Our Favorite Apps of 2014

by Derek R. on December 11, 2014

This week Apple put out a few lists of their favorite apps of 2014. We’re so thrilled that a few of our apps made it—it really made our Monday.

Here are a few of our favorite apps that we used a lot in 2014.

Farmvi—just kidding.

Waterlogue
Brian Covey - Support
Makes some of my crappy photographs look like non-crappy watercolors. Artistic talent simulator!

MarsEdit
Brent Simmons - Developer
I’ve been blogging at inessential.com with MarsEdit since MarsEdit existed — in fact, my blog doesn’t have any other user interface, and I wouldn’t want one. It’s one of those workhorse apps that does its job every single time I ask, without surprises and without fuss. I rely on it without having to worry about how I rely on it.

Overcast
David Messent - OmniFocus PM
Most of my favorite podcasts are recorded with a lot of attention paid to audio quality. For the ones that aren’t, Overcast’s Voice Boost feature makes listening much easier.

80 Days
Aaron Cherof - Support
It’s an interactive story-driven game inspired by the Jules Verne novel. Super captivating, and somehow manages to be completely different every time I play.

Prompt 2
Steve Schenk - Test
I’ve really been getting into Raspberry Pi—Prompt is perfect for logging in and fiddling from anywhere.

BBEdit 11
Chuck Toporek - Documentation
Hands-down, BBEdit FTW! I’ve used BBEdit for years and it has always been the most versatile app in my Dock. I use BBEdit daily for writing, editing, working on EPUBs, and more. It’s worth every damned penny. Plus Rich gives the best hugs. :)

Aeropress Timer
Andrew Burkhalter - Development
It quickly made my home screen and is now launched almost every day. I love the AeroPress art and simplified display of information when in timer mode. I also love that my 3 year old loves to watch the countdown and dictate the steps when we work together in the kitchen.

Editorial
Orion Protonentis - Support
From cross-document search, to building complex workflows, no other iOS text editor approaches the power and scriptability of my favorite OS X editors — Editorial handles everything I throw at it, and asks for more.

And mine? That’d be Pinswift: Pinswift is a simple, useful, and delightful Pinboard client for both iPad and iPhone. And the iOS 8 extension works great.

OmniGraffle 6.1 is live!

by Derek R. on November 13, 2014

Today we released a major update to OmniGraffle 6 that improves the app’s performance and makes it a stand-up citizen in Yosemite.

But the update adds much more than that. It improves and expands on the Inspector we created in 6.0 by making it completely customizable. Switch between the sidebar, floating inspectors, and palettes—where you can snap off each group to create millions—if I did my math right—of different combinations.

OmniGraffle 6.1 also includes new stroke options, fill effects, and blending modes. Blur, pixelate, magnify content behind objects, and add inner or outer strokes to shapes. The stencil sidebar includes search results straight from Stenciltown. (And if you have any you’ve created, feel free to share them!)

So that’s the update. 6.1 is free, requires OS X v10.10 (Yosemite) and is available now: direct from us and from the Mac App Store.

Interested in testing Omni’s iPhone and iPad apps?

by Ken Case on November 7, 2014

Are any of you interested in helping us test our apps before they’re ready to submit to the App Store? We’re working on bringing all of our iPad apps to the iPhone, so we have a lot of testing to do! And with Apple’s new TestFlight Beta Testing program, we’re able to invite up to 1,000 of our customers to test our apps while they’re still under development.

If you’re interested in helping us, please send email to testflight@omnigroup.com letting us know which iOS devices you use, which version of iOS 8 are installed on each, and which Omni apps you’re looking to test. For example, you might write something like this:

Devices: iPhone 6 Plus [iOS 8.1], iPad Air 2 [iOS 8.1]

Apps: OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniPlan

It would also be helpful to know which of our apps you already own and how long you’ve been using them, so we can get a wide range of customer experience for each app in addition to a wide range of test devices.

P.S. — If anyone reading this is looking for a paid position in Seattle working as a full-time tester, please check out the Software Test Pilot opening currently posted to our jobs page!

Introducing OmniFocus 2 for iPad!

by Ken Case on September 17, 2014

UPDATE: On September 26th, OmniFocus 2 for iPad “expired”—it shipped with our test build expiration still in place. Version 2.0.1 was submitted that Friday to fix the issue, and was approved Saturday afternoon. The full timeline of events is available here.


How times change! When we introduced OmniFocus for iPad in the Summer of 2010, it was widely considered to have the best, most modern design of the three OmniFocus editions. So much so that when we set about building OmniFocus 2 for Mac, our top priority was to bring the design lessons we’d learned from the iPad app back to the Mac app.

But then Apple inspired us with iOS 7, and our priorities changed. We completely redesigned OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, then OmniFocus 2 for Mac. We started getting rave reviews for these new designs—and now, instead of constantly getting questions about how soon we would make the other editions match OmniFocus for iPad, those questions flipped to ask when we were going to update the iPad app to match the new designs in the other apps.

