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(Pocket-lint) - Adobe has updated its Lightroom photo-editing program for the first time in nearly two years.

Lightroom 6 has therefore replaced Lightroom 5, and a version of the new standalone software has been included within the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription package (but is called Lightroom CC). The new Lightroom brings a number of features that affect the program's look, performance, and speed, meaning you'll likely notice new tools and an overall improvement in power.

Lightroom now takes advantage of compatible graphics processors in order to boost its overall speed up to 10 times faster, so you should notice the program working a lot smoother when, for instance, importing a large batch of images into your catalogue. Apart from this performance boost, Pocket-lint has taken a closer look at the major upgrades in an attempt to help you discover the new Lightroom.

This latest release is primarily for Lightroom on desktop, though Adobe has also updated its Lightroom software for mobile devices. Here’s a brief description of some of the features and changes, all of which are available now:

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Adobe6 things the new adobe lightroom photo editing software can do image 2

Lightroom CC

HDR Merge

Although the ability to snap high dynamic range images has been mainstream for years, thanks to smartphone makers including the feature in their mobile software, Adobe has only now added a HDR Merge tool to Lightroom that will allow you to create "natural-looking or surreal images from extremely high-contrast scenes". The tool combines multiple shots with different exposure settings into a single HDR image.

Panorama Merge

Much like high dynamic range images, panoramas have been around for a few years. When Apple released iOS 6 in 2012, for instance, it also unleashed a feature that allowed iPhone users to easily capture high quality, panoramic images with the Camera app. Adobe is now giving Lightroom users the same opportunity; they can stitch together multiple images, including raw files, to create panorama shots.

Facial Recognition

The ability to easily find and organise photos of family and friends through facial recognition software has also been available to consumers worldwide for quite some time, but Lightroom CC is catching up to the competition by just now adding the feature. Facial recognition is more than a cool trick; it actually comes in handy when you have tonnes of photos and want to auto-sort them accurately but quickly.

Advanced video slideshows

The new version of Lightroom now lets you combine still images, video, and music in order to create what Adobe has described as "advanced" video slideshows. You can even add professional effects to your slideshow, such as pan and zoom. The idea is that the new Lightroom will not only allow you to edit and sort all your photos in one place but also control how some photos are presented to others.

Improved web galleries

Along the same vein as advanced video slideshows, Adobe has improved web galleries so that you can showcase your work in "more elegant, engaging and interactive" ways. The new gallery templates are HTML5-compatible are should work in a wide range of browsers.

Filter brush

And finally, Adobe has included finer control over specific filter tools. You can now use a brush in order to edit the Graduated or Radial filter's mask. You can therefore add or subtract either filter's effect and subsequently control which parts of your image are affected.

Lightroom on mobile

As we mentioned earlier, Adobe also updated Lightroom on mobile, giving it support to work on Android tablets. Adobe has included native DNH support on Android too, meaning Lollipop will allow you to shoot photos in raw, then save them as DNG files, and import them from your device.

You can also specify local storage to an SD card in your Android device rather than internal device storage, according to Adobe. Apart from Lightroom for Android, Adobe has also improved the crop experience in Lightroom for iOS.

Want to know more?

The last thing you should know about Lightroom is that the Lightroom CC update now allows for easy integration with other Adobe apps like Adobe Voice and Slate on your iPad. You can learn more about this change, as well as every feature listed above, via Adobe's blog post.

We've also embedded videos from Adobe, below, which explain some of the new stuff, but keep in mind all these upgrades are available now and available as part of the CC Photography plan for $9.99 a month.

HDR Merge

Panorama Merge

Facial Recognition

Advanced video slideshows

Writing by Elyse Betters.