Before you can start exploring the apps themselves, you need to know 3 things:
- How much it costs (if anything).
- What you need to run Lightroom mobile.
- How to get started.
How much does it cost?
The mobile apps are free so anyone can use them. A few advanced features – and of course, the ability to sync to the Lightroom Cloud – require a Creative Cloud subscription.
The Creative Cloud Photography Plan costs just $9.99 USD a month (plus your local sales taxes). It’s paid monthly, but you’ll need to subscribe for at least a year. For this low cost, you get:
- The latest version of Lightroom.
- The latest version of Photoshop CC.
- Lightroom Sync space in the cloud.
- An additional 2GB of Creative Cloud storage space.
There is a free trial available, and when you’re ready to sign up, visit the Photography Plan page to learn more.*
To use Lightroom mobile, you’ll need a phone or tablet with these minimum specifications:
- iOS 9 and later.
- iPads – iPad Pro, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini.
- iPhones – 4s, 5, 5s, 5c, 6, 6S, 6 Plus, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus.
- iPods – iPod Touch 5th Generation.
- DNG and HDR capture require 12MP camera and iOS 10 or later.
- Minimal storage space is needed for the previews synced from the cloud, but you’ll need more space if you want to use the device for original raw files or offline caches.
- Android OS 4.1.x or later.
- Quad Core CPU with 1.5 GHz (2.2 GHz or higher recommended) and ARMv7 architecture.
- 1 GB RAM (at least 2GB recommended).
- 8 GB internal storage (more recommended), but can also use expansion storage space.
- DNG capture only available on Android OS 5.0 and later on some phones, due to manufacturer restrictions.
- HDR capture only available on a few devices incl. Samsung S7, Samsung S7 Edge, Google Pixel, and Google Pixel XL.
Of course, the mobile apps perform better on more recent / higher specification hardware.
If you’re going to sync your photos back to Lightroom on your computer, the desktop system requirements are quite simple. For full compatibility, you need to be running the latest release of Lightroom CC. Click here to view the desktop minimum specification for the desktop apps.
Do I need internet access?
If you’re going to sync to the cloud, you do need access to a reasonably fast (preferably unmetered) web connection, especially if you’re uploading original photos and videos from your phone or tablet. However, you don’t need a 3G/4G data plan on your mobile device, as Lightroom mobile can cache files to work in offline mode until you next have Wi-Fi access, whether at home or at the office.
How do I get started?
To get started on a mobile device, you’ll need the app.
- Download the mobile app from the Apple App Store (iOS) or on Google Play (Android). Here are the direct links:
- Once the installation completes, return to your Home screen and tap on the app icon to open Lightroom. You need to be connected to the internet while setting it up.
- The first time you open Lightroom, you’ll see the intro screen. Tap Get Started to enter the free version.
- To sync your photos using a subscription or trial, tap the Lightroom icon or cloud icon in the top left corner and log in using your Adobe ID. If you’ve already enabled Sync on the desktop or another mobile device, and you’ve synced some photos to the cloud, Lightroom immediately begins downloading these photos.
In next week’s post, we’ll get an overview of how the mobile app works, and then in the following posts, we’ll start capturing and adding new photos.
If you’re keen to get started in the meantime, you can download the full set of infographics right now. They’re yours to download absolutely FREE when you sign up for my monthly Lightroom newsletter using the form below. (Don’t worry, I won’t share your email address with anyone else. You can read previous issues of the newsletter here.)
* If you use the direct links on this page to sign up for a Photography Plan, I receive a small percentage of your first payment at no cost to you, which helps support this site. Thank you for your support!