This morning our team gathered together (both in our theater and in our company chat room) to follow along with Apple’s iOS 7 release announcement. This was a welcome break for our engineers, testers, designers, and documentarians, most of whom have been working virtually non-stop since Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June.
What have they been working so hard on? Brand new versions of three of our iOS apps: OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, OmniOutliner 2 for iPad, and OmniPlan 2 for iPad. We’ll be submitting final builds of those apps to Apple this week and you’ll be able to purchase them as soon as they are approved for sale in the App Store. We’ve redesigned all three apps to take full advantage of Apple’s latest technologies, and that means that they require iOS 7.
What does this mean for you, our customers?
The new apps will be released as new products in the App Store; you’ll purchase them just like you would any other app, and they will be completely separate from the old versions. We’re really excited to show you how cool the new user experience is and what features we’ve added, and will be sharing more as we get closer to release. Just like the rest of our product line, these apps will come with our 30-day money back guarantee and world class telephone and email support.
The old versions of OmniFocus for iPhone, OmniOutliner for iPad, and OmniPlan for iPad will be removed from the App Store. If you’re not planning on updating to iOS 7 or need a version of any of these apps that runs on iOS 6 for any reason, you’ll want to grab them before the new releases ship. However, please note that we don’t plan on doing any more work on these iOS 6 apps: our iPhone and iPad development efforts are now fully focused on iOS 7.
To sum up: we’re fully committed to iOS 7 for our next round of iPhone and iPad apps—starting with OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, OmniOutliner 2 for iPad, and OmniPlan 2 for iPad, which we’re submitting to Apple for review now. Anyone who still does need to run our apps on iOS 6 has a little bit of time to purchase before the existing versions are removed from sale. But we’ve found iOS 7 to be an incredible update, and we think you’re going to love the product of all of the hard work our team has put into redesigning our apps for iOS 7 over the last three months.
P.S. — We expect that you should all be able to continue to use our version 1 apps on iOS 7. (We’re testing this now, but we’ve barely gotten the GM release to test against ourselves!) We’re not trying to force anyone into upgrading—but we hope you’ll like our latest work enough to decide you want to!
Posted by Ken Case on 10 September 2013 | 2:46 pm
My apologies: I’m afraid we will not be able to offer upgrade pricing to our Mac App Store customers after all. So long as we continue to sell our apps through the Mac App Store, we are not allowed to distribute updates through other channels to apps which were purchased from the App Store.
We still feel upgrade pricing is important for customers purchasing serious productivity software, since the initial value received from purchasing an app like OmniGraffle or OmniPlan is much different from the incremental value of upgrading that app from version 5.0 to version 6.0. We will continue to ask Apple to support upgrade pricing in the App Store, and I would encourage others to do the same—but until that happens, upgrade pricing will only be available to customers who buy our apps direct from our online store.
September 6, 2013 update:
Not being able to offer the same discounted upgrade pricing to all our customers no matter where they’ve purchased (as we’ve previously done with retail boxes) is obviously disappointing for us. But I should note that this lack of discounted upgrade pricing actually affects a minority of our customers, because most of our customers still purchase directly from our online store (where we can offer discounted pricing).
We accepted this limitation of the Mac App Store and explained it to our customers in my original blog post at the launch of the Mac App Store (on January 6, 2011): Mac App Store or Omni’s online store? Your choice!
As I said in that original post:
The Mac App Store is the most convenient way to buy our software, letting you purchase, download, and install our apps with just one step, and easily update our apps at the same time as you update other apps you’ve purchased from the the store.
But to be clear, the Mac App Store is not the only way to buy our software: we’ll continue to offer direct sales and updates through our own website as well. Through our website, we can offer much more flexible terms and options: trial and beta downloads, upgrade pricing, and discounts for volume, bundle, and educational purchases.
No matter which way you buy our software, you’ll be getting the same product: all of our Mac App Store apps are exactly the same as the apps we sell through our website (except for a few minor changes made to work with the store). We’ll also keep future updates to our apps in sync—apps you’ve purchased directly through us will continue to update themselves as they always have, while App Store updates will appear on the App Store (after a slight delay due to the App Store’s review process). And either way, you’ll have the same great support from our team here at Omni.
All of that is still true, and two and a half years later we still think the App Store is the most convenient way to buy our software—it’s just more limited in its pricing options.
Posted by Ken Case on 4 September 2013 | 1:34 pm