Remember Photosmith? Yes, it’s the excellent iPad app that hooks up to your Mac’s Lightroom collection and lets you rate, reject, tag and manage your photo library from the comfort of your couch. That’s the promise, anyway. In practice, it crashes far too often, and it is confuddling (confusing and befuddling) as hell to use.
Ever since v3, though, Photosmith has been a lot easier to use. And now in v3.1, the LR sync part has also been improved, with a whole new sync dashboard. Oh, and the app also adds support for RAW photos.
Photosmith is an app that pulls in small preview versions of your photos from a chosen Lightroom collection and lets you run through them, rating them, changing metadata and so on. These changes are then synced back to LR. The idea is that you can do all the boring work on your iPad (where it’s actually fun) and then do the actual photo editing at the computer.
Previously on Photosmith, you had to mess around creating collections on your Mac and then initiate the sync from your computer every time you wanted to sync. Or maybe you didn’t… I have tried every version of the app and usually deleted it from my iPad soon after thanks to confusion and/or unreliability.
The new version lets you control all this from the iPad itself. All you need to do is make the initial setup on your Mac to get things started. You can sync multiple collections at once, and see the up-to-date status of everything in a new dashboard view.
Stability has been improved too, with a new LR plugin which works in a different way. You’ll have to re-jig your publish collections when you install it, but if it fixes the crashes then it’ll be totally worth it.
Finally, RAW rendering. You can now choose to use the RAW files from your camera in Photosmith, and it’ll render full-res images from them. A retina mini can process a 38-megapixel NEF file from the Nikon D800 in 15 seconds, for example. If your camera provides its own hi-res JPG previews, then you can keep using those instead and they’ll be a lot faster.
The app is free for existing users, and $20 for noobs. I guess I’ll check it out, even though these days I hardly touch Lightroom anymore thanks to the iPad and Flickr.