Apple previews 'Freeform' whiteboard app for real-time collaboration

Freeform allows groups to work together during FaceTime calls.


Apple is working on a new whiteboard-style app to enable people to collaborate in real-time. Called "Freeform," the app allow groups to work together via FaceTime. Freeform will be available on iPadOS 16 "later this year," and will also be available on macOS and iOS.

Freeform provides a "flexible canvas" where participants can add text, photos, drawings, PDFs and other content into a single space. Groups can edit together in real-time, similar to the way Google Docs or other collaboration tools work. The group will also be able to see each person's cursor when multiple people are working on a canvas at once.

Apple's Freeform app.

The app is also closely tied to Messages and FaceTime — Freeform sessions can be initiated during a FaceTime call, and each person's changes will be reflected in the corresponding group thread in Messages.

Apple didn't say exactly when Freeform would be released, only that it would land on iPadOS in a future update. Both iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are expected to launch in the fall, though it's unclear if Freeform will arrive in the initial rollout or in a separate update.

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