What’s new in Lightroom 5.5 and Lightroom mobile 1.1?

It’s that time again!  Lightroom 5.5 has just been released, with its usual camera updates and bug fixes, and there are some sneaky new features. At the same time, Lightroom mobile for iPad has been updated to 1.1 and the long-awaited Lightroom mobile for iPhone is now available too!  This might be a long blog post…


Lightroom mobile

New Features on Lightroom for iPad

  • Star Ratings! You can now click the flag in the lower right corner of Loupe view to change to star rating mode. Then swipe up or down to show the star rating overlay and select your chosen rating.
  • Custom Sort Order!  If you have a custom sort order on the desktop, it’s transferred to the mobile version.
  • (You must be running LR 5.5 for those to work.)
  • Filter on multiple criteria! You can now select both Picked and Unflagged, for example, or Picked plus a star rating.
  • From the menu in Grid or Loupe view, you can now open images in 3rd party apps without first saving to the camera roll.
  • I’ve updated my Lightroom mobile for iPad book, so if you’ve already purchased it, you can download again from the original purchase link.


Lightroom for iPhone/iPod Released

  • Lightroom mobile is now available on the iPhone and iPod!
  • It requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 (all models) and iPod (5th gen.) running iOS7 or newer.
  • The features are the same as the iPad version, except smaller!
  • Auto import is particularly useful as it syncs your camera roll photos back to the desktop catalog automatically.  Just remember it doesn’t sync videos.
  • I haven’t done a Lightroom mobile for iPhone book yet, as the functionality is exactly the same as the iPad, just the screenshots are different. If you want a Lightroom mobile for iPhone version, let me know, and if I get enough requests, I’ll do it.

lightroomiphonedev11  lightroomiphonefilter11


Lightroom for Desktop

Here are the update download links: WindowsMac (or update through the CC app if you’re a subscriber)



  • The $9.99 Photographer’s Bundle is no longer a special offer. It’s been so popular, they’ve decided to keep it as a standard bundle for the foreseeable future. You don’t need to have a previous version (i.e. CS3+).  The only change is the 20GB cloud space is dropping to 2GB as they’re including unlimited Lightroom Sync space. Anyone who already signed up keeps their full 20GB.
  • Don’t worry, this does NOT mean that Lightroom’s going subscription-only. Tom Hogarty confirmed in a blog post that “Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.” Of course it’s possible that some new features in future versions may be limited to subscribers, just as the mobile sync solution today requires a subscription for cloud access, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


Sync with Lightroom mobile 

  • Lightroom mobile 1.1 can now sync star ratings and custom sort orders, so 5.5 also adds that functionality.
  • If you right-click on a sync collection, there are now additional options for making the web gallery public and copying that public link directly to the clipboard instead of having to visit the website. That makes it much easier to email links to synced collections.



  • There were some sleep-related changes made in 5.4, and they’ve been improved in 5.5.  Lightroom now prevents your computer from sleeping while building previews, publishing, importing, or exporting, so you don’t you don’t wander back to wake it up and find the job half-done.
  • In addition, there is a separate “Prevent system sleep during sync” preference in the “Lightroom mobile” tab of the preferences dialog (on by default).
  • In 5.4, it also prevented your screen from sleeping, but that now obeys your system preferences.
  • While playing a slideshow, the screen will not sleep.


More Lightroom Desktop bug fixes (I’ve just listed the most frequent ones)

  • The Flickr API has been updated.
  • Lightroom threw an “assertion failed” error in 5.4 on Windows if there was no Pictures folder at the default location. That’s fixed.
  • Signing in to Lightroom Sync on Mac failed with an “attempt to index nil value” error if no computer name was set.
  • Import has had additional attention. As a result, thumbnails show up more quickly in Library’s Grid view after import.


New Camera support:

  • Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II
  • Fuji FinePix S1
  • Nikon 1 J4
  • Nikon 1 V3
  • Nikon 1 S2
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4
  • Pentax 645Z
  • Samsung NX3000
  • Sony ILCE-7S (A7S)
  • Sony RX100MIII
  • Sony ILCA-77M2 (A77 II)


There’s new camera tethering support:


There are also some new lens profiles:

  • Canon mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Nikon mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Pentax mount
    • Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013
  • Sigma mount
    • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A014
    • Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C014
  • Sony Alpha mount
    • Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013


Go and download now and let me know what you think of the changes!  And if you haven’t purchased my Lightroom mobile book yet, here’s the link.


  1. Alastair Knox says:

    There are others who haven’t got an iPad but prefer Android pads instead – when are then going to be catered for?

    • It’s on the agenda next I believe. iPad was easier to design, and has a larger user base amongst photographers, so it was a logical place to start. Transferring to the iPhone only meant coding the UI on the top of the iPad app, so again relatively simple. Android’s next on the agenda.

      • Alastair Knox says:

        Many thanks for your answer – I’m half thinking of going iPad to get these applications but I’m reluctant to commit until I see Android versions.

      • ziplock9000 says:

        On what sort of time scale? Why were they not developed in parallel?

