. I know that developers like to get fancy on the iPhone, and build new and cool looking ways to adjust settings. But I like the good old fashioned slider. And I honestly hated the way the old sliders (for lack of a better word) worked. Now when I use LR mobile I feel more at home, like I’m using an extension of the desktop version.

Just On the iPhone?

The latest update is just on the iPhone (don’t shoot the messenger by the way) 🙂 So why not on the tablet? If I had to take a guess, it would be that the bulk of editing is being done on the phone, because that’s what people have with them all the time. From stats I read across the internet, tablet workflows for photo editing aren’t huge yet. And not to mention, I think the interface for a larger screen tablet should indeed be different than the phone, since the screen sizes are so different.

Again, if I had to guess, something different for the tablet will eventually happen. But it seems it would have to be different from the phone interface since there’s a lot more room on the tablet.

And what about the Android? I have no idea – like I said… don’t shoot the messenger.

So What’s New?

1) Easier one-handed editing with sliders – I think this is the big one. The settings aren’t new, but the way they’re laid out is. The tools we use the most are easier to get to, and the whole experience is easier for one-handed editing (which a lot of people do on the phone).


2) New “Professional” Mode on the Camera – I’ll be the first to admit I totally dissed the Lightroom Mobile camera when it first came out. But I’m using it more and more now. Once they add Panorama mode, I may ditch the iOS camera all together. DNG has been in there for a few months now, and I use it all the time. But now there’s Professional mode which let’s you control all of the Exposure settings (Exposure, Shutter Speed, ISO, WB).


3) New Info Section – there’s a new Info section for people that want access to the photo info, as well as Title, Caption, and Copyright editing right on the phone. I’m probably not one of those people, but if you wanted it, it’s now there 🙂


Don’t forget, if you’re part of the Adobe Photography Plan where you pay $9.99/month, you get Lightroom Mobile and all of the updates for free. So you already have access to it.

Do You Really Need Lightroom Mobile If You Have a DSLR?

And I think as our phones become more powerful, they really do have their place in our photography – even if we have bigger cameras. For me, Lightroom mobile has brought these two worlds together. I don’t find myself emailing a photo to my phone or desktop anymore. Now my favorite photos from a trip or vacation are always where I need them, and that’s been the biggest advantage for me.

Check Out the Free Lightroom Mobile Tutorial

As I mentioned earlier, I did a free course on this. Here’s the link. You just need to put in your email which gets you on my email community. And if you hate my emails, and don’t find them useful, you can still watch the course and just unsubscribe 🙂

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!




  1. Greg

    I just got the update, and I’m pleased with the changes. There is one thing that confuses me, and it was that way before this update. Why is there no sharpness and noise reduction slider for the whole image? They exist for local settings, but not for the overall image.

    1. Josh Haftel

      We are looking into adding global sharpening and noise reduction. There are both technical as well as user experience considerations that we’re working through at this point, but do understand the desire. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. MLBaxley

    I love this app. I do not sync with my LR/CC but I enjoy shooting with the iPhone and editing then posting. My question, what happens to the image shot “preview” if you will. When I shoot in DNG Raw and then go to edit, the image changes completely. I assume that is because I am shooting in DNG? Thanks for any insight.

    1. Josh Haftel

      @MLBaxley, DNG files, like any other raw file, are quite processing intensive, especially for a mobile device. LrM, like nearly every raw processing app take advantage of thumbnails that are embedded by the camera (in this case, iOS) for the initial preview. This means that the app won’t chew through your battery for each and every image that was captured. The drawback though is that the image will change when you start editing it, since the way that Apple processes the image is different than how we would process an image (especially since Apple doesn’t give you access to the raw file, so therefore must bake in a lot of enhancements whereas we’d want to give you a more neutral starting point so that you can accomplish more.

  3. Ed Gabe

    Thanks so much for all this great info Matt! I recently started using the LR Mobile app as the default shooting method on my iPhone to take advantage of the DNGs. The updated app, along with your tips and explanations, is going to make my iPhone experience even better. Now I feel like my iPhone shooting will be truly integrated with my “Big Boy” camera work. Thanks for all you do for us in the world of creative photography!!!

  4. Les Vowell

    Hmm? Your Sony ‘big boy’ camera is showing up as a Nikon D800 in the exif data.

  5. Alex

    So Matt.. I have a iPhone 6s+ with 128gb. I imported all of the photos from roll and start editing them but figured out that it fills up on phone. I have duplicates now of all files in roll and in LrM, so what to do now? :-/ Whats the best “complete workflow”? Put only the images I want from roll to LrM, edit, sync and export to roll then delete files from LrM? Delete files from roll after sync?

    One more question. RAW files get full-sync from phone > cloud > desktop now right? I just want confirmation. It’s not only a smart preview? I want to import > quick edit > sync and delete NEF from roll/memcard.


    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Alex – yes you’ve stumbled on the limitation. Adobe gives pretty much unlimited space right now but your phone will almost certainly be the roadblock. So yes I’d say to get them In LR Mobile and delete from your camera rolll.
      As for what gets synced… when you’re on the phone, the full version of the photo gets synced up. From Desktop to phone is just a smart preview. but from the phone to the cloud ,it’s a full version. Thanks.

      1. Alex

        Thanks man, this helps a lot. I had like 10 Gb left of my 128 Gb, I was getting frustrated 😀

        Merry Christmas to you


  6. Sarah

    Thanks for the LRMobile class-just watched it. Is there a gesture or shortcut to deleting single or multiple photos quickly on an iPhone in LR? I see if you select a single image and it expands to the whole screen, I can select the 3-dots in up rt corner then REMOVE then REMOVE again. 4 clicks to delete a single image- sure there must be speedier method. Help please?

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