Why don’t Snapseed edits show up in Lightroom & other apps?

[Update: This issue is addressed by the “Export flat” option added in Snapseed 2.0.2.]

TL;DR: If your file-transfer app of choice doesn’t recognize edits made by Snapseed & other iOS8-compliant apps, please ask its developer to update it.

With iOS8 Apple introduced a great system for non-destructive editing: Apps still write out new images, but instead of having those show up separately in one’s Camera Roll, they now show up sitting atop the original images. Under the hood, your iOS device still retains the original pixels & the new pixels, but it stacks them together with the list of edits that turn the original into the output. That way you can always revert to your original pixels, and the editing app can keep its edits flexible (by re-reading the original pixels + list of edits, letting you get back to where you left off).

Supporting this new system requires updating one’s app to use new APIs introduced with iOS 8. Snapseed has of course done this, as have Google Drive, the new Apple Photos, and many other apps. Some apps haven’t yet been updated, however, so they read only the original pixels on the device. Notably, when you connect your iOS device to a Mac & transfer images via Lightroom or Apple’s Image Capture utility, or when you browse your Camera Roll using Dropbox, you’ll transfer only original pixels. This isn’t unique to Snapseed: try making edits in Camera Plus, Camera+, or other iOS 8-savvy apps & you’ll get the same results.

We know that the problem is very frustrating, and people understandably blame Google, but our options for dealing with it are limited. As other apps get updated, the problem will go away. In the meantime, we could add an “Export flat JPEG” command, or something similar, but that’s hardly ideal. Photographers shouldn’t have to think about this stuff, especially if doing so means choosing between non-destructive editing & being able to transfer your work.

So, we’re considering next steps. What would you find most useful?

7 thoughts on “Why don’t Snapseed edits show up in Lightroom & other apps?

  1. The app will sit on the processing action forever, so I don’t care what you have to do, just let me save the damn file.
    Just put a check box option that says “save copy jpeg”, just give people the option.

  2. Are there plans for Picasa (osx) or Google+ Auto Upload on iOS to be updated to support the non-destructive edits?

  3. “Export flat” or anything else that would enable importing images with edits will do it, but please do it soon (even if temporarily).

    Having pictures in phone that you cannot use on a computer is extremely frustrating, every day.

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