If you’re one of our many customers who want to always have your latest documents available on all your devices, I have good news! We’ve finished our limited private test of OmniPresence and are now beginning a wide-open public test of OmniPresence for Mac.
You can start using OmniPresence today, syncing documents using your own web server, such as the one built into Mountain Lion Server. (I’ve posted some instructions for setting up WebDAV file sharing on Mountain Lion Server over on our forums.)
If you would rather not manage your own server, you can sign up to help us test OmniPresence on the Omni Sync Server by checking the “I am brave” box at sync.omnigroup.com. This won’t enable OmniPresence right away, but it will let us know that you’re willing to move your account to a test system where we’re analyzing the load produced by OmniPresence. (Until we know how much load it produces, we’ve blocked it from accessing our production systems so that we won’t degrade their performance for people who are currently using them to sync OmniFocus and OmniPlan.)
I should note that OmniPresence requires Mountain Lion and iOS 6. We’ve tried to make it work with earlier operating systems, but we ran into issues which only Apple can fix (and which they did, in OS X v10.8.3 and iOS v6.0).
We would love to do a wide-open public test of our iPad apps as well, since sharing your documents between all your devices is what really makes OmniPresence valuable. But we’re only allowed to distribute final versions of our iPad apps through the App Store.
Until we do ship OmniPresence in our iPad apps, we’re not actually done. But we’re certainly getting close!
Posted by Ken Case on 26 April 2013 | 3:01 pm
When we decided to bring all our apps to iPad, we immediately started hearing from our customers that it wasn’t enough to just bring desktop-class productivity apps to the best mobile platform: all of the documents in those apps needed to be mobile as well, so you’d always have the latest copies of your documents available on all of your devices.
As I shared in my January blog post, we’ve been hard at work on this problem for quite a while now and our solution to this is called “OmniPresence”: your documents, synced everywhere you want them to be.
What is OmniPresence?
Here is what OmniPresence looks like in action:
… and we’re finally at the point where it’s time to enlist your help in testing this code before we ship it!
The good news is that we’ve already heard from over a thousand of you who would be happy to help us test OmniPresence. The bad news is that we can’t open this up to all of you, because we have a very limited number of slots available for testing development versions of our iOS apps.
If you’re interested in helping us test OmniPresence, here are some questions we’ll need you to answer:
And two bonus questions:
Please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Posted by Ken Case on 14 March 2013 | 11:18 am
As I said in my blog post announcing OmniFocus 2, our goals for version 2 are to bring back to the Mac all of the design and innovation that went into our iPad edition of OmniFocus: dedicated Forecast and Review modes, clearer navigation, and a fresh look and feel. And from the reaction from people I talked to at last night’s debut, it sounds like we’ve done just that!
As with the iPad app, all navigation is now done through a unified sidebar: there is a single sidebar that includes your Inbox, Projects, and Contexts, as well as your Forecast of upcoming scheduled work, a list of Flagged tasks, and list of projects that need Review. The main navigation headers stick to the top or bottom as you scroll, so they’re always visible and accessible with a single click no matter where you are in the list.
The new Forecast mode shows you a summary of your upcoming time-based commitments at a glance in the sidebar. You can leave the forecast collapsed to see the next several days (as in the screenshot), or expand the forecast to see an entire month in your sidebar. From the forecast, you can select any combination of days to see a detailed schedule that includes scheduled tasks from OmniFocus integrated with events from your calendar.
With version 1 of OmniFocus it was already easy to add new items into your system—using the built-in Quick Entry on Mac, or Siri on the iPhone and iPad, or by sending email to your Inbox. Perhaps a little too easy: after using OmniFocus for a few months, OmniFocus could easily become cluttered with cruft that seemed important at the time, but is no longer relevant to the work you need to get done today! This is the problem we aim to solve by bringing Review mode to OmniFocus 2 (which we originally pioneered in the iPad app). Review mode walks you through reviewing any projects which you haven’t reviewed recently, making it easy to update your projects to make sure they reflect your current priorities.
Now that information about OmniFocus 2 is public, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about it! Some of the obvious questions are:
Will this require new versions of OmniFocus for iPad and iPhone?
No, we’re not updating OmniFocus for iPad or iPhone at this time: OmniFocus 2 for Mac is designed to sync with the current shipping versions.
How soon will OmniFocus 2 be shipping?
