Introducing OmniFocus 2 for iPad!

by Ken Case on September 17, 2014

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. 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. We hope you enjoy all of the powerful features we’ve added to OmniGraffle 2, and we thank you for your continuing support!

New OmniFocus extensions for iOS 8

by Ken Case on September 17, 2014

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been three months since Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. We had just finished shipping OmniFocus 2.0 for Mac—a huge release for us—and suddenly we were on the receiving end of a firehose of information from Apple about iOS 8 and Yosemite and Swift. All three were incredibly exciting, but the one which would immediately change our app development was iOS 8.

With iOS 8, Apple gave us new ways to interact with the operating system and with other apps. For the first time ever, we could provide extensions which could run inside other apps. We could add Today extensions to Notification Center. We could build new Sharing options to easily capture content shared by other apps. We could share documents between apps without making extra copies that get out of date. And even in places where our code wasn’t running, we now had more flexibility—like the ability to provide interactive notifications with multiple choices. All that and much more. Far more than we had time to adopt in one summer—particularly since we also had two major app upgrades to ship for iPad: OmniFocus 2 and OmniGraffle 2.

Fast forward a few (very busy!) months, and iOS 8 is finally right around the corner—and the iPad and iPhone editions of OmniFocus 2 are both ready with two great new extensions. The new OmniFocus Sharing extension will let you capture content from Safari and other apps, and with the new OmniFocus Today extension it’s easier than ever to get a grip on your day’s commitments:

Screenshot of the Today extension on iPhone

These new extensions are just a taste of what’s now possible with iOS 8. I’m looking forward to doing even more with extensions in our apps—and I’m also looking forward to seeing what other developers have been cooking up over the summer!

Welcome to Stenciltown!

by Ken Case on September 12, 2014

One of the wonderful things about OmniGraffle is that it’s incredibly easy to build stencils: you just take any content that you might put in a normal document, create a new stencil document, and add that content to it.

It’s also very easy to download stencils from the Internet: you can go to a website and download a stencil (like Twitter Bootstrap 3.0 from Viget), open that stencil in OmniGraffle and you’re good to go.

But you could only download those stencils if you knew where to find them, and unfortunately they’re scattered across the web.

Enter Stenciltown:

Screenshot of Stenciltown

Stenciltown makes it easy to find free OmniGraffle stencils which have been shared by the community. You can browse and search the collection through its web interface, and once you’ve found a stencil you’d like to use it’s as easy as ever to download and use.

You can also search Stenciltown from within OmniGraffle itself, both on Mac and iPad:

Searching Stenciltown in Mac and iPad apps

We think being able to search for community stencils within the app is important; it lets people who are using the app find what they’re looking for right away (and it helps new customers find stencils even when they haven’t yet heard of Stenciltown).

If you have a stencil you’d like to share with the rest of the OmniGraffle community, you’ll find the option to “Submit a Stencil” at the top of the page. You’ll need to provide the stencil file, a preview image, and some basic details about the stencil. After a short review process, your stencil will become freely available to all of the OmniGraffle community, both in OmniGraffle itself and through the Stenciltown website.

We look forward to seeing you in Stenciltown!

OmniFocus 2 for Mac resumes testing, will ship in June

by Ken Case on March 26, 2014

Just the Facts

“When will OmniFocus 2 for Mac ship?”

June, 2014.

“Can I help you test OmniFocus 2 for Mac before it ships?”

Absolutely! If you helped us test the pre-Mavericks builds last year, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

After listening to your comments on the initial preview, and seeing the direction Apple was moving with OS X Mavericks and iOS 7, we took some time to rethink and redesign OmniFocus 2 for Mac. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we’re now ready to open the flood gates to share the new OmniFocus 2 for Mac with you.

Head on over to our download page to get the latest build of OmniFocus 2 for Mac.

More Detail, Please!

When we unveiled our plans for OmniFocus 2 for Mac last year and invited you to try our test builds, it was so we could learn from you which parts of the design were working well, and which parts still needed improvement. We didn’t know what to expect, so we weren’t sure how close we might be to setting a ship date.

The feedback you provided was generally positive: the new design was easier to navigate, and the new Forecast and Review modes were making it much easier to stay on top of all your projects.

But listening to your feedback, we also learned a lot about ways we could make the app even better—and we were further inspired by Apple’s latest designs when they unveiled iOS 7.

We paused our test builds and went back into heads-down mode to focus on the hard work of another round of design and development. Since that time, our team has been working tirelessly behind the scenes on a fresh design that preserves the best features of their original work while adapting to the latest changes to the platform.

With this new design in place, I’m thrilled to announce that OmniFocus 2 is now ready for its final round of testing.

New OmniFocus 2 test build

Next Steps

As noted at the top, any of the nearly 30,000 people who participated in last year’s testing are welcome to join back in!

What we’re most looking for at this point are any issues that make OmniFocus 2 harder to use for your particular workflow than OmniFocus 1 was. We’ll be giving your feedback a hard look between now and when we ship in June and trying to address as much of it as we can, so the sooner we hear from you the better.

The best way for you to share your thoughts with us is to contact us by email at ofpreview@omnigroup.com. We’ve also set up a Discourse test board which you can use to share tips and advice with other testers.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to test OmniFocus 2 for Mac during our private test last year! My hope is that each of you will be able to see how the feedback you gave us made the app even better.

If you didn’t sign up for the test last year but would like to be considered for future test releases, please head over to the OmniFocus 2 for Mac test sign-up page to get on the waiting list. (If you did sign up last year but have forgotten your login details, you can also use the sign-up page to retrieve those details.)

How to Contact Us

Now, go grab the latest build of OmniFocus 2 for Mac and let us know what you think! Here’s how to reach us:

And, as always, you’re welcome to reach out to me personally: I can be reached by email at kc@omnigroup.com, or on Twitter at @kcase.

We look forward to hearing from you!