The fun part of winter is over, and now it’s back to the old routine of work, eat, sleep and repeat. To keep our sanity during the cold, dark days of winter, many of us turn our thoughts to summer and, more importantly, summer holidays!
This is the time of year when friends and families get together to plan what to do with those precious weeks of freedom. And the good news for Apple users is that the planning just got a whole lot easier.
Now, you’ll no longer have to search through endless text messages, group chats, google docs, etc, to try and keep all the relevant information and ideas in order. Apple has just announced its first app release in ten years, and it is exactly what all enthusiastic holiday planners have been waiting for.
The app is called Freeform, and it works as a virtual whiteboard for collaborating on group projects. Users of Apple iPhones, iPads (16.2), and desktop devices (13.1) can now download it with the latest iOS update.
As Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, put it in the press release announcing the app. “Freeform opens up endless possibilities for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to visually collaborate….Freeform creates a shared space for brainstorming that users can take anywhere.” So now your mobile device can take a central role in your holiday, whether it may be assisting in working out currency exchange rates, trendy places, to discovering quirky activities that would be of interest to the person. It can even go so far as to help organise your time, from suggesting local tours to down time at the pool, having a cocktail and playing the lottery or even some quick slingo games with your friends back home, whilst telling them about the holiday via the chat box.
Similar to Apple’s existing apps, Notes and Preview, the newly-released Freeform allows the writing and editing of lists. But thanks to the advanced user interface, multiple users can participate. The app supports the creation and insertion of sticky notes, text boxes, photos, videos, doodles, etc., and also supports links, PDFs, scans, and sketches.
Users can add text, photos, videos, and links to the whiteboard, and these can then be moved around as required to put all your plans in order and create the perfect holiday itinerary. Text boxes can be enlarged to make them legible with a simple pinch and drag. And clicking on a video or photo will instantly magnify it. Adding links has never been easier, as any URL dropped into the app is immediately converted. Photos taken with an iPhone can be added in one simple step, and iPad owners can use their Apple pencils to draw or write directly on the board.
All the information is stored in the iCloud, so you can access your project from any of your Apple devices, and you can have multiple projects on the go at the same time. All changes made are shown in real time, and users can access iMessage and FaceTime directly from it to discuss plans live while updating the board.
Holiday planning was probably not first and foremost in the minds of the developers, but the end result is the perfect tool for organising your next group getaway, whether it’s a road trip, beach break, or whatever.