As we approach the end of 2012 (or the world, according to some), I’ve been reflecting on just how much we’ve accomplished this year here at Omni.
We celebrated 20 years of omnigroup.com, of course, and we moved to new offices. But, more importantly, we finished our two-and-a-half-year “iPad or Bust!” initiative by shipping the last of those five apps, OmniPlan for iPad! Version 1.0 doesn’t mark the end of all our work, of course—but it’s a great milestone and I’m incredibly proud of all our team has accomplished.
Finishing up our “iPad or Bust!” initiative has given us the opportunity to start working through a number of other projects on our “to do” lists, so there’s been a lot of news in 2012…
We rolled out our own Omni Sync Server, so you don’t have to become a sysadmin and run your own web server just to sync your devices. (But you can still run your own server if you like: our syncing engine is based on open web protocols.)
OmniFocus has been on speaking terms with Siri since late 2011, of course, but in 2012 we’ve made it more robust and brought support for Siri to the iPad app as well. We also added support for flexible weekly repeats and TextExpander—and just this month we’ve started beta testing our new Mail Drop which lets you email tasks directly to your OmniFocus database.
This year Apple introduced iPads with Retina displays, and we immediately shipped Retina updates for all of our iPad apps. Apple also introduced Retina displays to the Mac with the new MacBook Pro, and we’ve already shipped Retina updates for OmniGraffle and OmniPlan (and are busy working on Retina updates for the rest of our Mac apps).
Behind the scenes, we’ve also been updating all our Mac apps to leverage the latest fundamental advances in OS X: this year we shipped Developer ID-signed updates for all our apps, 64-bit updates for OmniGraffle, OmniDiskSweeper, and OmniDazzle—and we expect to ship 64-bit updates for the rest of our apps soon. We’ve also been hard at work adopting OS X’s new App Sandbox.
Even before we finished “iPad or Bust!” one of our top priorities has been to build automatic document syncing into OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniGraphSketcher—we want it to be as easy to sync all our apps as it is to sync OmniFocus and OmniPlan. We’ve been working on this for over a year and a half now, and at the start we had very promising results: it felt like magic when it worked, and we thought we’d be ready to ship last year. But though our code was finished, we found the back end service we were trying to use wasn’t working reliably, and we felt it would be irresponsible to ship something so critical until we knew the full solution was solid. After a year of trying to help get that solution working, we went back to the drawing board and designed a new syncing solution based on open web protocols. Nobody was more disappointed about the delay this caused than we were—but we knew we needed to find some way to move forward, and I’m pleased to report that the redesign has gone very well (and our new syncing solution is now in internal testing).
Which, of course, leads right into the subject of my next blog post: what’s coming next from Omni? (Stay tuned!)
Earlier this week a nostalgic OmniWeb user emailed in looking for release notes from the early days of OmniWeb. Back when we were apparently trying to find the right pixel-width for IFRAME borders. This is all before my time at Omni, but luckily I can still go through our entire OmniWeb mailing list archives.
OmniWeb 1.0 was free to regular folk and $120, per seat, for organizations. It was exclusive to NEXTSTEP and OpenStep and kind of a great value: you could access the internet!
The printed documentation had some blood, sweat, and tears, too.
Here's a small update to OmniWeb that will provide relief to users on Mac OS X 10.4. On Tiger systems you were probably encountering a crash that is now fixed.
You can grab the latest version via "Check for Updates" in the File menu or by visiting this page:
Please let us know if you encounter any issues!
Just a quick note to let you know that we're happy to announce OmniWeb 5.10.2. We've been quiet on the OmniWeb side of things for a while now but there have been a number of improvements we'd like to share. These changes include improving compatibility with sites that use browser detection and that contain unicode characters in the URL. It fixes various issues with services on 10.6, the print dialog, the tab drawer and corrects cookie session issues some people were seeing. We've addressed a few performance and stability issues as well.
Complete release notes and download links can be found here:
Lots of news today, people, so I'm going to try and keep this short so you can skip straight ahead to the part where you sit back and bask in that new-software smell.
Updated: OmniFocus! OmniFocus 1.7 is now available for your downloading pleasure, and includes a bevy of interface improvements designed to make everything just a little more smooth and simple. We also re-worked Perspectives, hopefully making the process of working with them much easier. Overall sync performance has been improved (yay!), and you can now view a list of the attachments in your OmniFocus document, and delete them as necessary to speed up document syncing even more.
Also updated: OmniGraffle! OmniGraffle 5.2 includes support for support for portables with Multi-Touch trackpads, so you can now pinch to zoom in or out, resize a selection, or rotate a selection. We also added fixes to tables, shared layers, and dealt with some stability issues.
Also also updated: EVERYTHING ELSE. OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniWeb, OmniPlan—hold on, typing cramp . . . okay—OmniGraphSketcher, OmniDiskSweeper and OmniDazzle have all been updated with support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
You do not EVEN want to know what time the engineers went to bed last night, is what I'm saying.
