Adobe Lightroom Updates and Future

This week, at the #AdobeMax2019 conference, Adobe released a slew of updates to nearly every application. But what Adobe envision for the future of Lightroom could be troubling for many.

Many needed additions

Of particular interest to me, in the short term, is anything related to Lightroom support for Apple’s latest technologies. On that front, Adobe delivered what I was looking for: support of iOS 13’s new document browser, which allows importing RAW files without going through Photos.app. Finally.

Lighroom now supports iOS 13
Importing photos from a memory card is now possible
Importing photos in Lightroom
Selection of photos to import is easy and fast

I tested the import process from a memory card that I inserted into my HyperDrive USB-C hub for my iPad Pro (read my review here). The process was relatively quick but lacked user feedback: there is no progress bar telling how many photos are left to import. I suspect this is a limitation of iOS itself. I experience the same lack of feedback when importing a bunch of files using Files.app.

Camera lenses profiles for iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are now included in the latest release of Lightroom. Also, Lightroom Mobile on these phones now supports the ultrawide camera which wasn’t the case until now.

What is next for Lightroom?

According to Michael Steeber of 9to5Mac, who interviewed Lightroom product manager, Adobe is considering a cloud-based only future for its photo processing application. Over the last two years, Lightroom CC has come close to being on par with Lightroom Classic feature-wise according to Adobe. Many would disagree, me included. The cloud-based future that Adobe envisions may not be the right answer to those managing huge libraries on a not so good internet connection. Tyler Stalman, a well-known photographer, wrote on Twitter:

I don’t see Adobe dropping Lightroom Classic from its lineup anytime soon but I do think they are testing the water and pondering if it makes sense to keep both applications in the long run. It is where user feedback will become mandatory so our voices can be heard. In the meantime, regarding my needs, I do like Lightroom CC on my iPad. It helps me accomplish most of my photo processing tasks. The user interface is much leaner and helps me focus more on the task. Lightroom Classic has a long history, and it shows. This application is much less approachable in my opinion.

All in all, I’m happy with this week’s updates even if I was expecting a bit more. If you are an Adobe user, please, share your thoughts by leaving a comment following this post! Thanks!

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