(Commonwealth Union)_ During a recent conference, Apple provided a glimpse at a new feature that would hopefully be available soon for all Mac, iOS, and iPad users. Within the FaceTime programme, Apple Freeform appears to offer a collaborative whiteboard experience for you and your team.
Apple Freeform is a collaborative notes experience that is live. It’s a means for teams or groups of people to collaborate on ideas in real time using FaceTime. This will benefit teams who use iPads for their writing and sketching skills using the Apple pencil, as well as teams that already use a lot of Apple applications.
Apple Pencil and Apple Freeform working together over Facetime.Freeform will function as an additional layer to your FaceTime experience. You will be able to use a whiteboard workspace with Freeform while on FaceTime. This enables you to hold team meetings to brainstorm, plan projects and other activities, create ideas using the Apple Pencil, make use of post-it notes, upload files and URLs, receive notifications in the Messages thread and see what your team is working on right now in real time. Moreover, when other team members contribute to the project, brackets appear around their work.
While Freeform was initially showed off at WWDC 2022 in June, it was made accessible to users in November with the first public beta versions of macOS 13.1, iPadOS 16.2, and iOS 16.2, allowing you to sign up for a testing phase to see what’s been altered and rectified. This is a freeform project mapping space, as the name implies. The canvas can be as empty or as filled as you like.
However, it goes beyond that; you may ask friends and family to contribute to this canvas, generating new ideas or expanding on old ones. You may also include rich links to websites as well as video links that will play when you pick them in Freeform. Direct access to what would ordinarily be third-party operations simplifies canvas creation and management, making it easier for my wife and myself, for example, to create ideas across the canvas.
Consider wearing a headset that launches Freeform and allows you to work on a virtual wall with your existing canvas attached. You can rearrange the sticky notes and images with your hands, akin to a scene from the 2002 film Minority Report.
While using the app, I had the impression that Freeform might be a terrific demonstration for the headset once it becomes official in 2023, as these use cases would be ideal for this device. Collaboration and productivity are themes that Apple has been emphasising in recent years for its iPhone, iPad, and Mac products, and something like this could only accentuate that focus.
There are already whiteboard experience apps available for both personal and team use. Here are two that are reasonably priced and have unique qualities.
A unique whiteboard experience.
Used for “deep work” on the iPad and the Mac.
Nested boards can be used to demonstrate cognitive processes or to monitor stages of learning.
With the Apple Pencil, you can use linear text and sketch/write.
Add photos, videos, and other media to any board.
Can be used in conjunction with other apps.
Provides a mind-map/diagram experience, as well as a space to communicate visual ideas.
For use in groups and collaborative projects.
Real-time or asynchronous teamwork is used.
The canvas can be zoomed indefinitely.
Excellent for meetings, brainstorming, and planning, among other things!
Other applications that you already use can be integrated.
Regardless, Freeform is a terrific first edition from Apple, and it’s an app I’ll use alongside my to-do apps when another major project comes around.