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Best Apps for Interactive Whiteboards

Best Apps for Digital Whiteboards

Posted on 20, January, 2020

Last Modified on 31, January, 2020

Since the mid-2000's, schools have been swapping out traditional dry erase boards for interactive whiteboards in their classrooms and lecture halls. Like a tablet, these write-on digital displays respond to contact from a finger or stylus to create marker-like illustrations on the screen, and function as a regular touchscreen. As interactive boards have become more affordable, their use has become more mainstream. Now, K-12 schools, universities, and corporate offices use digital whiteboards to enhance their presentations, collaborate with team members, and create art.

To meet varying needs across industries, the number of online applications for whiteboards has grown significantly. While many digital whiteboards come with their own built-in drawing software, these apps aren't always best for everyone and can either be limiting or too complex. Displays2go's Interactive Whiteboard is open source, leaving the choice of app up to the user.

What are the key features and benefits of digital whiteboard apps?

  • Infinite Canvas: Unlike a traditional whiteboard which is confined to its surface, many digital whiteboard applications feature infinite canvases that can scroll and zoom indefinitely.
  • Save Screenshots: Remember the days of snapping a photo of your dry-erase board, or writing "Do Not Erase" in the corner? This is a problem of the past with a digital whiteboard. With some apps, you can save your board as an image or PDF. If this exporting isn't built-in, you can always press CTRL+PrtScn on your keyboard or use the Snip & Sketch tool on Windows 10.
  • Record Presentations: To create videos of your presentations for an online class or webinar, you can streamline this process with an application that includes a built-in screen recorder and video editor. If your preferred whiteboard app doesn't include a recorder, you could also opt to use third-party screen recording tools.
  • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Cloud-based apps, like the Google Drive suite, allow multiple users to work in the same document at the same time. This feature is essential if part of your team works remotely or in other locations.
  • Attach files: While all whiteboard applications allow you to draw, some can also insert images, videos, and other types of files to create powerful multimedia presentations.
  • Price: There are many free interactive whiteboard applications with basic pen and brush features. Others require one-time fees, subscription plans or employ pay-per-user pricing models.

Best Whiteboard Apps for Presentations

Microsoft Whiteboard


Windows Ink comes pre-installed with Windows 10, enabling users to write and draw on a screen with a digital pen or finger. With Windows Ink works with a wide range of drawing applications, including the Windows 10 apps, Snip & Sketch and Whiteboard. Snip & Sketch is an updated version of the "Snipping Tool," which allows you to sketch over a screenshot, while Microsoft Whiteboard sports a more robust drawing interface.

Microsoft Whiteboard is a fully-featured digital whiteboard on an infinite canvas, where users can write, draw and graph with a multitude of pens and colors; accessible via the large yet minimalist toolbar. Users can invite their friends to collaborate on the platform. The background of the board is customizable with options including a blank canvas, square grid, dot grid, ruled lines, and graphs. When finished, you can save your whiteboard as a standard PNG or high-quality SVG image.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: No
      • Price: FREE

OpenBoard

OpenBoard
Source: Corporate Ethos

Developed and maintained by the Swiss Department of Education, OpenBoard is an open source application for digital whiteboards. The app is very user-friendly with a basic pen tool and the ability to embed images, videos and other file types. Beyond the pen and highlighter, OpenBoard has a wide selection of user-generated apps, widgets and templates sourced from its international developer community. Users can download measurement tools, interactive maps and calculators, and even create their own quizzes. Finding the right third-party tools can take some digging, but it’s all free!

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: Yes
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE

SmoothDraw

SmoothDraw
Source: Khan Academy

If you have ever seen a video from Khan Academy, you may recognize SmoothDraw. Khan Academy teachers use this simple drawing application to illustrate online lessons in science, mathematics, history and more. With SmoothDraw, you can write in practically any color, customize the background, modify the pressure and ink flow of your pen, and insert images. The app does not include native recording software, so to create a Khan Academy style video of your drawings, you’ll need to install a separate screen recorder app like Camtasia Studio.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE

Microsoft PowerPoint


Many of us already use Microsoft PowerPoint to deliver presentations in the office or classroom. Did you know that you can also write and draw on a Powerpoint slide while in Presenter view? When presenting a slideshow, simply select the Pen icon at the bottom left corner of your screen, choose a color and start drawing! When you exit your presentation, you can choose to keep the notations in your slides or discard them.