I’m very pleased to announce that the long wait is over—that (for the first time!) all three editions of OmniFocus have the same design language:

Screenshot of the Forecast perspective

Screenshot of the editor

Beyond its new design, OmniFocus 2 for iPad offers two great new iOS 8 extensions, interactive notifications so you can immediately complete or snooze a reminder, improved searching, and background syncing. And, of course, all of the great features pioneered in the original iPad app, such as the built-in Forecast and Review perspectives.

It’s a great upgrade—but we didn’t stop there! On the Mac, one of the features we offer in the Pro version of OmniFocus 2 is the ability to go beyond the built-in perspectives by creating your own custom perspectives. Customers have often asked if we would ever provide similar capabilities for iOS, and I’m pleased to share that we’ve finally done just that, in the optional Pro upgrade to OmniFocus 2 for iPad:

Screenshot of the Perspective editor

With Pro, you can create your own combinations of view settings, searches, and filters to see your work in exactly the right way. You can also arrange the top-level sidebar however you like, for quick access to your favorite perspectives.

Whether or not Pro is for you, we know you’ll enjoy all of the other new features OmniFocus 2 has to offer! OmniFocus 2 is now available for just $29.99, and its Pro upgrade is now available as an optional in-app purchase for $19.99.

For those of you who purchased the first version of OmniFocus for iPad, we have a very special deal: we appreciate the support you’ve given us through the years, and we’re showing our appreciation in a very concrete way by giving you the $19.99 Pro upgrade for free when you purchase version 2. Thank you for your support through the years!

Introducing OmniGraffle 2 for iPad!

by Ken Case on September 17, 2014

Last summer Apple introduced a completely new design for iOS 7, and when they shipped iOS 7 in Fall we were ready with three new apps: OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, OmniOutliner 2, and OmniPlan 2. With that work done, we turned our attention back to our Mac apps where we had several major updates to ship: OmniGraffle 6, OmniOutliner 4, and OmniFocus 2. Unfortunately, that left the last two of our iPad apps—OmniFocus and OmniGraffle—looking rather dated next to our other apps!

Well, I’m very pleased to announce that OmniGraffle 2 has now been completely redesigned to match the modern look of iOS:

Screenshot of a flowchart document

Screenshot of App IA document with stencils

As part of this work we’ve introduced a new style system to make it easier to set and apply visual styles based on favorite settings or matching the styles of other objects which are already on the canvas. There’s a new full-screen mode which lets you hide the interface controls completely—great for presentations or any other time you want to focus on your own work rather than the app’s controls. You can easily search for stencils shared by the community at our free online Stenciltown repository, or you can create your own stencils—using the built-in drawing tools to draw freehand shapes, or manipulating individual vertex points and handles to create Bézier curves:

Screenshot of editing a Bézier curve

For those of you with lots of documents, we’ve significantly improved document management. All of your documents can be synced with the cloud as in version 1, but now you can also organize them into folders, filter by type, and search by name. With document templates, it’s easier than ever to hit the ground running on a new project—and your templates also sync with the cloud, which means you can easily share them with the rest of your team.

Screenshot of the new document picker

With all of the above, we think OmniGraffle 2 is an incredibly strong upgrade. But we didn’t stop there! OmniGraffle 2 also has an optional Pro upgrade which brings many professional features that were previously only available in our Mac app:

  • Microsoft® Visio® import/export: Collaborate with Microsoft Windows® users. OmniGraffle Pro imports the following Visio file types: Drawing files (.vsd, .vdx, and .vsdx), Templates (.vst, .vtx, and .vstx), and Stencils (.vss, .vsx, and .vssx). OmniGraffle Pro exports your drawings in .vdx format, which can be opened by Visio 2013 and earlier.
  • Shape Combinations: Combine two or more objects on the Canvas to create custom shapes. Don’t like the combination you’ve made? That’s okay; you can also uncombine objects to restore them to their former selves.
  • Shared Layers: Share layers with multiple canvases in the same OmniGraffle document.
  • Tables: Merge two or more objects to create a table, and then resize the table to add additional rows or columns to suit your needs.
  • Custom Data: Assign names, add descriptive details and notes, and add custom key-value data to every single object on the canvas—or to the canvas itself.

Whether you choose the Pro upgrade or not, we think OmniGraffle 2 is an incredible upgrade—and we’re glad to finally be able to share it with all of you! OmniGraffle 2 is now available for $49.99, and its Pro upgrade is now available as an in-app purchase for an additional $49.99.

Now, for those of you who invested in the first version of OmniGraffle for iPad, I have some great news! We really appreciate the investment you made in our new app on a new platform (which shipped the day the iPad launched!), and we’ve decided to show you our appreciation in a very concrete way by giving you the $49.99 Pro upgrade for free when you purchase version 2. We hope you enjoy all of the powerful features we’ve added to OmniGraffle 2, and we thank you for your continuing support!