One slightly different request that you may see for Lightroom is from hardened iPad fans. We’d (and yes I’m including myself) love to see a ‘Lightroom mini’ app for the iPad. The Photos app on iPad is miserable in terms of organisation. It only sorts by time, making it rather painful to built a sorted gallery. I think the only way to cheat is it to make the EXIF timestamp the same, and then it sorts alphabetically (at least I’ve been led to believe it).
Of course, Lightroom isn’t the only app people are requesting an iPad App version of. Photo Mechanic is popular with press photographers for speed of selection and output options. They have a lot to say about how hard the iPad SDK is to work with for photo import. That rather dampens the spirit when it comes to expecting a Lightroom iPad app also.
Still all is not lost. While still being stuck with Photos to look after the images, there are a wealth of interesting photo apps out there. My current favourite photo app for iPad is Filterstorm. Currently at version 2.1, there’s even more great things planned for version 2.5.
Filterstorm has a wealth of photo develop features in its Adjustment menu, such as Luminance (think Curves), Hue/Sat, B&W, Soft/Sharpen, Blur, Text, Tone Map, Noise Reduction, Vignette (& Vignette removal), color and posterise. These comprise the Filters menu. All of them can be applied with a mask, or applied globally. Of course the beauty is the mask is created with your finger, and can be a brush, gradient, colour selection or gradient. You can also erase the mask you create. It’s wonderful to use as you’re working directly on the image itself.
As well as the images tools, there’s also a set of Canvas tools, allowing you to Crop, Scale, Rotate, Straighten and Flip the Canvas.
The final section in the Adjustments menu is Metadata. Using this allows you to add extensive metadata to the image which will be exported from Filterstorm.
The main toolbar lets you load an image from the Photo Library, or paste it instead. Pasting allows you to work on a larger file. To get the images out, you can do a Quick Save to an 1800px long edge photo, or use Export large to create a 3072px image. Export locations included saving to the Saved Photos folder, Save to Saved Photos and email and finally, Save to Photos and post to FTP. In settings you can define 3 FTP servers to choose from.
Other options in the toolbar include Clone, Automation (saving a bunch of steps into a kind of preset) and History. History gives visual clues as to what you’ve done. Finally theres the open/close triangle for the Adjustments menu.
Version 2.5 will bring iPhone support, HUDs and HDR tools, making this an absolute bargain for $3.99. Imagine getting a desktop app that does all of this for only $3.99!
I will mention that because the saved files go into Saved Photos, it means that Lightroom will open when you attached the iPad, and your processed files can be imported and managed in Lightroom.
Update: Filterstorm developer Tai Shimizu has mentioned on Twitter that he’s working on a Pro version that’ll make me get rid of the ‘Not quite’ bit of my title!