C2 Enterprises has improved the performance and abilities of Photosmith, its iPad app for screening, cataloging, and rating photos before they're handed off to Adobe Systems' Lightroom.
Photosmith 3 is a complete overhaul, developers said in a blog post: "Much of the core of the app has been rewritten or updated to provide more stability. Key areas have been optimized for speed." The software arrived on the App Store on Wednesday.
Version 3's reworked import process is much more flexible, they promised. Instead of storing photos in the iPad's camera roll, Photosmith 3 can store photos in its own catalog, and it can now import them from Eye-Fi wireless SD cards, FTP servers, and other sources.
And synchronizing photos with Lightroom, which requires installation of a plug-in for the photo editing and cataloging software and a Wi-Fi connection, is faster. "Just transferred 249 photos from @Lightroom to @photosmithapp 3 over WiFi. Took almost 30 mins. Used to take 4 hours & many restarts. w00t!" tweeted photographer Matt Vanecek with glee.
Other changes include support for images up to 12,000x12,000 pixels, the ability to delete photos from within the app, and faster launch.
The software steps squarely into the middle of the debate about whether tablets are good for creating content or just consuming it. Photosmith only helps out Lightroom and is more about cataloging than editing, but it's for managing photos, not merely gazing at them.
The app costs $20, but the upgrade is free for existing users.
The new version took longer to build than expected.
"What was supposed to be a three-month update ended up being an eight-month complete overhaul," the developers said. "We knew what had to be done, but didn't know the full extent of what that would entail. Version 2 of Photosmith was built on a foundation that just couldn't support the stability and flexibility that serious photographers need, and it suffered a number of issues because of that. And while we could work around some of these issues, making some major changes was unavoidable."
Adobe has worked on Photoshop for iPads, but so far hasn't had anything to offer in the way of Lightroom abilities. That's changing now, though: Adobe has shown a Lightroom-style photo editing prototype work on an iPad using an app that synchronizes to a photographer's main Lightroom catalog.