As you may have noticed, Adobe has just released Lightroom 5.4, along with the new Lightroom Mobile for iPad. Lightroom mobile extends your workflow beyond the desktop, and onto your iPad, where you can review, rate and even edit your images, and have the changes synchronized automatically back to your main catalog.
Lightroom uses the Creative Cloud storage services as the hub for this synchronization, and as a result, you must be a member of one of the subscription services for this to work, including any of the Creative Cloud plans, or the Photoshop Photography Program. The iPad app is completely free, so this is just another benefit of the Creative Cloud subscription.
Lightroom Mobile uses Collections as the basis for synchronization, so make sure you are familiar with using Collections in Lightroom to support this workflow.
Setting up Lightroom Mobile isn’t very difficult, but there are a few things that must be done in the proper sequence for it to work. Let’s step through the basics of getting things rolling.
First, download the new programs
You’ll need to download and install the new update for Lightroom 5.4 for your desktop. You can find it here:
You’ll also want to download Lightroom Mobile for iPad. You can find it here:
Once you’ve completed the downloads, you’re ready to move on.
Next, configure Lightroom on the Desktop
When you start Lightroom 5.4, you’ll notice a change where the Identity plate used to be. Now, there’s a new identity section with a place for you to configure your settings with Lightroom Mobile.
Clicking the link to “Get started with Lightroom mobile” beings up a menu with a selection to enable you to sign in with your Adobe ID:
Once you choose that, you’ll get a sign-in dialog similar to others you’ve seen in various Creative Cloud apps:
Once you’ve signed in, the Identity Plate changes, and your name is shown – your indication that you’ve signed in to Creative Cloud with Lightroom:
Notice also the little switch that indicates you are set to sync with Lightroom mobile? This option is accompanied in a new tab in the Lightroom Preferences:
At this point, you are ready to start using the desktop version of Lightroom to synchronize with Lightroom mobile. Before we go to the iPad, let’s add some collections to be synchronized.
Next, choose the Catalogs to sync to Lightroom Mobile
This is a key point – Lightroom doesn’t sync all your photos – it only syncs from collections, and only from collections you specifically choose. In order to choose a collection to sync with Lightroom Mobile, click the new checkbox that is located in the left margin next to the name of the collection. The empty checkbox changes to a double-arrow to signify that the collection is synchronized.
Here, I’ve chosen four collections to sync with Lightroom mobile. Lightroom will build Smart Previews, if necessary, and send those up to the cloud, ready for syncing with your device.
One important point to note – you can only sync regular collections, you cannot sync smart collections.
Finally, Set up Lightroom Mobile on the iPad
Now we’re ready to launch Lightroom Mobile on the iPad, and we’ll need to set this up as well. When we first launch Lightroom Mobile, we see the getting started screen:
Tap the button, and this takes us immediately to our Adobe sign in dialog:
Once we’ve signed in, the connection is made, and Lightroom Mobile begins to sync:
Collections that we’ve marked in Lightroom on the desktop are recognized, and the device begins to be populated:
It may take some time to populate the first time, depending on your connection speed, but once the sync is done, the performance is very responsive. View, rate, sort, and even edit, and the changes are reflected back to the desktop very quickly:
Now, you’re ready to start using Lightroom Mobile. For more tutorials on using Lightroom Mobile, head over to one of the following sites:
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