Everything can be downloaded from our handy-dandy Snow Leopard status page. Enjoy!
First things first, if you haven't already seen this incredible video, may I recommend doing so? You'll want to load it in HD full-screen mode, let it buffer, then just kick back and relax. (Via the always-awesome Kottke.)
Next up: what's Omni been doing lately? Let me break it down for you bullet-style:
• Preparing for Snow Leopard! Engineers are madly adding Snow Leopard updates to all our shipping apps, with the goal of having everything ready the day Snow Leopard is. I don't exactly know how this works, if they just . . . physically stuff an actual leopard in there, or what (aw, who's a snuggly? You are!), but they seem very busy.
• Starting sneaky peeks of OmniFocus 1.7! LOTS of changes in the works, and you can get the rundown here. Warning: running an alpha version isn't for everyone, but if you don't mind, you know, living on the edge a little, the very latest builds are being constantly made available via our sneaky peek page.
• OmniWeb 5.10 sneaky peek updating! Speaking of sneaky peeks (the more I type that term, the goofier it sounds. So SNEAKY, these peeks), the work-in-progress version of OmniWeb, 5.10, has just been updated with the latest WebKit (from Safari 4.0.3) and has several improvements to its built-in software update (including the ability to ignore a particular update).
Questions? Feedback? Cool links to share? Chat us up in the comments.
SEATTLE, Washington -- April 1, 2009 -- The Omni Group has announced a major update to their web browser, OmniWeb. OmniWeb 5.9.2 is now the only WebKit web browser that offers support for Gopher protocol.
Gopher is a revolutionary network protocol that allows users to search and retrieve items from the Internet such as documents and graphic images. Using Gopher, it's possible to access many types of content over computers: text-based files, mailing lists, even photos.
"Gopher support is something we've been working on for a long time," said Ken Case, Omni Group CEO. "Now OmniWeb users have the rare opportunity to retrieve data from other servers on the Internet without the complications of using an FTP program. Using nothing more than a simple menu program, users have unprecedented access to the world's information systems. For instance, just today I was able to access a weather report via Gopher, so I knew to bring my umbrella to work. The future is now!"
OmniWeb 5.9.2 is a free download with no licensing restrictions, and the latest version can be found at <http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omniweb/>.
About The Omni Group
One of the first companies to develop software for the Mac OS X platform, the Omni Group is today a leading developer for Apple products and has designed several productivity applications for Mac OS X and iPhone. Founded in 1993, The Omni Group is located in Seattle, Washington.
In case you missed the news last week, OmniWeb is now free!
But that doesn't mean that we've stopped developing OmniWeb: we've been posting new sneaky peek builds of the upcoming OmniWeb 5.9.1 release nearly every day since that announcement. If you hop on over to OmniWeb's sneaky peek page and check out the latest release notes, you'll see that we've added support for three-finger swipes on recent laptops, made the tab drawer automatically close when you return to a single tab, fixed the Amazon rating system bug, reimplemented speech input and the Summarize toolbar item, and more!
We've also gotten pretty far with integrating the new Safari 4 beta engine: it's now integrated into our internal builds of OmniWeb 6, and we're bringing that work back to OmniWeb 5 so it can make it into the 5.9 sneaky peek builds.
Come visit OmniWeb's sneaky peek page and see what we've been up to!
If you missed our announcement earlier today or this Macworld article, here's the latest from Omni HQ: OmniWeb, OmniDazzle, OmniDiskSweeper, and OmniObjectMeter are now available as freeware. That's right: they're free. You can go download them right now if you want. FOR FREE.
Go ahead, we'll wait.
In anticipation of some curiosity as to why we made this decision:
So . . . uh, why?
We've been thinking about this for a while, especially with regards to OmniWeb. Because we're a small company and we don't have unlimited engineering resources, by necessity certain projects are going to take up more of our attention. Instead of continuing to charge for these four applications, which aren't getting updated as frequently as our other titles, we felt it would better serve the community to make them available at no cost.
Wait! Does this mean you're discontinuing these products?
No. We aren't ruling out future updates at all, and we're keeping our options open. We have lots of ideas for what we'd like to add to these products, and it's possible that at some point we'll have more resources to allocate to them.
Is Omni . . . going out of business? OMG!
Absolutely not. We just had our best year ever, and we're continuing to grow. In fact, we're hiring right now! Tell your talented developer friends!
You SAY free, but I bet I have to fill out a form or send in personal information or otherwise be subjected to some sort of annoying marketing activity to get these apps, RIGHT?
Nope. Just click that fancy "download" button, and you're good to go.
If you have any actual questions that I didn't just make up, please, feel free to leave them in the comments -- we'll try to address everything we can.
It's been available as a sneaky peek release for some time now. Well, we decided it was time to make a final release and share it with the non sneaky peek world. OmniWeb 5.8 is based on the same version of WebKit in use by Safari 3.1.x and shares the same features and security enhancements. We also snuck in a few other small bug fixes as well as additional tweaking to the toolbar icons, see the complete release notes for more details and download links.