Stage Manager on an External Monitor and the Freeform Collaboration App are both included in iPadOS 16.2

Stage Manager on an External Monitor and the Freeform Collaboration App are both included in iPadOS 16.2

But if you want to use Stage Manager on a different monitor, you'll need an M1 or M2 iPad.

Stage Manager on an External Monitor and the Freeform Collaboration App are both included in iPadOS 16.2

This year, iPadOS 16 debuted a little later than its predecessors did, and several crucial features weren't quite ready. I believe Apple has accomplished what it set out to do with iPadOS 16.2, which was just released this afternoon. There are two significant new features included in this. First, if you're using an iPad with an M1 or M2 processor inside, Stage Manager multitasking now works across an external monitor. Second, the iPad now supports the group brainstorming and productivity tool Freeform (and on the iPhone and Mac, as well).

One of Apple's most adaptable and flexible programs in a long time is Freeform. It immediately brought to mind a more ambitious version of Apple's own Notes app for me. Notes can now handle a lot more than just text; you can scan documents, upload photographs, add drawings with the iPad's Apple Pencil, and more. Freeform fits into the same category, although being a lot less of a text-first program.

A new document presents you with an ever-growing blank canvas. There are only a few interface components at the top of the screen, most notably the five things that allow you to add material to your board. Apple Pencil, sticky notes, a collection of over 700 shapes and icons, text boxes, and a general-purpose "import" button are the main categories. These buttons allow you to import items from the Files app, your photo library, or URLs that you can paste.

All of these elements appear to be rather simple, yet there is a great deal of intricacy beneath the surface. Simple black text on a white background appears when you open a text box, but you may change its size, font, color, format, and add three various sorts of lists. The forms you can add are vast and diverse; the majority of them are 2D, flat depictions of objects like geometric shapes, humans, animals, and food. However, you may separate a shape into its individual parts and move, resize, or use just the specific portion of it that you need.

How valuable Freeform is to you will likely depend on how many Apple users are in your social circle. It might catch on if your workplace primarily relies on gadgets like Macs or iPads. However, integrating a new tool into an existing workflow can be challenging, so it's still unclear how widespread Freeform will become. Of course, it's not only for the office; perhaps families with two iPad-using partners will find that Freeform is useful for planning holidays or other, less exciting life events.

 

Back to blog