Apple with iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 introduces the Freeform app, designed for brainstorming ideas, creating sketches, and collaborating with others on projects. Freeform is basically a blank canvas that you can use for anything.
In this guide, we’ve highlighted the different tools you can use with the Freeform app on the iPhone and the iPad.
There are hundreds of premade “clip art” shapes available in Freeform in the following categories: Basic, Geometry, Objects, Animals, Food, Nature, Symbols, Education, Art, Science, People, Places, Activities, Transportation, Work and ornaments.
You can stack multiple layered shapes on top of each other, change color, draw over them, resize them with drag-and-drop gestures, break apart the component parts and manipulate the design, add different borders, group them, adjust opacity, and more . There are a variety of tools for working with shapes for your projects.
Images, scans and documents
The Freeform app supports all types of documents. You can add photos and videos directly from your camera roll in the Photos app or take a photo with your iPhone or your iPad.
Photos and videos you add to your project can be resized, cropped, viewed fully, and overlaid with other images and shapes using drag-and-drop gestures.
You can scan documents with camera of “iPhone” or “iPad” either in color or black and white, add various documents from iCloud Drive or add any link from Safari. Links and files are displayed in small card-like tiles and can also be rearranged on the canvas with drag-and-drop gestures and layered over shapes, images and other files for a visual glimpse of your added documents.
The Freeform app lets you add digital sticky notes, or sticky notes as Apple calls them. The Stickies are basically the same as the Stickies app available for Mac. You can change the color of stickies, choose one of seven, and add text.
On an “iPad” you can use an Apple Pencil to write directly on one of the stickies, but if you’re using typed text, you’ll also have various formatting options such as bold, bullets, different font sizes, and more.
With the text box, any typed text can be pasted anywhere on the freeform canvas. Text can be as long or as short as you want, and all standard formatting options are available to change font, color, size, alignment, and add styles like bold and underline.
Freeform has the same drawing tools you might know from markup. You can draw with your finger on the “iPhone” or on the “iPad” with an “Apple Pencil”. There are pens, markers and crayons to choose from, all with adjustable opacity, color and line thickness.
You can also access an eraser, a selection tool for selectively selecting items on your canvas, and a lasso fill tool that fills the lines you draw.
Freeform supports a wide range of colors. You can pick a simple color from a grid, pick a color from a spectrum surface, use sliders, or manually enter color hex codes for a specific hue. Favorite colors can be saved at the bottom of the interface, and the opacity can also be adjusted for each color.
An eyedropper tool is available to adjust any color already on the canvas.
Any object in a freeform document can be quickly rearranged and resized using drag-and-drop gestures. Tap provides an interface where you can send an object to the “back” or “front” for layering purposes, but there are no real layers to work with.
Objects can be fixed in place, duplicated, and proportionally constrained or unconstrained, which is useful when you want to change one dimension and not another.
Freeform charts can be saved as a PDF document or printed out, and they can also be saved to apps like Files and Dropbox. You can also share links to boards with others via email, text message, or other means.
You can have multiple freeform boards that can be viewed as icons or as a list and sorted in a variety of ways, e.g. B. by name or date. Groups are available to organize large numbers of boards, and there are also separate sections for Recent, Shared, and Favorites.
Freeform is designed as a collaboration tool, and you can share Freeform boards with other “iPhone” and “iPad” users. All Freeform board participants can work on the same board, adding images, text, links and more for group brainstorming sessions.
Changes made to Freeform boards are synced in real-time for all users, although it’s worth noting that collaboration wasn’t fully fleshed out during the beta testing process.
Availability and Device Compatibility
Apple’s Freeform app is available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It requires iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, or macOS Ventura 13.1 to work, and it’s a standalone app that won’t be available on devices that can’t run these updates.