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As part of a totally revamped Creative Cloud Photography Plan, Adobe today launched both Lightroom for iPhone, a companion app to the desktop version and twin of the recently launched iPad version, as well as Adobe Mix, a completely new iPad app that brings down many powerful features previously only available on the desktop versions of Photoshop.

Corresponding with these new iOS apps, Adobe has launched new versions of 14 of its Creative Cloud desktop apps. Let’s take a closer look at the new iOS offerings from Adobe.

Lightroom Mobile for iPhone

Following the iPad version of Lightroom that launched this past April, Lightroom mobile on the iPhone is much of what you’d expect if you’ve used the iPad version. The apps are about as identical as they can be given the difference in screen size, and they offer near feature parity with each other. Adobe has done a great job of bringing Lightroom’s controls on the iPad down to the iPhone without sacrificing too much screen real estate. There’s still plenty of room to view your photos as you edit, and of course, a plethora of sharing options which is great for the iPhone.

One of the best parts of Lightroom is photo syncing, thanks to Creative Cloud. When I signed into Lightroom on my iPhone for the first time, the photos I had previously worked on in the iPad version automatically showed up. This feature extends to the desktop version. However, at least for now, editing on the mobile version isn’t nearly as powerful as the desktop counterpart. I’m confident Adobe will continue to add features to their iOS apps, though.

Like the iPad version, you’ll need an Adobe ID as well as a subscription to Creative Cloud to use Lightroom. Adobe offers a 30 day free trial. You can download Lightroom mobile for iPhone here.

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Photoshop Mix for iPad

Photoshop Mix is totally new territory for Adobe. Sure, there are other Photoshop branded Adobe products in the App Store like Photoshop Express and Photoshop Touch, but both are fairly rudimentary editing apps that harness the limited horsepower of iOS devices. Mix is totally different. Not only does it allow users to transcend the limited power of the iPad, it brings desktop quality editing to iOS.

When you first launch the app, you have the ability to select local photos or photos from Lightroom and Creative Cloud, a very helpful addition if you were previously editing on another device. Again, you’ll need an Adobe ID for this app.

Mix is all about selective adjustment and layering. You can choose from any of quite a few different photo effects, and selectively add or remove each. The really neat part, though, is the layering capabilities. By importing two photos, you can selectively knock out the background of one, remove sections of photos you don’t want, add objects to other photos, and even use content-aware fill thanks to Creative Cloud’s off-device processing, which sends your image to Adobe’s server for processing, allowing you to perform more complex tasks than the iPad allows.

Using Mix, you’re able to create some pretty interesting images, with the right photos. I made the image above in Photoshop Mix, cutting out the stop sign from one photo and positioning it into a landscape image. Below you’ll see another composition I was able to quickly create, knocking out the sky on one photo and replacing it with the sky in another image. Since you can apply different effects per layer, I was able to choose different styling for the foreground and sky. You can download Photoshop Mix for iPad free here.

Creative Cloud apps

Alongside these brand new iOS apps, Adobe has updated 14 of its Creative Cloud desktop apps, most notably Photoshop CC, which has some great new features.

According to Adobe, here’s what’s new in Photoshop:

  • Blur Gallery motion effects – Path Blur and Spin Blur create a sense of motion, even if not originally captured with a camera, enabling photographers to tell their story or express just the right feeling in an image.
  • Focus Mask – Create the first step of a mask by automatically selecting the in-focus areas of an image for headshots and other images that have shallow depth of field.
  • Content-Aware color adaptation improvements – Retouched images using Content-Aware Fill, Move, and Patch gets more seamless and realistic. New technology blends areas containing gradients, like skies, to give exceptional results.
  • Improved Mercury Graphics Engine performance – Delivering an OpenCL performance boost, upsample images up to 15 times faster. Create fast, fluid motion blurs thanks to Mercury Graphics Engine support
  • Link Smart Objects and share them across multiple documents, then automatically package the links into a single directory when they want to move a Photoshop file to another computer or share it.
  • Save time by changing the visibility, position, or appearance of one layer and simply syncing to see the change reflected in all other Layer Comps.
  • Smarter Smart Guides – Skip the painstaking work of aligning multiple shapes or objects by getting the exact distance in pixels between objects
  • Access select Typekit fonts from directly within Photoshop, with just one click.
  • Discover new fonts easily and pinpoint the perfect one out of thousands through Font Search.

