Lightroom on Android got a major update which adds support for Ultra HDR image editing.
The mobile version of the editing software added support for the image format with the latest Google OS Android 14, and it could upend phone photography. The change allows users to make edits of photos taken on Android devices right from their phones and Ultra HDR allows for a wider range of dark and light tones.
“Photos optimized for HDR displays have brighter highlights and more detailed shadows, resulting in an increased sense of realism and more significant impact,” Adobe’s release announcing the update explains.
To access the Ultra HDR editing, users can go to the “Edit” panel, from there to the “Light” tool, then toggle “Edit in HDR Mode” from there.
However, users don’t just need the software to see the full impact of their edits. Without a display capable of showing Ultra HDR images, the Lightroom update is just shy of moot. Flagship devices like the Pixel 8 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro will work, but as The Verge points out, not many phones have the display chops yet. Of note, the Pixel 8 doesn’t seem to have the Lightroom support at the moment. The Lightroom update does, however, work with the Pixel 7 devices. That said, it’s still possible to take HDR photos and make edits, even without the better display. Users just won’t see the wider range without moving to a device capable of displaying those changes.
Anything that goes of range for the display on which a user is editing an image will show up in a red highlight on the histogram. So it’ll be clear exactly how much of a picture’s Ultra HDR edits move beyond what’s visible.
Still, it’s nice seeing editing apps like Lightroom get substantial updates. Such changes are proof positive of a future where users can access impressive editing software on the go. The images will also be backward-compatible with standard dynamic range, The Verge reports, so there’s little downside to taking advantage of the Ultra HDR editing capabilities. Further, users can toggle between the Ultra HDR look and SDR so they can see how the images will look across displays.
Image credits: Adobe