News: Lightroom 4 Is On the Mac Store

Adobe’s Lightroom Product Manager, Tom Hogarty, announced that Lightroom is now available on the Apple Mac Store (for North America only). I think overall it’s a good move for Lightroom. For new Lightroom users out there who are on the Mac store and may never have otherwise heard of Lightroom, this is just another way to get it into their hands. However, there area few, caveats, shall we say 🙂

1) It’s for Mac only (duh!). This probably doesn’t seem bad if you only own Macs. However, I can tell you from being on the road teaching Lightroom over the last few weeks, there’s LOTS of people out there that have both a Windows and Mac machine. The boxed version and download version of Lightroom can be installed on both Mac and PC.

2) Updates will take place through the Mac store. From personal experience of being the managing editor of a digital magazine (Light It magazine) that’s delivered through the Mac App Store, that (sometimes) approvals can be a pain in the neck. So, when Adobe feels an update is ready they’ll release it. That doesn’t mean it’ll be immediately available on the App store though, as it may take a few days.

3) There’s no upgrade pricing. So basically, if you have LR1, 2 or 3, you can can’t get the upgrade price to 4 (only $79) on the App store. Instead, you’ll pay $149. And there’s no guarantee that when 5 comes out, and you bought LR4 on the App store, that you’d be able to upgrade as well.

My Take: I kinda wonder if I’m alone in doing what I do. But, I have a Mac and when I see software I want to buy that’s on the App store, the first thing I do is go to the software makers website to see if I can buy it direct from them. For me at least, I prefer to buy a copy of the software straight from them. I may be crazy, paranoid, whatever… but that’s just the way I do it. That said, if I can’t buy it directly from the developer, then I have no problem buying something through the App store. It’s just not my first choice. And remember, Adobe’s just trying to create another channel for which to buy Lightroom (if you owned a product you’d make sure you’d get it out there in as many stores as you could right?). They can’t control the App store policies when it comes to upgrades and updates. Anyway, just thought I’d let you guys know what the deal is. Hope you have a great weekend.



  1. David 23 May, 2012 at 12:29 Reply

    Buying direct from the publishers makes them more money too. Apple takes 30% of all sales right off the top. There are some publishers that make pennys, if that on some of their applications on the iOS and app store. That said, my new air “came” with garageband, iPhoto, iMovie from the app store. It was nice to have it register to my apple id so I wouldn’t have to find my old media to install from.

  2. John Meade 18 May, 2012 at 08:12 Reply

    Let me ask the obvious question: Are you going to redo the presets you’ve done for Lightroom 3 for Lightroom 4 and make them available? I could certainly attempt to recreate each preset, but it would not come close to your original intent.

    Thank you,

  3. Sugel 16 May, 2012 at 18:57 Reply

    Another, smaller, concern is that updates will come slower than for those of use with the non-app store versions, simply because of Apple’s approval process.

  4. Arne 16 May, 2012 at 13:54 Reply

    For me it depends a lot on the price. I buy cheap tools for a few Euros on the app store, if they are available. More expensive software I prefer to buy directly, because of the unclear method of providing major upgrades via the app store and because sometimes there are beta versions, critical updates or other versions which either never get to the app store or come with a delay.

  5. Johann 13 May, 2012 at 00:02 Reply

    Adobe has deals where the software is less expensive. Right now through different retailers I could have gotten LR4 for rough $114.
    I wouldn’t have bought it from the App store.

  6. Tim Waite 11 May, 2012 at 09:07 Reply

    When it comes to Adobe products, I buy from the Adobe store, exclusively, even if it costs me more. I like that they keep all of my serial numbers online, and I can download and reinstall my software, if I have to, without digging for serial numbers and disks. A few bucks is worth the convenience and piece of mind.

  7. Dennis Zito 11 May, 2012 at 08:22 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I agree with you! I’m one of those that has both a Mac and PC. I purchase all my major programs from the software developer. Adobe was really cool about sending me a copy of CS5 for Mac when my PC had a major crash. All I had to do was pay the shipping. If I had bought it from some place else, I would have had to pay full upgrade price because Photoshop is not considered Cross Platform.

    Thanks for the heads up!


  8. Bruce Smith 11 May, 2012 at 08:21 Reply

    When you buy LR4 from the app store, do you get version 4.0, or the latest RC version (4.1RC2) ? I would hate to have to wait for 4.1-final to get the bug fixes in the RC versions.

    Also, can you install the LR4-app on multiple computers and only buy it once? My understanding is the LR license allows for two installations (laptop & desktop) as long as both aren’t being used at the same time.

    And yes, I’m like you. I only use the app store when I can’t buy the software the old fashioned way, from the manufacturer or resellers. Except for free apps. 🙂

  9. Jeremy 11 May, 2012 at 02:02 Reply

    4) It’s not available outside North America.

    So Adobe continue to treat the rest of the world like second class citizens. One astute observer has pointed out that pricing in the Mac App Store is the same across all countries. So it would appear Adobe have decided not to use the App Store because they can’t add their usual 50% overseas levy.

    I am happy it’s in the App Store. I am not happy I can’t get it in the App Store.

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