The simplest answer to that question is that I don’t really know! A more accurate answer is that the answer really depends on what feedback we receive from all of you. We use an iterative development process at Omni, so our next step is to ship a private test release so we can get feedback from customers on how well it’s working in practice. Based on that feedback, we’ll update our design and ship another private test release (and invite more people into the test pool), and the cycle begins again. How many times we repeat that cycle depends on how long it takes for us to feel like we’ve achieved our goals for the release.
Once we finish those rounds of private testing, we’ll post a wide-open public test release for anyone to download from our website, and finish up some of the other hard work of writing documentation, translating the app and documentation to other languages, and submitting the app to Apple for App Store review. Usually this final stage takes 4-6 weeks—at that time, it should be much easier to accurately project a ship date.
How much will OmniFocus 2 cost?
OmniFocus 1 has been very successful at its current price point of $79.99—and we think that’s been providing great value for its current target audience of professional customers. But with OmniFocus 2 being much more approachable, we think there’s also an opportunity to reach a wider audience who don’t need all of the Pro features from the current edition. So we’re going to offer two editions of OmniFocus 2:
The Standard edition of OmniFocus 2 will include all of the basic features which we’ve talked about above, and will cost $39.99.
The Pro edition of OmniFocus will offer the option of building custom workflows like OmniFocus 1 does today, with its support for Perspectives and AppleScript.
Will there be a discount for current owners of OmniFocus 1?
Yes, on our online store we’ll be offering a 50% discount to current customers of OmniFocus 1, whether you originally bought directly from us or through the App Store. This means that current customers will be able to upgrade to the Standard edition of OmniFocus 2 for $19.99, or to the Pro edition for $39.99.
We would love to offer the same deal to people who wish to purchase OmniFocus 2 from the App Store, but unfortunately the App Store has no mechanism for offering selective discounts to different customers based on their previous purchases.
Will volume or educational discounts be available?
What if I don’t own OmniFocus already? What should I buy today, and where should I buy it?
From now on, anyone who purchases OmniFocus 1 from our online store will receive a free upgrade to the Professional edition of OmniFocus 2 when it ships.
Posted by Ken Case on 1 February 2013 | 7:11 am
If you’ve read my most recent blog post about Omni’s Plans for 2013, you already know that we’re just a few weeks away from the debut of OmniFocus 2 for Mac. I’m really looking forward to showing it to you all… but this post isn’t really about OmniFocus 2 itself, it’s about what to expect between now and when it ships.
The first thing I’d like to clarify is that we’re only talking about the Mac edition of OmniFocus! This release focuses on bringing back to the Mac all of the design and innovation that went into our iPad edition—and it will be fully compatible with the existing iPad and iPhone apps, so you’ll be able to sync with them without paying for upgrades to all three apps.
I also want to make sure everyone understands that the OmniFocus 2 debut on January 31st is not when OmniFocus 2 will be shipping! That’s just the first time the app will be shown in public. Following the debut, we’re planning a limited private test period (which you can sign up for), followed by a wide open public test—and then (finally!) when we’ve evaluated everyone’s testing feedback and think it’s ready, we’ll ship the app. If this sounds like it might take a while… yes, it probably will!
So, if you’re looking to purchase OmniFocus today, what should you do? Should you wait for OmniFocus 2?
Well, first of all, there’s no reason to wait on purchasing the iPad and iPhone apps—as I’ve noted above, they’re not the editions which are getting a major upgrade this year.
But if you’re looking at purchasing the Mac app, it would be quite reasonable to wait until after the OmniFocus 2 debut so you know what’s coming before you make a decision. To make that wait easier for everyone, we’ve decided to post a temporary license key so you can all use the app between now and then without having to make a purchase:
License Owner: Waiting for OmniFocus 2 License Key: [KEY HAS NOW EXPIRED]
(Just copy and paste both the License Owner and License Key into the appropriate fields.)
I hope you’re all looking forward to OmniFocus 2 as much as I am! And that this temporary license key makes the wait a little easier.
Update: We had a great time showing what we’ve been working on in OmniFocus 2, you can find more details and watch a video of the OmniFocus 2 debut to learn more. Please note that the license above has now expired, but if you purchase OmniFocus 1, you’ll get a free upgrade to the Professional edition of OmniFocus 2 when it ships.
Posted by Ken Case on 11 January 2013 | 3:30 pm