What Apple’s Reveal Of Freeform At WWDC 2022 Means For Web Designers — And Figma
WWDC is a yearly event that we, web designers, always await with anticipation. As more and more creatives and developers flock to those enticing MacBooks, Apple’s software gets a bump in popularity as well. And while yesterday’s event didn’t bring massive upgrades to macOS, it did show us one thing we’re excited about — Freeform.
What is Freeform?
Apple just loves biding its time, waiting for one of the numerous startups to come up with a fresh idea and just copying it into its ecosystem. And it works — usually. After all, it’s exactly what it does with Apple Pay Later, too, aiming to replace Klarna completely. This time the tech giant announced Freeform — a whiteboarding app that will be completely free. For Apple users, of course.
The idea behind Freeform is simple: it’s a note-taking app with a heavy emphasis on collaboration. It has all Apple’s bells and whistles: FaceTime integration, full Apple Pencil and Messages support.
What’s whiteboarding for web designers?
Whiteboarding apps and services are a godsend in the post-pandemic era when many creative types decided to never come back to offices, but they appeared even before it started. They are a great way to collaborate with colleagues or even show your storyboards to clients.
What does it mean for the other whiteboarding platforms?
Nothing right now — Freeform’s reveal was just a sneak peek. But even the giants like Figma are starting to get nervous: startup’s own FigJam is a prevalent whiteboarding solution, but… you can’t underestimate just how enticing Freeform is to people who know Apple’s UI language and not much else. That is where Apple reigns supreme: their UI is usually easy to understand for most of us, and Freeform being free, they make using it an easy decision to make.
The end of FigJam?
Designers love brainstorming with the help of whiteboarding software, but let’s not kill FigJam yet. First of all, Freeform will work only if you own Apple devices. And while lots of creatives do, there’s still a sizable population of Windows users. And for them, FigJam and its competitors like Freehand are still kings.
But if Apple brings Freeform to the web and makes it multiplatform… that might be the final nail in the coffin. And right now, we don’t even know when Freeform releases — it wasn’t confirmed as an iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 feature.