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.


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


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 More information on Adobe’s new hardware should be available here shortly.

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About the Author

Michael Steeber

Michael is a Creative Editor who covered Apple Retail and design on 9to5Mac. His stories highlighted the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Contact Michael on Twitter to share Apple Retail, design, and history stories: @MichaelSteeber