How to Use 3rd-Party Photo-Editing Apps within the iPhone Photos App

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

One of my very favorite iPhone features is a simple one, the camera! It's convenient and fun to have a camera in my pocket all the time, and to be able edit my photos right on my iPhone for the best results. Recently I learned that it's possible to use compatible third-party camera and photo-editing apps as an extension, right from my Photos app. And while many of the best photo-editing apps cost money, there are lots of free photo-editor apps with Photos extensions to choose from as well. Let's get started learning how to enable a third-part photo-editor app extension, so you can have as much fun with iPhone photography as I am. 

Related: The Ultimate App for Dog Photos: BarkCam 

To get started, you'll need to choose a photo-editing app that has a Photos app extension and download it, if you haven't already. You should be able to find apps with this extension by searching for Photos extensions in the App Store app. For this tip, I decided to download Art filters +, which is free to download but offers packs of filters for a few dollars each.

Now comes the fun part! Open a photo you'd like to edit from your Photos app or take a new photo with your Camera and start editing it there. For this tip, I'll demonstrate how to enable an extension while editing a picture already in my Photos app.

How to Enable a 3rd-Party App Extension in the Photos App:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Now open the photo you'd like to work with and tap Edit.

    photos app with the edit button highlightedphotos app edit photo screen with the more option highlighted
  3. Tap on the three dots in the bottom menu bar.
  4. Tap More.

    photos app-extensions screen with more options highlightedphotos app extensions list with an extensions on-off toggle highlighted
  5. If your app has a Photos extension it will appear in a list on this screen.
  6. Toggle your app on to enable its extension.
  7. Tap Done.

    app-extensions screen with the new extension highlighted

Now your photo-editing app is enabled as an extension to your Photos and Camera apps, and you can use it from either app to edit your photos!

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.