You can learn more about what’s new in Creative Cloud on Adobe’s website.

Ink and Slide

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In addition to Adobe’s new software offerings, the creative company is also announcing availability for its hardware first shown off last year.

Adobe Ink, a beautiful three-sided hydro-formed aluminum stylus for iPad running iOS 7. It enables controlled, expressive drawing and connects to Creative Cloud, giving users access to their creative assets – favorite drawings, photos, Adobe Kuler color themes and more – all at the top of the pen. Built using the Adonit Pixelpoint Technology, the fine-tipped pressure sensitive pen is lightweight and balanced for a comfortable grip.

Adobe Slide, a category-defining digital ruler (and companion to Ink) for iPad running iOS 7. Taking a modern twist on traditional tools used before computer graphics and desktop publishing. Slide enables precision sketching – straight lines, perfect circles, and balanced shapes – on iPad.

Adobe says its Ink and Slide products will be available in the United States starting today for $199.99 via Adobe.com. More information on Adobe’s new hardware should be available here shortly.

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7 Responses to “Adobe launches powerful Mix iPad app, brings Lightroom to iPhone, updates Creative Cloud, Ink & Slide available”

  1. Trying to figure out why anyone would want to use Lightroom on an iOS device boggles my mind. Lightroom is a pixel-pushers tool, a technique neither easily accomplished nor appreciated on a small screen.

    • friedmud1 says:

      Diane,

      I use Lightroom on my iPad to do an initial “culling” of a big set of photos. I can take two days of shooting (with 500-1000) photos and pair it down to 100-200 using my iPad really quickly. I can also do quick adjustments while I go to see how the final image might turn out.

      All of the rejecting and flagging I do is automatically synced to my Mac desktop… so then I can go there to put the final touches on the images and upload them.

      This is a really nice workflow that allows me to pair down photos while I’m on a plane or hanging out with my wife and dog around the house. Saves me a lot of lonely time in my office :-)

      Adobe got it right here. iOS Lightroom is not meant to be a standalone application… it’s an extension of Lightroom on your desktop giving you some mobility and flexibility.

      • When you culled your photoset, did you need pay Adobe to host all those pictures in the Cloud or were they only in the devices?

      • j.o., once you import your photos into Lightroom you can have them synced to Lightroom mobile which will upload them to the cloud and download to Lightroom mobile on your iPad. This is included as part of the Creative Cloud subscription.

        +1 on what friedmud1 said in response to Diane Torrance. I’ll often have a large buffer of RAW shots on my camera card, import negatives into Lightroom and am able to quickly and easily preview/flag them on my iPad and then retouch only the shots I plan to keep.

        It’s a nice convenience for me. As has been said, Lightroom mobile is more of companion to the desktop app and not a full blown management/editing app in itself.

      • friedmud1 says:

        No… Lightroom on iPad can sync directly with your photo library on your desktop. You just select the photos you want to sync on your desktop and create a “Synced Collection”… those photos show up immediately on your iPad.

        I don’t use iCloud storage at all (I couldn’t anyway… I have about 700GB of photos!).

      • @friedmud1: Great workflow. I hadn’t considered that. Still, the article was about using Lightroom on an iPhone, which I should have references rather than iOS.

  2. Dave Sidaway says:

    Well, it’s cute but there are a lot of cute apps out there. This looks more an attempt to get people to subscribe to their cloud service which is not something my paper is interested in.

    As a news photographer, I’ve been using PhotoGene on my iPad and iPhone when I need to move images quickly. I haven’t found an app that comes even close to PhotoGene. Curves, levels, full IPTC access, watermark capabilities and export via email, ftp, open in Instagram and many, many more options. and it has cute filters as well. (PhotoGene is a paid app.)

    As well, at the paper, we looked at Lightroom for the laptop and not a single photographer wanted to drop from our Photoshop/Photo Mechanic setup.

    For the record, I have no affiliation to any apps.