      • Infinite Canvas: No
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: Yes
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: $139.99

AWW App

AWW App Online Whiteboard
Source: Zapier

The web-based AWW App has a clean and simple whiteboard interface with a utilitarian dot grid layout. While the free version is limited, the premium version of AWW is packed full of features. In addition to drawing on the dotted canvas, you can create shapes, add text, and attach images or PDFs. Much like a Google Slides presentation, users of the paid platform can invite participants to make live edits or view their board. One unique feature of AWW Board is that you can also embed your board in a web page once it’s finished.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: Yes
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE Basic Version, Premium starting at $9 per month

Sketchboard

AWW App Online Whiteboard
Source: Sketchboard

Sketchboard is a collaborative whiteboard application that mixes traditional drawings with a useful inventory of icons and shapes. This built-in image library makes it quicker and easier for the non-artist to illustrate detailed diagrams and communicate ideas during brainstorming sessions. With online cloud collaboration, you can see where on the endless whiteboard your team is located. The diagram application also integrates with Slack, sharing screenshots of your board as you comment and message your team. You can also add searchable tags to your boards like "Web App Development" or "Video Storyboard," making it easier to find projects later.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: Yes
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE Basic Version, Premium starting at $7 per month

Best Whiteboard Apps for Team Collaboration

BitPaper

BitPaper Whiteboard
Source: BitPaper

BitPaper turns your boards into shareable Papers that teammates can draw on together in real-time. The clean and customizable whiteboard interface includes a modifiable grid, 180 color options, an easy-to-use pen tool, and the ability to type notes with your keyboard. Papers are autosaved as you work in the cloud, and can be shared with a permanent URL. Collaboration is made even easier with built-in video calling, screensharing and chat features, so if you can’t draw it… you can talk it out.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE

Conceptboard


Conceptboard is a robust virtual workspace for teams that strives to simplify collaboration for even the most complex projects. Built with a snappy user interface and packed with features, the app is both easy-to-use and extraordinarily versatile. Not only can you draw on the digital whiteboard, but you can also embed videos and images. When working in Conceptboard with your peers, you'll see live pointers for each teammate on the screen. Users can chat in-app as well as leave comments and notes directly on the board for added context. To better organize your team's thoughts, the board is split up into sections, which users can navigate to on the sidebar. Each section can be exported as an image or PDF to share with other teams and decision-makers.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE Version, Premium starting at $6 per user per month

Explain Everything


Create engaging mixed media presentations with Explain Everything. This all-in-one interactive whiteboard app combines drawings, images, videos, and PDFs on a virtually limitless canvas. The in-app screencasting tool makes it easy to turn your presentation into a professional explainer video, which is great for online professors and tutors.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE version, Premium starting at $8.99 per person per year for Educators, $95.99 per user per year for Business

Mural

Mural Workspace App
Source: Mural

Mural is a unique brainstorming and collaboration tool built around sticky notes. Coworkers can easily and instantly insert their thoughts, ideas, and feedback on colorful annotations, and access boards remotely from their PC or smartphone. Like other whiteboard apps, you can draw and write on the board, as well as attach videos, images and other file types. Mural’s impressive collection of templates and matrixes offer inspirational bases for every type of meeting from icebreakers to in-depth evaluations. Mural also integrates seamlessly with other workplace apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Yes
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: Starting at $12 per user per month

Best Whiteboard Apps for Designers and Creators

Concepts

Concepts Illustration App
Source: Windows Store

If you want to be able to scale your illustrations indefinitely without losing quality, you need a vector-based application like Concepts. Concepts is a free sketchpad for artists and designers. Unlike other whiteboard tools, the canvas is split into 5 layers, allowing artists to add depth and detail to their illustrations. The application is flexible and realistic, including 16 responsive brushes, precision tools, and the ability to drag and drop images. For power users, Concepts offers affordable a-la-carte add-ons like a handy [object library](https://concepts.app/en/tutorials/using-object-library-and-make-your-own-objects/) to store and manage vector shapes.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE

Autodesk SketchBook

Autodesk SketchBook Illustration App
Source: Microsoft Store

Autodesk SketchBook is a drawing application used by artists, product designers, and architects to create professional sketches and illustrations. The rich design interface includes virtually limitless color options and brush tools. Like Concepts, drawings in SketchBook are vector-based and organized into layers to create dynamic, scalable sketches.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: Yes
      • Price: FREE

StaffPad

StaffPad Music Writing App
Source: StaffPad

Have you ever wished there was an easier way to write music on a digital whiteboard? Well, there is! StaffPad recognizes your handwriting and turns lines and symbols into accurate musical notations which you can edit, play, print and share. Composers, musicians, and teachers use this groundbreaking application to write scores in real-time.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: No
      • Price: $69.99+

Ink To Code

Ink To Code Wireframe Touchscreen App
Source: Microsoft Store

Ink To Code is an application for user experience (UX) designers, making it easy to create and present wireframe sketches on a digital whiteboard. The application turns smart gestures and hand drawn shapes into web page components like buttons, images, and text boxes, allowing you to quickly visualize the landscape of an app with your team.

      • Infinite Canvas: Yes
      • Save Screenshots: Yes
      • Record Presentations: No
      • Cloud-Based Collaboration: No
      • Attach files: No
      • Price: FREE


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