Mac and iOS Public Betas and Omni Apps

by Brent Simmons on June 24, 2019

As Apple rolls out public betas for macOS and iOS, we want to remind people that those are, by definition, unfinished pieces of software, and that it’s entirely possible that you’ll run into bugs.

This is no criticism of Apple: the whole point of a public beta is to get help from the public with finding bugs.

But here’s the thing: some of those bugs might affect Omni apps. And apps from other developers too, of course. You could run into trouble getting your work done.

If you do want to run the public betas, the best way is to run them on a device other than your main device. Or, if on a Mac, you could install the beta in a separate partition.

In other words, running a public beta is great because you can help Apple find and fix bugs, which benefits everybody. But just remember that, as betas, they’re not deemed ready yet for day-to-day use.

Worth noting: we release public betas too — see our Omni Test Signups page. When we fix a compatibility issue with a macOS or iOS public beta, that fix will usually show up in one of our test builds first.

WWDC 2019 and Our Summer Plans

by Brent Simmons on June 14, 2019

Ken Case tweeted:

In the wake of WWDC 2019, our top priorities for this summer involve iPadOS/iOS 13:

  • Apps in Multiple Spaces (e.g. two documents or perspectives side by side)
  • Support for the new system-wide Dark Mode

Coming this fall to @OmniFocus @OmniGraffle @OmniOutliner @OmniPlan.

We’ll elaborate…

Multiple Spaces

Multiple spaces — or windows, or scenes — adds a very important capability to iPadOS: you can have, for instance, two OmniGraffle documents open at the same time in a split screen. Or two OmniFocus perspectives.

This is huge for productivity apps — it makes it more likely you can do all your work on an iPad, and we’re excited to be able to support that.

Apple’s page on iPadOS features lists this under “Multiple windows from the same app” (along with other new features).

If you’d like to learn more, there’s an entire WWDC video on the topic you can watch. (Though these videos are mainly for developers, they can still be interesting!)

Dark Mode

People love Dark Mode!

But we already knew that, and that’s why we have a head start: some of our apps already have their own dark mode implementations.

Now that Apple has created a system-wide Dark Mode for iOS, we’ll update our apps to make sure we’re following the principles and design that Apple has created, so that our apps look as great in Dark Mode as you’d expect.

And: we’ve noted that, for some people, Dark Mode is not just cool-looking — it’s an accessibility issue. Apple has always been great at making accessibility easy to implement for app developers, and we appreciate that. It’s important.

For more details about Dark Mode, check out the WWDC video Implementing Dark Mode on iOS. (While meant for developers, it’s still of interest to people curious about how apps work.)

Other Things

There will be compatibility bug fixes, of course, and some other smaller things to do to make sure our apps continue to work great on the upcoming updates to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.

We have a busy summer! And we’re continuing to work on our other plans, too. Plenty of great new features are still to come. :)

For more WWDC talk, listen to — or read the transcript of — the recently-published episode of The Omni Show on WWDC 2019.

The Omni Show: WWDC 2019

by Brent Simmons on June 12, 2019

The big question every year for every Mac and iOS developer is pretty simple: how much work are we going to have to do this summer? We have to get our apps ready for the next iOS and macOS (and now iPadOS!) releases.

Well, we have some work to do. :) Not a crazy amount, but some.

But we love WWDC as much as everyone else, and we get excited by some of the new, unexpected things such as SwiftUI and other improvements to the tools. There was a ton of cool new stuff this year.

We talk about all of the above and more in the latest episode of The Omni Show. Enjoy!

Understanding Omni Accounts

by Brent Simmons on May 31, 2019

We’ve had some questions from people about our new Omni Accounts system, which was introduced along with OmniFocus for the Web.

In particular, people wondered if they’re different from Omni Sync Server accounts.

We’ve published a support article that should clear it all up: About Omni Accounts. In a nutshell:

What used to be Omni Sync Server accounts are now Omni Accounts. This means that if you previously had an Omni Sync Server account, you now have an Omni Account, and you can use the same credentials to log in to it.

If you have additional questions, please do contact our support team and let us know!