Our phone system is down this AM [Update: back up!]

by Brian on July 31, 2014

A software upgrade last night did not go as planned, taking our phone system offline; to recover, we need to upgrade a piece of hardware. Our system admin team is working on the issue and will get the phones back up as quickly as possible. We’re currently estimating that we’ll be without phone service for a few more hours.

Our support and sales teams are still available via email; we’ll update this blog post with more information when the situation is resolved or as needed.

We’re really sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you!

10:45 AM Update: phone system is back up. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

Summertime Reading from The Omni Group

by Chuck on June 20, 2014

Or, “What’s New in Documentation Land”.

Last December, we started packaging the in-app documentation for many of our OmniApps and distributing those in EPUB3 format through Apple’s iBooks Store. These books are DRM-free and freely available to anyone—not just users of our apps. To date, nearly 30,000 copies have been downloaded; thank you!

Earlier this week, we reached a new milestone by publishing the OmniFocus 2 for iPhone User Manual, in the following languages:

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

These, too, are freely available worldwide on the iBooks Store. We decided that, rather than limiting distribution to the countries or regions in which these languages are predominantly used, that we would make them available to everyone.

This is just the first step; a trial to see if this is doable (and to see how our customers react to these releases). Meantime, the Documentation Wranglers are busy at work at packaging up the translations for all of our apps with the goal of making these available on the iBooks Store as they’re ready to go (pending Apple approval, of course).

Can’t Find Our Books on Your iBooks Store?

Apple allows us to distribute our EPUBs in 51 countries, and we promise to make our books available in every iBooks Store to which we have access. However, a number of you have let us know that, while you can purchase our apps from your local App Store or Mac App Store, our books aren’t available in your country’s iBooks Store. We have been keeping track of the countries as you let us know (thank you!), and want to provide that list here again:

  • China
  • Croatia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Israel
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Turkey

While the iBooks Store is our preferred download method (we’ll get to that shortly), we want to ensure that all of our users can get to the EPUB versions of our documentation wherever you are. If you reside in one of the above countries, or if you can’t find our books on your country’s iBooks Store, you can download any of our books from our downloads site:

http://www.omnigroup.com/ftp/pub/software/MacOSX/Manuals/EPUB/

Within that directory, you’ll find region folders (for example, de for German, es for Spanish, and so on) for the various translations we have published.

Direct Download vs iBooks Store

So, you’re probably wondering whether you should just use our downloads site instead of the iBooks Store. Sure, you can do that, but there are a few huge advantages to getting our books from the iBooks Store:

  • If you have “purchased” your copy from the iBooks Store (they’re free!), you will receive a notification in iBooks whenever we release an update. If you are getting our books from the downloads site, you’ll have to check that regularly, or keep an eye out on Twitter for when we update a book.

  • One of the many reasons why people want our documentation in a different format is so they can make notes and annotations to things they regularly refer to. And while you can do this with a PDF, once you’ve added a bunch of notes to a PDF file, all of your notes and annotations are stuck in that one file. There is no easy way for you to take the notes and annotations from one PDF file and inject them in another. When you download an update from the iBooks Store, iBooks preserves your notes, annotations, and bookmarks from one version to the next.

  • The final advantage of using the iBooks Store is iCloud Sync. If you are using iCloud to sync books across your iOS devices and with your Mac, all of your notes, annotations, and bookmarks are also synced. This means that a bookmark you make in iBooks on your Mac will show up as a bookmark in the same book on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

We ask that you first look to the iBooks Store in your country to see if our books are available. If so, please download them from iBooks. If not, then please feel free to use our downloads site.

A Final Note About PDF

As you may have noticed, we have slowly phased out distributing PDF versions of our documentation. The advantages of EPUB (as noted above) far outweigh what you get with a PDF. We are continuing to work on our documentation process and toolchain, with the goal of making our docs more accessible—and printable—soon.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac: Available Now

by Dave on May 21, 2014

The last time we used this space to talk about OmniFocus 2 for Mac it was to announce that we’d ship in June.

So, hopefully this blog comes as a pleasant surprise (though we did drop a hint on Twitter!); the newest version of OmniFocus is available today, both directly from Omni and via the Mac App Store.

