I think it is by design and possibly a recent change. You can delete originals from camera roll on your phone to free up disk space but they will remain in the LR desktop application. Similarly you can stop sync on a collection in LR desktop and photos remain in the cloud unless you go to the Catalog tab and delete from “All Syncd Photos”
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I believe it is working as expected. Since it is tied to both a computer program, Lightroom, and a Mobile App, Lightroom Mobile, both those programs/apps must be open and images specifically synced between them.
With the other Cloud based system you refer to they have there own way of working. They would work the same for any file place into a specific folder on either system or specifically linked to on either system. The Apps that control that are always "ON", Running, on all devices.
As for deleting on one not showing as deleted or really deleted on the other I think that is by design also. Say you linked some very important images on your desktop/notebook install of Lightroom and then accidentally deleted them on your phone or pad or something happened to your phone or pad to cause those image to no long exist on your phone or pad. Would you want Lightroom on your desktop/notebook to automatically delete all those images? I think not.
I'm not that familiar with LR Mobile for the simple fact as when it first started I tried it and didn't care for it. I didn't see a need to use it.
I've only started using it to become more familiar with it and how it works recently.
Photos will sync immediately if you set up camera roll for automatic sync and have a data connection. You can always check what is in the cloud by logging-in to your space at LR Mobile for Web:
My understanding, and someone please correct me if it is wrong, is the it is a matter of what is actually sync'd. If you have a RAW file on your desktop, the only thing that is sent to the cloud, or to your iPhone or iPad, is a "smart preview", or a "full resolution" preview (somewhat larger) if you request it, but not the raw file itself. Conversely, if you take, or copy, a raw photo on your phone, then the raw file is sent to the cloud, then to the desktop, but not to the iPad (only the smart preview). On Lr Web, the raw files just pass thru, the editable smart previews stay.
On your phone, once things are sync'd, you can delete the raw from the camera roll, but but your collection remains, and you have full editing capabilities. You can then delete the originals from the camera roll, but I would be VERY sure that everything is on the desktop before you do so.
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You got it.
- Desktop to mobile devices – smart previews are sent.
- Devices to desktop – originals are sent.