Freeform is a new, free app by Apple available now with iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2
Apple users may have woken up today to a notification that iOS 16.2, or for you tablet users iPadOS 16.2, is now out and available for download. However, upon downloading and installing the update, you may have also noticed a new app on your device, Freeform.
Included for free with the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS and even MacOS, according to Apple, Freeform is a new tool to allow users to visually organize and lay out content on what is literally a blank canvas, almost like a giant digital whiteboard. They say that it gives you the chance to see, share and collaborate all in one place without worrying about things like layouts or page sizes. You’ll be able to add multiple types of files and preview them inline, and invite other users to collaborate on a board in Freeform, even during a FaceTime call, with up to 100 collaborators on a single project.
“Freeform opens up endless possibilities for iPhone, iPad and Mac users to collaborate visually. With an infinite canvas, 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,” – Bob Borchers, Apple vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing
When you open a new project board on Freeform, it’s almost like opening a giant whiteboard for you to put in things like notes, images, text, and more. Freeform kind of works like the current Notes app, except on a larger scale. iPhone and iPad users in particular can also draw anywhere on the canvas using either their finger or an Apple Pencil, so you can sketch on the go. You can also add an image directly from your camera by taking a photo, or drag and drop stuff from your other apps. All your Freeform projects are also stored in iCloud so you can sync them across all your devices.
Other than that, iOS 16.2 also brings some new always-on display settings to finally turn off the wallpaper completely, end-to-end iCloud encryption, the previously announced Apple Music Sing karaoke mode as well as a number of reliability and bug fixes. iPhone users who update to iOS 16.2 will also eventually be able to connect to 5G, if they have a telco plan that supports it; you can read more about it here.
iPadOS 16.2, meanwhile, sees Apple also add external display support for Stage Manager, but only on M1 and M2-powered iPads. If you want, you can also run Freeform on your MacBook as long as it’s running MacOS Ventura 13.1 or higher.