Right in time for Android 14, Adobe has added support for Ultra HDR image editing in Lightroom mobile for Android. Google’s newest OS supports the new image format, and it stands to make a big change for the better in how our smartphone photos look. Being able to make edits in Lightroom will let discerning smartphone photographers have plenty of control over the final product — but it’ll be a while before most people can actually see the finished product on their own devices. Viewing an HDR image requires the right display and software that supports the format, which most people don’t have at the moment.
Importantly, Ultra HDR isn’t the bad kind of HDR we’re all tired of. It uses a wider range of light and dark tones to express an image — closer to what we see with our own eyes — and on an HDR display, that comes across as brighter whites rather than the flat grey tones that we often associate with “HDR” photography. Ultra HDR is how Android phones will record and read HDR photos, and the files are standard JPEGs, so they’re backward-compatible with SDR, or standard dynamic range displays. (If you’re looking for a more thorough explanation, Mishaal Rahman at Android Police has a great write-up.)