I'm trying to understand what's the logic behind the storage management.
I uploaded 20GB of photos barely 12h ago.
Now that I wanted to edit them, I'm in shock finding that must of them are not on my device anymore...
and I now have to wait an eternity to download them back again from the Cloud.
The vast majority of photos do not even have a Smart Preview kept, just the thumbnail.
The iPad has more than 350GB left, more than enough to not warrant going into this extreme mode.
How does that make any sense, to remove every pictures barely a few hours after being on the device???
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Have you tried on your ipad going to lightroom settings, cloud storage & sync, and turning off the "only download smart previews" option? I haven't tried that myself but sounds to me that would leave the full images on your ipad.