How to Use 3rd-Party Photo-Editing Apps without Leaving 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 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

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 Flare.

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.

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

photo appsfree photo editor

  • Tap on the three dots in the bottom menu bar.
  • Tap More.

editing appsbest free photo editor

  • If your app has a Photos extension it will appear in a list on this screen.
  • Toggle your app on to enable its extension.
  • Tap Done.

pic editing appfree photo editing apps

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!

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.