Apple’s Freeform goals to be a collaborative whiteboard for everybody


Apple introduced its so-called Figma Whiteboard competitor referred to as Freeform at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June. The firm hasn’t rolled out the concept board app to everybody but however in case you are utilizing public or developer beta, you’re going to get to play with the app with the iOS 16.2 replace, and on Mac with macOS 13.1 replace.

While Figma is for individuals who would possibly have already got some design expertise, Apple’s Freefrom app caters to all types of customers who simply wish to dump their concepts with a number of media codecs on a board. On the face of it, Freeform is simply a big board with a grid that allows you to put various things like textual content, photos, movies, notes, objects, paperwork, and extra. Apple needs to offer customers with an infinite board and fundamental instruments that hardly requires onboarding. Most of us would have used a few of these enhancing instruments like Apple’s personal apps like Photos and Notes.


When you begin Freeform in your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you’ll get a clean board. You can begin sketching utilizing completely different brushes that can allow you to alter the colour and opacity or simply choose the textual content field choice and begin writing. All the choices for enter are on the highest together with sketching, textual content, notes, shapes, and information.

If you wish to cover this grid, you’ll be able to faucet the Zoom controller within the backside proper and Hide Grid; for Mac, you’ll be able to entry this feature by View > Hide Grid.

You will get greater than 700 shapes accessible within the shapes library in several classes together with birds, symbols, animals, meals, arts, and science. Apple mentioned it should hold including extra shapes based mostly on group suggestions.

You can change the colour fillings and description of the thing by tapping on it. There are additionally further choices like reduce, copy, duplicate, ship to entrance/again, lock, and constraint proportion accessible by the three-dot menu.

In addition to that, customers can insert any file kind together with a photograph or a video by, a doc, or a hyperlink (which reveals up as a card). You can scan a doc to incorporate it on the board, too.

You can transfer across the object by holding and dragging it with one finger. When you’re transferring an object round, Freeform will present you alignment guides in reference to different objects that can provide help to format your doc higher.

To resize these objects you’ll be able to swipe throughout the canvas holding the resizing traces round it. For uniformity, if you wish to make two objects of the identical measurement, begin resizing one object and faucet on the opposite object to match the sizes. To rotate it, maintain the thing with one finger and use the opposite finger to maneuver it across the central axis. You can break aside some objects as properly— for example, the edges of a dice. So all in all there are quite a lot of choices so that you can mess around with objects.

Image Credits: Thealike


Notably, all of your tasks shall be synced throughout the units — however don’t neglect to turn on iCloud sync for Freeform. You can share this board by a hyperlink with your pals. If they don’t use Apple units, that hyperlink isn’t going to work for them. In that case, your solely choice is to export the board as PDF and share it. Currently, there isn’t any choice to export the board as a picture. Your greatest guess at that’s taking a screenshot (just like the one posted above).


Freeform is not only a whiteboard for your self, but it surely lets you collaborate with your pals or teammate too — so long as they’re within the Apple ecosystem. You can share the hyperlink to your board with others by electronic mail, Slack, or another messaging app.

If you share your board in an iMessage thread, you’ll be able to have dwell collaboration powered by SharePlay. That means you’ll be able to see contributors including, eradicating, and transferring objects across the board. If you’re not engaged on the board, you will notice exercise updates on prime of the messages thread each time somebody makes modifications. Apple mentioned that it received’t present notifications for each small replace because it could possibly be very annoying and intrusive.

Apple has tried to make this model easy to incorporate each consumer. While they could not use designing instruments of their on a regular basis workflow, this software could possibly be useful for issues like teaching charts, occasion planning, pet journaling, and redesigning house with tough sketches and notes. Freeform received’t make professions shift from instruments like Figma, however it should let newcomers strive their hand at collaborations and designing.

Freeform shall be accessible for everybody when the steady releases of iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS 13.1 are launched in just a few weeks.


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