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What Apple’s Freeform collaboration app offers remote teams


Apple’s Freeform collaboration tool, due out “later this year,” is designed to give remote teams a limitless virtual whiteboard within which they can work together.

We don’t know much about it beyond what was announced at WWDC 2022, but we do know not to expect it to appear in the first iterations of the Mac, iPad, and iPhone operating systems when they ship in fall. (Given recent claims the release of iPad OS 16 has been delayed pending changes in Stage Manager, it seems reasonable to think Freeform may also be delayed.)

It’s a tool that integrates nicely with Apple’s other collaborative enhancements in the upcoming OS releases, particularly Stage Manager and Continuity Camera.

What Apple has told us

“Freeform, a powerful new collaboration app with a flexible canvas gives users the ability to see, share and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and with full support for Apple Pencil,” the company said in a statement.

Speaking at WWDC, Apple Senior Engineer Elizabeth Reid explained Apple’s Freeform promise: “Now you can be on a FaceTime call,” she said, “and with a tap you’re all collaborating live on a Freeform board. You can add almost anything to a board. It’s perfect for brainstorming sessions, jotting down notes, sharing files, or even creating diagrams with others.

“As others begin adding their thoughts, you can see their live cursor showing you right where they’re working,” she said. “And if someone is in another part of Freeform, you can just tap jump straight to where they are on the board.”

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