When Lightroom Mobile (Apple only) was first introduced you needed a CC subscription to use it. Adobe eventually introduced Lr for Android, and with Lr Mobile 2.0 for iOS in October they dropped the requirement that you have a subscription. Lr 1.4 for Android was introduced today and it also has the same lifted restriction. If you have a CC account you can link your device and your Lr catalogue on your computer, but it’s not necessary.
Lr for Android 1.4 is available for free from the Google Play store so I downloaded it and tried it out.
If you’re a tablet user it would probably be of more use, but it has limited use for me. Lr is first and foremost a database program and having the ability to do catalogue management while on the road would be a handy tool for some, but I don’t keep my phone images on my phone. If I did, I could add pick/reject flags, create Collections, etc. but there was no keywording facility I could see. One may need to be signed in to access that, and keywording on a phone wouldn’t be much fun anyway.
As I said, it’s not the way I work. I capture images on my phone, upload them to Dropbox or Copy, transfer them to my computer then delete them from my phone – because storage space on my phone is always at a premium.
Still, there are times when I share images directly from my phone, and as images shouldn’t be sent out to the world naked, I process them first. To that end I added one image to my Lr Android collection and processed it on my phone. I didn’t take a lot of time poking around and the editing (Develop) features will be familiar to any Lr user, but after a few minutes I found I still prefer Snapseed. One thing that I didn’t see on the Lr screen is a histogram. Another is that there’s no ability to do sharpening, or at least none that I could find.
Whether or not Lr for Android is for you is something only you can decide. Lightroom (Windows) is still my primary DAM (digital asset management) and image editing app, even if I supplement it with Perfect Effects, Photopaint, Autopano and other programs.
Now, if someone wants to buy me a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 so I can have Lr for Windows on a tablet, I’d be happy with that!