        • It’s less efficient to develop in parallel. Imagine you design a tool, code it in both OS’s, and then get user feedback that something needs changing – so you then have to go back and rewrite it in both OS’s too. It makes more sense to design and test in one OS and then replicate it in the other once it’s working. They could have held back the iOS version from release until they’d finished the Android version, but that wouldn’t have benefited anyone.

  2. Thanks for the helpful post. Could you confirm: (1) There is no keywording function in the iOS apps, and (2) There is no map function in the iOS apps?

  3. Chris Nuttall says:

    What a tragedy that iPad gets the first release – just how out of touch can you get? Android devices are outselling iCrap by 4:1. Where did Lightroom Queen get this spurious info that Apple has a larger user base for photographers. I am a professional photographer (Nikon D200, Sony NX5, DJI Phantom 2 Vision) and I don’t know a single colleague who uses Apple OS!!

    • tomwilson says:

      I used it. LOL Suckers. that’s what you get for using Gaydroid shit.

    • Just because Android sells more devices overall doesn’t really come into this situation I’m afraid.

      Adobe, of course, have more accurate stats and they’ve said their main userbase primarily Apple devices for mobile. Bear in mind they’ve been selling both iOS and Android versions of their previous apps, so they know how many they’re selling on each platform.

      As a really rough guide, the stats from both this website and from Lightroom Forums give a few clues about the choices of Lightroom users. Visitors on mobile devices are 75% iOS and about 20% Android. I’ve checked with other Lightroom websites and they see similar splits too.
      Combine that with the fact that iOS programming is simpler because there’s a very limited range of devices to support, and it’s fairly logical that they’d do iOS first. That doesn’t mean Android isn’t important – it’s just not first on this occasion.

      • Also unlike maybe Chris, Android users do not tend to use apps as much as IOS users. That is not just photography related either. That is why a lot of the time IOS apps get developed first and sometimes an Android version does not even come out. It can sometimes just not be finacially viable.

        Victoria those website stats are daily typical on all websites. Often the gaps are even larger. For some reason Android users do not use their browsers that much compared to IOS users.

      • ziplock9000 says:

        The suggestion that ignoring 1 million users (for example), because 3 million use iOS is a ridiculous argument anyway. I think the stats you are referring to are 2+ years old. In that time Android has gained massive market share and the devices and OS has come on leaps and bounds.

        • The website stats I quoted were from the day I replied – I stopped to check Google Analytics before replying – and were consistent for varying periods before that (1 week, month, year), sorry.

    • @chrisnuttall:disqus
      You know what a real professional photographer is? It’s the one who knows how to use any platforms/operating systems for his/her own photography workflow, and they don’t bash a product because of its company name… And you know what a real professional photographers do? They don’t tell they’re professional photographer just to make a point…

    • I’m a pro tog too, and I don’t know a single colleague that doesn’t (use Apple IOS). but it doesn’t matter what we think; I expect Adobe did their research.

  4. Hi Victoria!

    Thank you for all the great work you are doing!

    Adobe also released Camera RAW 8.5 This release provides new features including new preview controls, the ability to modify graduated and radial filters, and a new visualization mask for graduated and radial filters. It seems that this will not be in version 5.5 of Lightroom! Is this correct?

    • Yes, that’s correct Jani. They should be in Lightroom 6.0. Being able to add new features at any time is one of the benefits of the CC subscription system. Lightroom can’t add new proper features between main releases (except sometimes the x.1) due to accounting regulations on perpetual licenses.

      • Thank you for your quick respond Victoria!

        I didn’t know there was regulations about that! Strange!

        To be honest I was expecting a 6.0 release of Lightroom by now. It was a year between 4.0 and 5.0 so I thought that this was a new strategy from Adobe because Lightroom now is in the CC-program. But I really appreciating the new Mobile solution, so I’m not complaining :-) I hope they will provide a similar solution to sync your work between your Desktop and your Laptop… :-)

        Thanks again and take care! // Jani

      • Class A says:

        Who makes these accounting regulations?
        Is it Adobe adhering to their own rules?

        I’d be surprised if one couldn’t find a precedent for adding a feature with a minor release. In any event, it is a matter of definition what a “new feature” is. Adding the ability to modify filters could be regarded as a tweak to an existing feature.

        The “benefits of the CC subscription” manifest themselves mainly for Adobe. That’s why they are trying to force everyone into it. If the subscription system were not the better deal for Adobe, they’d keep a level playing field and let customers decide which approach to choose instead of withholding features from customers that prefer proper licenses. The sentence “Of course it’s possible that some new features in future versions may be limited to subscribers” indicates that withholding features may be due to Adobe wanting it, rather than Adobe’s hand being tied.

        Just to clarify: Victoria, you are the best. Your blog and book are invaluable resources. I’m frustrated with Adobe’s policies and attempts to sell them as being in the best interest for the customer. My criticism is in now way directed at you.

        • Aaaaaaw, thanks Class A.

