Importing photos to Lightroom on iOS will soon be less of a pain

Importing photos from a camera to Lightroom on an iPhone or iPad requires two imports — one to the Camera Roll, and one to Lightroom itself. But, with an upcoming update to Lightroom CC, mobile imports will soon be less of a pain. In a sneak peek shared on November 13, Adobe Lightroom product manager Tom Hogarty shared a look at a streamlined import process coming soon to iOS.

Currently, images need to be imported to the Camera Roll before being added to a Lightroom catalog. Besides making the import process twice as long, that extra step also means those files take up valuable data space in two places if you don’t go back into the Camera Roll to delete the imported files. The extra step was one of our chief complaints when we tried adjusting our Lightroom workflow to the iPad Pro earlier this year.

The issue, however, was in part a limitation of the operating system. With iOS 13.2 and an upcoming release of Lightroom CC, users will only have to import photos from an SD card once, without taking up space on the Camera Roll. 

With the update, a pop-up prompts users to import images when a device is detected. Another prompt at the end of the import asks whether or not to delete the images from the memory card. Like when importing images from the Camera Roll, which is still available for photos shot with the iOS device itself, those photos are then stored in the Creative Cloud to access for any device.

Adobe says that customer requests for a more seamless workflow prioritized the update for Lightroom CC.

With a limited version of Photoshop now available for the iPad, the tablet is becoming a tool for more than just casual photo editing. iOS 13 also brought the option to use external storage, correcting another major workflow flaw for photographers, since large photo libraries quickly fill up the space on an iPad and frequent photographers with high-resolution devices can also max out the 20 GB or 1 TB of cloud storage included with the Creative Cloud photography plans.

Adobe says that the streamlined importing for iOS is coming to Lightroom CC before the end of the year. The new import options requires iOS 13.2.