Updates to Apple’s operating systems come with a new Freeform app

Traditionally for Apple, another Tuesday evening brought updates of operating systems for all current devices of the company. Among other things, a new application appeared on iPhone, iPad and Mac — Freeform.

Apple does not often add new applications to the standard list of existing ones. This time, however, such a thing appeared. Freeform, as aptly noticed by Nathan Ingraham of Engadget, looks like a continuation of Notes.app, where you can add images, draw something with Apple Pencil, etc. Freeform offers something very similar, except that the text is no longer a priority here.

A document in Freeform resembles a large page from a notebook, where you can usually sketch a project, draw an approximate visualization of a new idea, write a plan, etc. For that, here are some tools that should help. You can draw with the mouse cursor on Mac, with your finger on iPhone, and with Apple Pencil on iPad. It is possible to add a sticker with a note or just text, there is a library with seven hundred different shapes (geometric, animals, objects…), you can add images or links.

At the same time, all this is interactive, which allows you to minimally change the size of objects, their color, format text, etc. You can also insert links and images, which can be resized and neatly adjusted to each other. You can also insert a music file that can be played directly in the application. But links to podcasts or YouTube videos will have to be opened in the browser.

Apple also emphasizes that the application allows you to work on documents with other people, who can be given edit or view-only rights. Moreover, the project should display the changes made in real time both on different devices of the same user and on everyone with whom the file was shared. (In our case, the iPhone did not “see” the created document on the MacBook Pro with iCloud synchronization enabled. Nor was there an option to share access. But this is a temporary delay.)

Among other interesting things in the new systems, iPad users with M1 and M2 processors now have the ability to use Stage Manager on external monitors. (I wonder how often iPad users connect them to an external monitor?)

Stage Manager will allow you to collect different groups of applications for the respective tasks and quickly switch between them, which should improve multitasking. The principle of operation is almost the same as what Mac users already have with macOS Ventura.

And for users of the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, they have now added the option to leave the lock screen with the Always-On Display function without wallpaper. In this way, you can see the time and widgets without a background image on a black background. This will even minimally save battery charge.