Apple’s Freeform Is a Digital Whiteboard for Total Focus

If you’ve been utilizing iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS Ventura, you’ve in all probability seen that Apple needs you to collaborate on every little thing together with your family and friends. You can now have a number of folks wanting on the similar actual tab as you on Safari, share photograph albums by way of iCloud, in addition to tasks in productiveness apps like Keynote and Numbers. Adding to the rising listing of collaboration instruments is Freeform, Apple’s brand-new digital whiteboard app.

You can entry this digital whiteboard in your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. What begins as a clean canvas can shortly flip into a storyboard for a movie mission, an inspiration board for a wedding ceremony, an itinerary for an upcoming trip, or an inside design board for a new house. You can draw sketches, add objects, and import information or net hyperlinks; maintain all of it to your self or share them with fellow Apple customers. It’s saved in iCloud, so any modifications you make sync throughout all of your units in actual time.

Freeform isn’t the primary of its type—there are a variety of whiteboard apps on the market—however it’s one of many few (if not the one one) that solely works with Apple units; there’s no cross-platform help. It’s free to make use of, and whereas its options aren’t revolutionary, it’s a doubtlessly helpful instrument for anybody with an Apple gadget. 

How Does Freeform Work?

Photograph: Apple

To entry Freeform, you’ll must be sure to’re operating the newest model of your respective working system: iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1. On your iPad and iPhone, you’ll need to go to Settings > General > Software Update, the place it’s best to see the choice to obtain the brand new variations. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update > Update Now (or Upgrade Now). The Freeform app will robotically seem in your system after the replace is full.

When you begin a board, you’re greeted with a clean canvas. Apple refers to it as “flexible,” which implies you may tweak the dimensions of the board everytime you need—as far out as 10 p.c and as shut up as 400 p.c. This makes it straightforward to see every little thing from a chook’s-eye view the bigger your board turns into. I like that you simply don’t must faucet by or scroll a number of pages; it’s extra pure.

At the highest of every board are 5 instruments. There’s Markup, for entry to numerous writing instruments like pen, pencil, or marker; the self-explanatory sticky notes instrument; and the shapes instrument, which helps you to add a number of shapes starting from a circle to animals, meals, and crops. You additionally get a textual content field icon to kind out textual content as a substitute of scribbling it, and a media instrument to simply import content material out of your photograph albums or the Files app (or scan paperwork and insert net hyperlinks).

The strategy of sharing boards for collaboration ought to be easy. Technically, all it’s important to do is faucet on the Share button inside Freeform and ship an invite by Apple’s Messages app or by way of electronic mail. If you ship the hyperlink to a group chat, everybody inside that chat will probably be added to the board robotically. You’ll be capable of see who’s at present working throughout the board in real-time—with everybody’s respective icons showing wherever they’re on the board, much like collaboration in Google Docs. You may also begin a FaceTime name whereas straight on a shared board.

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