December 13, 2022
Apple launches Freeform: a powerful new app designed for the exchange of ideas and creative collaboration
Freeform for iPhone, iPad, and Mac makes visual collaboration easier than ever
Freeform is a brand new app available starting today, and it’s included in the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Freeform helps users visually organize and layout content on a flexible canvas, giving them the ability to see, share, and collaborate in one place without worrying about layouts or page sizes. Users can add and preview a wide range of files inline without leaving the panel. Freeform is built for collaboration, making it easier than ever to invite others to work together on a board. Users can collaborate with others while on a FaceTime call. Freeform paintings are stored in iCloud, so users can stay in sync across devices.
“Freeform opens up endless possibilities for iPhone, iPad and Mac users for visual collaboration,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With an infinite drawing board, support for uploading a wide range of files, iCloud integration, and collaboration capabilities, Freeform creates a shared space for brainstorming that users can take anywhere.”
A canvas designed for creativity with easy-to-use tools
Freeform is the perfect whiteboard experience for gathering inspiration and ideas in one place. Infinite Canvas expands as content is added to the canvas for unlimited flexibility when working with many files or collaborating with others. Users can move smoothly around the board with the built-in gesture support.
The app offers a variety of brush styles and color options for sketching ideas, adding comments, and drawing sketches. iPhone and iPad users can draw anywhere on the canvas with their fingers, and with Apple Pencil support, Freeform makes it easier than ever to sketch ideas on the iPad on the go.
Freeform supports a wide range of files, including images, video, audio, documents, PDFs, links to websites, map site links, sticky notes, shapes, charts, and more. iPhone and iPad cameras can be used to insert a photo or scanned document directly into the canvas. With a complete library of shapes, Freeform gives users over 700 options to choose from, allowing users to change color and size, add text, and even create and save custom shapes.
Users can drag and drop content onto the board from other applications including Files and the Finder, and with the included alignment guides, it’s easy to keep the board organized. With Quick Look, users can preview content with a double tap without leaving the panel, and multiple video files can be played at the same time to create a dynamic display. Content such as images and PDFs can be locked in place on a board, and collaborators can then annotate over or around the object — making Freeform the perfect tool for sketching ideas on top of floor plans for a home renovation project, or for coaches to map out a play on a picture of a basketball court.
Whether the user is working in an office or on the go, Freeform is incredibly useful for freelance projects or when collaborating with others. With the ability to work with up to 100 collaborators on the same canvas, Freeform creates a shared space for creativity when working on group projects or even planning a vacation with friends.
Freeform takes advantage of new collaboration features in Messages, which allow users to invite others to a Freeform board simply by dragging them onto a thread. All members of this thread will be automatically invited to the forums and can start collaborating right away. When someone makes an edit, activity updates will appear at the top of the thread.
With FaceTime integrated directly into the app, users can initiate a FaceTime call within Freeform by tapping the Collaborate button at the top right of the screen. All collaborators can view others’ contributions as they add content or make edits using fast sync capabilities and iCloud integration. Freeform boards sync across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, users can invite others via a link or email, and even export a board as a PDF or take a screenshot.
Starting today, Freeform is free on every iPhone, iPad, and Mac that supports iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, or macOS Ventura 13.1.
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