The Freeform app is an infinite whiteboard that Apple hopes will help users in collaborative planning and creative brainstorming.
In an effort to make their devices even more collab-friendly for their users, Apple has released an app with its new software update across its devices. The app is called Freeform, and the Cupertino-based company describes it as having been “designed for creative brainstorming and collaboration”. It could be a great tool for students and office employees who need to work on projects together. But is it really all Apple is making it out to be?
Apple’s new Freeform app allows you to scribble, draw, and post sticky notes endlessly
The basic setup of Freeform is that it’s an infinite whiteboard that you and a number of other users can write, type, or draw on. Think of it like a never-ending sheet of paper that you and your friends/co-workers write on. But it’s not just limited to scribbling endlessly. Freeform also has stickers, shapes, and allows you to import documents, pictures, and videos onto the board itself.
Since it’s meant to be collaborative, Apple has also made FaceTime easy to access with the ability to call right from within the Freeform app. Sharing boards is also simple thanks to the Messages integration, allowing you to drag a board into a Message thread to invite others to collaborate. While working on the board with friends, the app also shows the changes being made by them in real time so you don’t lose track of what’s happening.
What Apple has always done best is to make its UI easy to learn and use. That’s also the case with Freeform. There’s not much of a learning curve and you can just take off running when using the app. Importing photos, sticking sticky notes, and changing brush strokes and colours are simple to do, which makes Freeform not just easy but also quite enjoyable to use.
While the app is available on the iPhone, Mac, and iPad with the latest version of MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS, it really makes little sense to not use it other than on the iPad with the Apple Pencil. Being able to access your boards on multiple devices is great, but doing actual scribbling or “freeforming” just isn’t as easy on a small iPhone or the trackpad of a Mac, unless of course you have one of those trackpads that also have a digital pen. If you want to experience Freeform at its best, the iPad with Apple Pencil is what you need to have.
Some people might wonder if Freeform is necessary when the Notes app is right there, but it does have significant differences. Aside from being able to write anywhere infinitely and the ability for others to collaborate on the board with you, Freeform’s shapes and sticky notes aren’t available in the Notes app. It gives you a little more creativity and definitely more space.
For those in school or who do frequent brainstorms or planning in the office, the Freeform app is a great tool. The biggest caveat of all this is that everyone has to have an Apple device, but if you all do, then it can definitely be of great help.
The Freeform app is now available on the last MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS software updates.