          I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on US accounting practices. Sarbanes-Oxley Act was the information I was given. I believe they may have been able to find a workaround by changing all of their accounting procedures, but that would be very costly in a company of that size (with a resulting hit on license fees), if it was possible at all.

          Plus the subscription basis does mean they can focus their efforts on offering the latest and greatest as soon as it’s available. I know from experience that trying to run a two-tier system with both perpetual and subscription licenses is a logistical nightmare. So yes, from that point of view, it’s better for them – although that does have a knock-on benefit for us too. I was looking at Scott Kelby’s latest blog post, where he listed all of the features that have been added since CC’s release. There’s no way they would have added all that in a standard perpetual release cycle.

          And they’re adding a load of service features now, like TypeKit and Lightroom mobile sync, which wouldn’t have been viable on the old license system. I wasn’t a big fan of their subscription plans, but I have to say, I think their $9.99 bundle is a really good deal now. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d charged almost that much just for the sync space! And they are keeping the perpetual license option open for Lightroom users who don’t want the added extras.

          • Unklejon says:

            I am not an expert in US accounting either but I doubt
            whether SOX – aka Sarbanes -Oxley act has anything to do with it. SOX is a global standard for anyone dealing with or in USA. The SOX legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise, as well as improve the accuracy of corporate disclosures. SOX tends to be more descriptive rather than prescriptive, i.e. more about what good practice looks like as opposed to saying how to do things. If you got that off Adobe then I perhaps we should worry, if on the other hand it’s simply some lay persons opinion – as is this posting – then I would treat it with scepticism.

            To be honest I would think that the demi SaaS model [software as a Service] aka Subscription Model is more controlled by SOX than perpetual
            license, but hey that’s my reading of it – this was only added for clarity.

          • The information came both from within Adobe and from a couple of independent accountants who works with SOX-affected companies. The basic idea, as I understand it, is it requires that accounting for a product is made when it’s “finished and delivered”. If they then add a ‘new’ feature outside of the accounting quarter, payment for that feature needs to be accounted for at that point. There was an Apple case a few years ago regarding 802.11N wifi software that I seem to remember was related. As I say though, I’m no expert and it’s a couple of years ago that we were discussing it.

            And at the end of the day, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference, as subscription is what Adobe are offering, and we choose whether to buy or not to buy. I’m just pleased they’ve continued to offer Lightroom without subscription!

          • Class A says:

            I had a look at SOX as well and agree with Unklejon. Seems Adobe is hiding behind paragraphs.

            BTW, it does make a difference to me whether a company is honest about their business needs as opposed to presenting dishonest excuses. How would it be possible to add features to an X.1 release but not to higher minor releases? Surely SOX does not make an exceptions for X.1 releases.

            In any event, good deal or not, anything subscription-based is non-existing AFAIC.

            Good deals can get worse and I’d like to decide for myself whether to upgrade or not. They may have added a ton of features to PS CC but I’m not missing one of them (working with CS6).

            Good luck to everyone on a subscription who finds their work has become inaccessible once they are no longer willing or able to continually and indefinitely sponsor Adobe.

          • I agree, whether a company is honest about their business needs as opposed to presenting dishonest excuses makes a difference to me too. But note that Adobe hasn’t presented SOX as a reason for the CC change publicly as far as I know. I simply answered the question on the basis of the information I have.

            Adobe have simply said that this is what they’re offering, and we can each choose to take it or leave it. Now it’s up to them to prove to us that they’re offering something worth paying for.

            As far as inaccessible work goes, you’ll have to hold that thought, because I can’t share any information on that at the moment.

        • By the way, when I said “it’s possible that some new features in future versions may be limited to subscribers”, I meant those that require cloud access. For example, a logical progression from the mobile cloud sync would be computer-to-computer cloud sync, which they would likely use the CC cloud for (and no, I don’t have any inside information on that).

  5. Just started using Lightroom mobile on the iPhone. Like the app but the download speed onto the iPhone is so slow from Adobe’s servers. Upload speeds are not great from the desktop version but I can almost live with that. With Broadband download speeds in general being so much faster than upload speeds it makes little sense that the smart files take so long to download. Much slower than say a Dropbox file takes to download onto the same device or even a large app for that matter. It is something Adobe need to address asap to make this a viable app. Cannot understand how this did not show up on a beta test. Maybe there should have been a much larger beta test period like there is on the Lightroom program open to many more users before going to version 1.0.

    • The iOS beta testing options are much more limited than they are for desktop apps. But yes, there’s definitely some tuning to be done. PTP sync would be a great option, although technically difficult.

      • Well this is interesting. I am 465 downloading for offline editing. After 4.5 hours just over 200 downloaded. I have left the app alone doing its own thing. I just went into one of the other collections just to view some images. I have not downloaded any of these files yet for offline editing. As I flip from image to image and go to 100% view those are downloading much faster than the other 465 images. Maybe 1 to 2 seconds each. Now that is very odd.

  6. ziplock9000 says:

    I’m another professional photographer that uses Android devices. There is no logic not to have a version from such a massive platform


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