10 things you can do with the Freeform app on iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2

Apple with iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 introduces the Freeform app, which is designed for brainstorming, sketching, and collaborating with others on projects. Freeform is basically a blank canvas that you can use for anything.

free form 1
In this guide, we’ve highlighted the various tools you can use with the Freeform app on the iphone and the iPad.

shapes

There are hundreds of pre-designed “clip art” shapes that are available on Freeform, in the following categories: Basic, Geometry, Objects, Animals, Food, Nature, Symbols, Education, Arts, Science, People, Places, Activities, Transportation, Work and Ornaments.

free forms


You can stack multiple shapes on top of each other with layers, change the color, draw on them, resize them with drag and drop gestures, separate component pieces and manipulate the layout, add multiple borders, group them, adjust opacity, and more. There are a plethora 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 to the Photos app, or take a picture with your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

add photos freely


The ‌photos‌ and videos you add to your project can be resized with drag and drop gestures, cropped, viewed in their entirety, and overlaid with other images and shapes.

add link freeform


You can scan documents with the ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ camera in color or black and white, add multiple 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 overlay shapes, images, and other files for a visual view of the documents you’ve added.

Adhesive notes

With the Freeform app, you can add digital post-it notes, or Stickies, as Apple calls them. Stickies are basically the same as the Stickies app that is available for Mac. You can change the color of Stickies, choose one of seven, and add text.

free form decals


On an ‌iPad‌, you can use a apple pencil to write directly on one of the Stickies, but if you use typed text, you also have several formatting options available like bold, bulleted lists, different font sizes, and more.

text insertion

Using the text box, any typed text can be inserted anywhere on the Freeform canvas. Text can be as long or short as you like, and all the standard formatting options are available to change font, color, size, and alignment, as well as add styles like bold and underline.

add freeform text

Freeform has the same set of drawing tools you might be familiar with from Markup. You can draw with one 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.

freeform writing tools


You can also access an eraser, a selection tool for specific selections of elements on your canvas, and a lasso fill tool that fills in the lines you draw.

Colors

Freeform has support for a wide range of colors. You can choose a simple color from a grid, choose a color from a spectrum interface, use sliders, or manually type hexadecimal color codes for a specific hue. Favorite colors can be saved at the bottom of the interface and the opacity can also be adjusted for any color.

free form colors


An eyedropper tool is available to match any color already on the canvas.

object movement

Any object in a freeform document can be quickly rearranged and resized with drag and drop gestures. Touch provides an interface where you can send an object to “Back” or “Front” to create layers, but there are no actual layers to work with.

freeform object manipulation


Objects can be locked in place, duplicated, and constrained or unconstrained in proportion, which is useful if you want to change one dimension and not another.

File management

Freeform dashboards can be saved as a PDF document or printed, and can also be saved to apps like Files and Dropbox. You can also send emails, send text messages, and share links to boards with other people.

free form printing

Multiple Boards

You can have multiple freeform boards, which can be viewed as icons or a list, and sorted in various ways, such as by name or date. Groups are available to organize a large number of boards, and there are also separate sections for Recent, Shared, and Favorites.

various freeform boards

Collaboration

Freeform is designed as a collaboration tool and you can share Freeform dashboards with other ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users. All Freeform board participants can work on the same board and add images, text, links and more for group brainstorming sessions.

freeform collaboration


Changes made to Freeform boards are synced across all users in real time, though it’s worth noting that the collaboration hasn’t yet been fully developed during the beta testing process.

Device availability and compatibility

Apple’s Freeform app is available on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac. Requires iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, or macOS is coming 13.1 to work, and it’s a standalone app that won’t be available on devices that can’t run these updates.

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