With iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS 13.1, Apple introduced the Freeform app, which is licensed for creativity, sharing ideas, and collaborating with other people in general. This virtual whiteboard can be used for anything.
Precisely, to know the possibilities, here are the interesting features of the Freeform application.
How it works Freeform
Here is how Apple presents its new application available since beta 1 of iOS 16.2:
Freeform is a great place to bring your ideas to life. Sketch a project, design a mood board, or kick off a brainstorming session on a flexible canvas that supports almost any file type. And thanks to iCloud, all your boards stay in sync, whether you’re on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone.
As you will have understood, it is therefore an application that combines note taking, drawings, images, documents and more.
Images, scans and documents
The Freeform application supports all types of documents. You can add photos and videos directly from your Photo Roll in the Photos app, or take a photo with your iPhone or iPad.
Photos and videos you add to your project can be resized with drag-and-drop gestures, cropped, viewed in full, and layered over other images and shapes.
You can scan documents using the iPhone or iPad camera, in color or black and white, add various documents from iCloud Drive or add any link from Safari. Links and files display in small, card-like tiles and can also be rearranged on the canvas with drag-and-drop gestures and overlaid with shapes, images and other files for a visual preview of documents that you added.
Of course, there is a tool that allows any text to be inserted into the Freeform canvas. Text can be as short or as long as you want, and all the standard formatting options are available to change font, color, size, and alignment, as well as add styles like bold and the underline.
There are hundreds of pre-designed “clip art” shapes that are available in Freeform, across the following categories: Basic, Geometry, Objects, Animals, Food, Nature, Symbols, Education, Arts, Science, People, Places, Activities, Transport, Work and Ornaments.
You can stack multiple shapes on top of each other by overlapping them, change their color, draw on top of them, resize them with drag-and-drop gestures, separate constituent elements and manipulate the drawing, add various borders, group them, adjust the opacity, etc.
With the Freeform app, you can add digital post-its, or Stickies as Apple calls them. Stickies are the same elements as the Stickies application available on Mac. You can change the color of the Stickies, implementing one of seven colors, and add text.
On an iPad, you can use an Apple Pencil to write directly on one of the Stickies, but if you’re using typed text, you also have various formatting options, like bold, bulleted lists, different font sizes , etc.
Freeform has the same set of drawing tools you might be familiar with from the Photos app’s annotation feature. You can draw with one finger on the iPhone, or on the iPad, with an Apple Pencil. You have the choice between pens, markers and pencils, whose opacity, color and line thickness are adjustable.
You can also access an eraser, a selection tool for targeted selections of elements on your canvas, and a lasso fill tool that fills in the lines you draw.
Freeform supports a wide range of colors. You can pick a single color from a grid, pick a color from a spectrum interface, use sliders, or manually enter hex codes for a specific shade. Favorite colors can be saved at the bottom of the interface, and opacity can be adjusted for any color.
An eyedropper tool is available to pick up any color already present on the canvas.
Any object in a Freeform document can be quickly rearranged and resized with drag-and-drop gestures. Tapping provides an interface that allows you to send an object backwards or forwards for layering purposes, but there are no real couches to work with.
Objects can be locked in place, duplicated, and their aspect ratios can be constrained or unconstrained, which is useful if you want to change one dimension but not another.
Freeform boards can be saved as a PDF document or printed, and they can also be saved to apps like Files and Dropbox. You can also email, text, or share links to boards with others.
You can of course have multiple Freeform tables, which can be displayed as icons or as a list, and sorted in different ways, such as by name or date. Groups are available to organize a large number of boards, and there are also separate sections for Recents, Shared, and Favorites.
Freeform was designed as a collaboration tool, and allows you to share Freeform tables with other iPhone and iPad users. All participants in a Freeform board can work on the same board, adding images, text, links, etc. for group brainstorming sessions.
Changes to Freeform boards are synced in real time for all users, but it should be noted that collaboration has not yet been developed during the beta testing process.
Device availability and compatibility
Apple’s Freeform app is available on iPhone, iPad and Mac. It requires iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2 or macOS Ventura 13.1 to work. This is a standalone app that will not be available on devices that have not updated the operating system to 16.2 currently in beta. The final version is expected by mid-December.
Download the free app free form