Hands-On With the New Freeform App in iPadOS 16.2

When the new software updates were introduced way back in June, Apple demonstrated a new Freeform app that was in development. Freeform is now in the final stages of development, and the app is available in the iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1 betas.


Freeform is available cross-platform, but it works best on the iPad because of the Apple Pencil integration. At first glance, it looks similar to the Notes and Preview apps, offering up some of the same editing tools.

There's an interface with a grid where users can insert drawings, sticky notes, text boxes, shapes, photos, and videos, plus it supports links, PDFs, and other document types. There are all kinds of shapes to choose from, including animals, nature, food, geometry, symbols, arts, science, and people.

Text and shapes can be customized with different colors and styles, and there are quick access tools for edits like duplication and deletion. Undo and redo tools are available, and on the Mac, you can add photos, scanned documents, and sketches from your iOS device using Continuity features.

Multiple Freeform boards are supported, and Apple intends for Freeform to be used collaboratively. All of your boards can be shared with others, and all participants can update a board and add new features, with the changes shown in real-time. As of right now, the sharing features do not appear to be implemented.

Apple will continue to improve the Freeform experience over the course of the beta testing period, adding new features and new functionality.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
5 weeks ago
I feel like this New Freeform App is going to help me make lots of new friends.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
5 weeks ago

I stopped watching at “This is my first time opening the app”. Why post a video where the viewer could just do the same thing in the same amount of time?
Relax.

Not everyone wants to download a new app that's part of a beta OS to give it a whirl.

I certainly don't. Props to MR for checking it out for readers with a hands-on demo.

Looking forward to iPadOS 16.2!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ultra Golden Software Avatar
5 weeks ago
As a custom software developer, I find this app to be promising. Being able to "spitball" with clients and other developers on a whiteboard using a pencil while incorporating links and graphics would be very helpful. Of course there are other platforms like Zoom which provide collaborative whiteboards but they can become expensive for a small business.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
5 weeks ago
Ridiculous, tying a such simple App to an OS update, instead of making it available over the AppStore.
Just a confession of failure, that they can't innovate anymore.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G46&Fbnth5 Avatar
5 weeks ago

"Freeform is available cross-platform, but it works best on the iPad because of the Apple Pencil integration."

Since when has Apple ever designed something to be better outside of there own eco system?
Cross-platform means iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SFjohn Avatar
5 weeks ago

"Freeform is available cross-platform, but it works best on the iPad because of the Apple Pencil integration."

Since when has Apple ever designed something to be better outside of there own eco system?
iTunes for Windows? ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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