Using Photos Extensions

A new feature of Photos in El Capitan allows third-party developers to build extensions. These extensions can add more features to the Photos editing tools and other parts of the Photos app. It is early, so only a few extensions exist, but developer will undoubtedly be adding more soon.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using Photos Extensions.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's look at a new feature of El Capitan that allows you to add extensions to the Photos app.

Let's start by running the Photos app. Then we'll choose a picture and then we'll go into Edit. Now to use an extension we look for Extensions here at the bottom. Now I'm going to click it. You see that nothing comes up except a More button because I haven't added any extensions.

The way you add extensions is first you've got to install the app that has the extension. You can do that in the Mac App Store. There are not too many out there right now but I'm sure there will be tons added over the next few months. So if there is a favorite graphics tool that you use you may want to go and check their website or contact their support and see if they've got a Photos extension in the works.

I'm going to hit more and it's going to go to System Preferences. I'm going to go to the Extensions section of System Preferences and under Photos it is going to list any apps that have extensions. In this case I have installed this one app called BeFunky that has an extension. I'm going to enable it.

So now I close System Preferences. When I go back in here and hit Extensions you can see it appears.

Now from this point on every extension is going to be different. So I'm going to choose it right here and it will go into this extension and it will give me a bunch of things over here on the right that I don't normally have in Photos.

So I can go ahead and just hit one of the those buttons like Autofix and apply it and try some of the other things that are there. You can see that this extension here has a lot of different settings for some very specific things. Different extensions may do totally different things. They may not have this kind of interface. It may just actually perform one task or allow you to do a function like export an image or all sorts of different things that extensions will be able to do.

We're just going to have to wait and see what developers do with them hoping that some of the extensions will actually allow you to take the photo and basically edit it externally. Like perhaps Pixelmator or Photoshop will have an extension that brings it into those apps and allows it to come back into Photos in a pretty seamless manner.

So you go into the App Store and you search for Photos extensions. It is not really giving you a complete list or perhaps even a correct list because you are just searching for those keywords but it will bring up mostly apps that have extensions for Photos. So you can see a few different things here like sharing and some functionality and things like that. Hopefully a search here will actually bring up tons of different things in the weeks and months to come.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Using Photos Extensions”

    Marcia Byerly
    4 years ago

    I love your videos as they are always helpful. One thing though, some of your topics are often things that I don’t know anything about and I’m sure others might not either. For instance, I have no idea exactly what “Extensions” are and what they do and mean in this case. Don’t assume your audience knows what everything is and what they are for. Thanks!

      4 years ago

      Extensions, are literally, things that extend the functionality of other things. So a Photos extension is something that extends the functionality of the Photos app.

    Joel Anderson
    4 years ago

    In your defense, Gary, you did explain in the video what a Photo extension is and what it can (could) do. You also emphasized that there are currently very few available to demonstrate, although we should probably see more in the near future.

    4 years ago

    Are we expecting, for example, extensions that will change my hair color, see how all the bridesmaid dresses will look in green instead of purple, or see how you would look with a beard? Change the paint color of my house? This probably all exists as expensive, specialized software… would be quite convenient as extensions.

    Kurt Hanson
    4 years ago

    Affinity Photo has an extension for Photos if anyone has the software. 🖖

    4 years ago

    Hi Gary.
    Thanks for another great video. A question: when I went to More…, the next window returned: Photos not enabled. How does one enable extensions for photos? thanks.

      4 years ago

      That simply means you have no apps that include Photos extensions. Once you add an app that does, you’ll see it there instead.

Comments Closed.