Photos Mac iPhone iPad teaser 001

Last fall, iOS 8 brought us App Extensions.

App Extensions have given developers the means to extend Apple’s mobile operating system by infusing their app’s functionality into the Notification Center’s Today view, Share sheet options and actions, keyboards, cloud storage services and Photos.

App Extensions have been universally acclaimed and a lot ink has been spilled in writing about custom keyboards in iOS 8. As an iPhone photography fan, I was way more excited about App Extensions within the context of  Photos for iOS.

There was just one problem: OS X Yosemite doesn’t support App Extensions in Photos for Mac. Thankfully, newly announced OS X 10.11 El Capitan saw to that, meaning now developers of photo-editing apps can provide their own filters and editing tools in Photos for Mac.

The confirmation came via the official OS X El Capitan beta webpage on Apple’s website.

“Create app extensions that give users access to your custom filters and editing tools directly from within the Photos app on Mac,” reads the webpage.

Additionally, Apple’s press release confirms that users will be able to download these third-party editing extensions from the Mac App Store and access them directly within the Photos app.

This is very exciting news.

By giving users the option to access custom filters and editing tools directly from within the Photos app on iPhone and iPad—and now within Photos for Mac, too—avid photographers who use iCloud Photo Library to sync media across devices will be at last able to manage and edit their photos more consistently.

As an example, Camera+ is my go-to iPhone photography app. It offers a great extension with tons of filters and editing tools within the Photos app. The problem is, these tools are unavailable in Photos for Mac

With the latest OS X 10.11 software development kit, makers of apps like Camera+ can provide photo-editing extensions across Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms.

This will pose a tremendous opportunity for app makers that offer both iOS and OS X versions of their apps. A typical example would be Pixelmator, a powerful Photoshop alternative available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Pixelmator for iOS already offers an extension for the Photos app on the iPhone and iPad. With the official El Capitan software development kit, Pixelmator developers are now free to create a Mac version of the extension, potential creating a totally consistent image-editing experience across both iOS and OS X—again, right within the context of the Photos app.

Speaking of Photos, Apple has said that Photos for El Capitan will enabled users to add locations to a single image or an entire Moment, and sort albums by date or title.

Are you excited about custom extensions for Photos for Mac?

Source: Apple

  • edouardbirman

    hey guys, if you want to try iOS 9 and get your UDID registered,contact me at .

  • ✯Mike✯

    iDownloadblog, how can i send in my findings in El Capitan? I’ve got quite a few changes to report

    • willo

      Anything new on Photos? Let us know 😉

  • TV53

    Yes, editing extensions will be huge for Photos. The most important aspect is that it will allow for complete non-destructive editing chain across the cloud and all devices. Depending on which companies offer tools, Photos could someday be a replacement for Aperture. Now if they would just give us the ability to change background colors I might start using Photos.

    • sonny500

      none of it exists yet. what this post report is a marketing move that Apple took. there is not app extension support for OS X Photos app yet.

  • sonny500

    I have both 10.11 and Xcode BETA 7, still not trace of Photos extension support for images editing at all.

    • TV53

      That’s a bummer to hear, but they’re on the hook now that marketing announced. I hope some of the editing software companies might have early access although this could be an interesting opportunity for a skilled developer to break into the market.

  • cmh716

    Alex, Looks good. I just bought 4 macphun apps because of extension support. What happens to the original photo after it’s been edited? Does it get hidden or is a copy made?

    • Alex @ Macphun Software

      Hey there, our support team will be the best to answer that question, check with them: There may be options, but when I edit my photos, it simply changes the original photo (I believe this can be changed somewhere in Photos settings – I haven’t been able to discover that)

  • radoslavak

    Edit Photo does not work at all, all tools are unavailable 🙁

  • Wilson Laidlaw

    I will only get excited when Adobe releases an App Extension so that I can use Photoshop PS-CS 2015 as an editor in Photos. At some point iPhotos, which I use as an image library, will stop working. This, unless I can use an external editor in Photos, means I will have to find a new library program. Maybe I will have go back to Bridge but Adobe seem to have stopped updating that. I have Phase One’s Capture One, which I use as my RAW developer, that has a cataloguing feature but unlike the RAW developer part of the program, it is not very user friendly.