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Photosmith iPad app now available  
Monday, April 25, 2011 | by Rob Galbraith
photosmith_icon.jpg
Photosmith, a new app for Apple's iPad that allows sorting, rating, captioning and keywording of pictures on the go, and then later syncing those pictures and metadata to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on a Mac or Windows computer, is now available from the iTunes App Store.

We've had the pleasure of using Photosmith during its beta period and it has already joined our list of must-have photography apps for Apple's tablet. If you use Lightroom and own an iPad, we strongly recommend checking out Photosmith.

Introducing Photosmith

Photosmith is comprised of two parts: an iOS app for the iPad and iPad 2, and a plug-in for Lightroom 3.x. In the field, you import RAW and JPEG pictures from your camera into the iPad using the native Photos app and Camera Connection Kit. Then, fire up Photosmith. It will busy itself reading basic shooting information and generating thumbnails, during which time you can begin going through your pictures. Or, wait until Photosmith has completed its initial processing step, after which the app is more responsive.

In Photosmith you can apply star ratings and color labels to pictures, sort them into collections, enter keywords, captions and other IPTC metadata and view photos at up to full resolution. (Photosmith has the fastest full-resolution viewer of any full-resolution-capable iOS app we've ever tested; it feels especially sprightly on the iPad 2.)

When you return to your computer, Photosmith's iPad to Lightroom Sync plug-in communicates over your Wi-Fi network with Photosmith on the iPad and enables the transfer of pictures - sorted into collections and accompanied by all ratings, keywords and other metadata - directly to Adobe's pro photo management program. Or, if it's going to take too long to transfer the pictures over Wi-Fi - and if you've shot several hundred or more RAW files, it will - they can instead be transferred via USB into Lightroom and then just the metadata is synced wirelessly. Syncing of metadata can be bi-directional: the plug-in will send subsequent metadata changes, made in either Photosmith or in Lightroom, back to the other. 

Completing Photosmith's feature set is the ability to upload photos to Facebook, Flickr and Dropbox. You can also attach photos to an email.

Note : while the syncing of metadata is bi-directional, the photos themselves only go one way, from Photosmith to Lightroom. It's not possible in this release to send photos from Lightroom to Photosmith, though it's a feature being considered for a future version.

Photosmith screenshots

Roll your cursor over the buttons below to navigate through screenshots of Photosmith 1.02.

Photosmith
Processing
New Collection
Drag-and-drop sorting
Collection
Install keywords
Keywords list
View
Filter
View Options
Rate
Zoom
Sync 1
Sync 2
Share
Conclusion

The first iteration of Photosmith is a winner. It manages and preps photos for later transfer into a Lightroom library, exactly as it promises, with an interface that's thoughtfully designed and easy to use. The only limitation of real significance is the app's inability to perform metadata operations on groups of pictures. As of now, metadata is added one picture at a time exclusively.

Photosmith 1.02 for the iPad and iPad 2 is US$17.99 (or equivalent in other currencies) from the iTunes App Store. The companion plug-in for Lightroom 3.0 or later is available for download from the Photosmith website. For a tour of the app, see here. Instructions on using the plug-in are here. The Photosmith support database, which is already populated with a lot of useful information about the app, is here.

Photosmith is the brainchild of Chris Horne and Chris Morse.
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