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iPadOS 16.2 beta adds Freeform collaboration app, Stage Manager external display support

Apple released the first beta of iPadOS 16.2 to developers today and the update includes a couple of notable additions. The Freeform collaboration app first announced at WWDC in June is now included in iPadOS 16.2. Meanwhile, Stage Manager is also once again supported with external displays.

Here’s how Apple describes the new Freeform app for iPad users:

Coming to iPadOS 16 in an update later this year, Freeform — a powerful productivity app with a flexible canvas — will give users the ability to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes, and with full support for Apple Pencil. Users will be able to view others’ contributions as they add content or make edits, all while enjoying a real-time collaboration space. Freeform will allow collaborators to add virtually any kind of file — images, video, audio, PDFs, documents, and web links — to the canvas and preview it inline, without leaving the board.

Apple warns of some bugs in the first version of Freeform available today:

  • Can’t delete boards while offline, or if iCloud data is disabled for Freeform. (100294085)
  • Adding or removing collaborators can fail while attempting to change share settings. (101186059)

Freeform is also available in today’s iOS 16.2 beta as well as macOS Ventura 13.1.

For Stage Manager, iPadOS 16 initially included support for external displays, but Apple removed the feature before shipping iPadOS 16.1 to the general public. With today’s release, the functionality has returned. As expected, it is exclusive to the M1 and M2 models of the iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Apple cautions:

  • While using Stage Manager with an External Display, dragging a second window to the workspace incorrectly hides the Recent Apps list—shifting all windows in the workspace to the right. (98540114)

The first iPadOS 16.2 beta is available now to developers. A public beta is likely to be released sometime in the next several weeks.

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