This should come as no surprise: Adobe is working on a “Lightroom for iPad” app. What is unexpected is that a very early version exists enough to demonstrate the concept, which is exactly what Tom Hogarty did on Scott Kelby’s The Grid program. Cnet reports:
Adobe Systems plans to release high-end photo-editing software for tablets. The new app would be a close relative to Adobe’s Lightroom software for PCs and serve as a cloud-connected companion to the program.
Tom Hogarty, Adobe’s group product manager for Lightroom, demonstrated an early prototype version of the app Wednesday on the Grid, an online show from Photoshop guru Scott Kelby.
Adobe has done a good job with PC-centric photography software, but the company needs to better incorporate Internet connectivity and mobile devices into photography workflow, Hogarty said.
The article cites Photosmith and its ability to apply metadata and then sync it with Lightroom, but also touts the Adobe app’s capability to edit raw files. I’m impressed that the demo was done on an iPad 2, which includes just 512 MB of active memory. The third- and fourth-generation iPads contain 1 GB of memory, but still, apps that work with raw formats such as PiRAWhna are slow because the memory and processing demands are so high to work with raw files.f
It’s definitely an engineering hurdle, but with tablets gaining in popularity and PCs dropping, Adobe needs to plant a flag and embrace the future. I would be surprised if Apple isn’t working on an Aperture for iPad, or some utility that syncs with Aperture; more likely, that app will be an expanded iPhoto.