Pro and Standard

OmniFocus 1 was a huge success, and we think it provided great value for those who needed its power. That said, one of our goals for OmniFocus 2 was to help people who weren’t sure that they did need all that power, or worried it might get in the way. So we’ve chosen a streamlined set of features for the Standard edition of OmniFocus 2, while making some of the more complex features part of OmniFocus Pro. Those who are already making full use of the OmniFocus 1 feature set might want to go straight for Pro, but you can always start with Standard and then upgrade to Pro later.

Here’s an overview of the extra features you get with a Pro license:

  • Custom Perspectives: Create and save filtered and sorted views that are geared towards an area of responsibility, a regular activity, or a state of mind. Assign custom icons and hotkeys to make pulling them up a snap.
  • Focus: Hide everything but the projects you choose, throughout all views. For example, don’t get distracted by your home projects when you’re at work, and vice versa.
  • AppleScript: Use scripts to automate mundane actions, bring in data from other sources, and generally make OmniFocus infinitely powerful!

New Features for Everyone

Whether or not you choose Pro, OmniFocus 2 gives you a bunch of really cool features and a thoughtfully redesigned interface that looks right at home in the latest version of OS X. You can use the Forecast perspective to get a view of your actions laid out by date (and in context with what’s on your Calendar). In Forecast, assigning a due date to an action is as simple as dragging it to the appropriate day. The Review perspective gives you a structured way to take stock and make adjustments. OmniFocus 1 users loved the ease of Quick Entry, a way to capture OmniFocus items from any app. And now we’ve added Quick Open, a way to jump right to a folder, project, context, or perspective from anywhere in OmniFocus. And for those that need to generate reports for others to review or just to scribble on, we’ve beefed up printing and export so that the output is more like a document than a screenshot.

Pricing and Upgrades

OmniFocus 2 costs $39.99, with a Pro License at $79.99.

Customers who purchased OmniFocus 1 from the Omni Store can purchase an OmniFocus 2 Standard license for $19.99 or a Pro license for $39.99. If you bought OmniFocus 1 from the Mac App Store, you can buy OmniFocus 2 and get the Pro feature set for free. To make these options as easy as possible to take advantage of, we’ve created a separate page with step-by-step instructions.

Get Started!

If you’re looking for some help getting started, we recommend the set of “Support Short” videos we shot just for OmniFocus 2’s new interface. We’ve also created a whole new website called Inside OmniFocus to collect helpful information on workflows, systems, tools, and services that all work with OmniFocus. If you’ve been using OmniFocus for a while you might recognize the names and faces of our friends David Sparks, Sven Fechner, and Kourosh Dini. We’ve got new stuff from them, as well as from new friends Sabra Morris, Randy Hunt, and Jan-Yves Ruzicka. There’s a sweet User Manual available for free from the iBooks Store. And whether you have a question about how to use one of the new features or how to start fresh, our Support Humans are available by phone and email.

We hope you’ll check out OmniFocus 2 for Mac today. Just like all of our Mac apps, you can download a free trial from the product page (and switch between Pro and Standard during the 14-day period, so you can see which feature set fits your workflow the best). Thanks!

Restarting Our Newsletter

by Derek R. on April 23, 2014

The following is the introduction from our rising-from-the-ashes newsletter. Issue one just went out.

Welcome

Hello, and cheers from Omni! After a bit of a hiatus (8 years!) our newsletter is back. It’s low-traffic — we expect to put one out a few times a year. It’ll be filled with all the usual content found in newsletters, like sneak peeks, maybe a feature or two, and news. And we’ll do our best to make sure the content is worth your time.

So instead of the product announcements we sometimes sent to this mailing list over the past few years (we forgot a few!), we’re switching to this new format. Keep watching our blog for more frequent, timely updates, or follow us on Twitter for all of our goings-on.

Continue reading the newsletter, and subscribe to get the next one.

Oh, and the other thing in the first newsletter? OmniFocus 2 for Mac is now in Public Test. Head to the product page to download.

An update on Heartbleed from Omni

by Dave on April 10, 2014

You may have already heard about a vulnerability called Heartbleed that affects secure communication with websites (summarized nicely at The Loop).

In response to this threat, Omni immediately updated OpenSSL to non-vulnerable versions on all of our servers. We then revoked and regenerated all SSL certificates and keys. It is safe to change your Omni Sync Server password at this time. We don’t have any evidence of malicious behavior, but due to the nature of this vulnerability, we’re recommending that all users change their passwords anyway.