On the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple has added an app called Freeform. So, what does this app do, why would you want it, and can you get rid of it?
What Is the Freeform App on iPhone, iPad, and Mac?
Freeform is a free drawing app that helps people come up with ideas, make plans, and work together. This first-party Apple app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but it didn’t show up until the iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS 13.1 updates in late 2022.
Freeform has tools for putting text boxes, shapes, and mathematics, stamps, sticky notes, and pen and pencil tools. You can also add pictures from Files, web links, scanned documents, photos taken with your camera, or media from your Photos library.
How to Use the Freeform App
Freeform uses what Apple calls “boards” as infinitely scalable panels with a grid background that you can turn on and off. You can add text, images, categorized shapes, and other media by using the tools at the top (iPad and Mac) or bottom (iPhone) of the screen.
These objects are vector-based, which means they can be resized and moved without losing quality. This is different from rasterized media, like pictures, which lose quality if you zoom in or enlarge them too much. Touchscreen gadgets are the only ones that have drawing tools.
To move and adjust things, tap them or click and drag them. Once you’ve placed something, you can change it, even if it’s a drawing that looks like any other item. Right-click or tap, then use the “…” menu to access more controls, like the ability to move these items backward or forwards in the stack, lock them in place, change their colors, make copies, and more.
Use “Share” to invite other people to work on your board. On a single board, up to 100 people can work on a single project at the same time. You can share a single board with a whole chat group, and you can change permissions like who can edit and who can invite, as well as turn off link-based invites during the request process.
Since Freeform syncs through iCloud, any boards you make or changes you make should show up on all of your devices. The Freeform app is hard to find. Make sure you have the latest software for your iPhone, iPad, or Mac from Apple. This can be found in Settings > General > Software Update.
Some Example Uses for Apple Freeform
Apple has made a set of tools that lets you come up with ideas and put them on a board that should show up on all of your devices. These are great for making easy mood boards, spider diagrams, and mindmaps to help you come up with ideas on your own or with a group.
If you’re artistic, the drawing tools that come with the program should be enough for you to make sketches, rough outlines, and proofs of idea. It might work best on an iPad with a stylus like the Apple Pencil, and it’s a long way from drawing apps like Procreate.
Freeform has a lot of promise as a tool for working together. Once you’ve asked other people to share your boards, you can work together in real time with built-in FaceTime (click or tap on the “collaboration” button, then click “Audio” or “Video” to start).
Even local collaboration works well with the app, like when your MacBook is hooked up to a screen in a meeting. Later, the board can be printed out or sent to other people who need it. You can also download aboard as a PDF to save it or send it to clients or people who don’t have a device that works with Trello.
Don’t Like Freeform? Delete It
Freeform is already on your iPhone or iPad, but if you don’t want it, you can delete it. Tap and hold the app button on an iPhone or iPad, then tap “Remove App” and “Delete App” when asked. Freeform can’t be removed from macOS.
If you removed the app and want it back, you can get it back from the App Store and install it again. Looking for a program that works like Freeform but can be used on different running systems? Instead, you could use Microsoft Whiteboard.