Adopting Apple’s Standard iOS Document Browser

by Ken Case on July 30, 2019

When we launched our first iPad apps in April, 2010, the iPad platform was completely new. (We launched our first apps the day the App Store launched!) At that time, there was no built-in document browser, or even a rich text editor: if we wanted those features—essential to apps like OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner—we had to build them ourselves.

There was also no built-in mechanism for syncing documents: iCloud itself didn’t exist in 2010, and iCloud Drive didn’t exist until it was introduced with iOS 8 (in September, 2014). We knew how important it was to be able to easily sync documents between multiple devices, so in May of 2013 we shipped our own syncing solution, OmniPresence.

A document browser with integrated cloud syncing was a great solution—for 2013. But time marches on, and in 2019 we now have lots of cloud storage options which integrate strongly with Apple’s standard document browser—a browser which is now built into iOS and available to every iOS app. It’s understandable that, more and more, we’ve been hearing from customers who find it frustrating that they can’t easily use the cloud syncing service of their choice within our apps.

In 2019, we think it’s time to retire our custom document browser in favor of using Apple’s built-in document browser—and with our iOS 13 updates this fall we’ll be doing just that. Instead of seeing our custom file browser, you’ll be presented with the standard iOS document browser—just like in Apple’s own iWork apps. Using Apple’s browser, you’ll be able to store and sync your documents using Apple’s built-in iCloud Drive, or third-party commercial options like Box—or even in cloud- or self-hosted collaborative git repositories using Working Copy.

Syncing through OmniPresence will still be an option, but it will no longer be the only integrated option. In fact, it might be the least privileged option: since OmniPresence isn’t its own separate app, it won’t be listed in the document browser’s sidebar where you find your other document storage solutions. Instead, it will present itself on iOS much like it does on Mac—as a folder of synced documents. We’re not trying to drive people away from using OmniPresence—but in 2019 we don’t think it makes sense to push people towards it either. OmniPresence is not a core part of our apps or business, and in 2019 there are lots of great alternatives. Seamless document syncing is essential to our apps—but exactly where and how those documents are synced is not!

Adopting the standard iOS document browser will make it easier than ever for you to choose where you want to keep our apps’ documents. If you’re already testing the iOS 13 betas and would like to help test our apps, please sign up for our iOS 13 TestFlights!

(Feedback? I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on twitter at @kcase, or send me email at

OmniGraffle 7.11 for Mac Brings Significant Performance Enhancements

by Brent Simmons on July 29, 2019

OmniGraffle 7.11 for Mac improves performance in a number of ways:

  • Moving groups and multiple selections is faster
  • Scrolling, particularly in large documents, is faster
  • Working with very large images is faster
  • Using Variables in text fields is faster
  • Opening documents with hundreds of canvases is faster
  • Gradient Fill is faster
  • Fill shape with text, and aligning text to the bottom of the shape, is faster

Performance has been the major focus of this release, and we think you’ll find the app is much snappier.

We’ve also added some new features: you can customize the Solid Fill Pallette Colors; you can now automate Shape Combinations and the Fill shape with text option; and you can now view image metadata, so you can see things like file size, kind, and dimensions.

The image metadata is also helpful for performance: knowing, for instance, that an image is particularly large can help you optimize your documents.

Read the release notes for all the awesome details!

PS On Wednesday we’ll publish a special episode of The Omni Show that will go in depth on how we identified areas to improve and on how we improved them.

Recent Releases Round-up: OmniPlan for iOS, OmniFocus for Mac and iOS, OmniOutliner for iOS

by Brent Simmons on July 24, 2019

In the past week we’ve released a number of updates — work always continues!

OmniPlan for iOS

OmniPlan 3.11 for iOS adds a very big feature to the Pro edition: Omni Automation. You can write JavaScript scripts to automate OmniPlan for iOS (and other Omni apps with Omni Automation support).

Another big feature in this release is Site Licensing for businesses, schools, and other organizations. To learn more, please email

Other changes include fixes for leveling, resource load syncing (a Pro feature), scheduling, and stability. Check out the release notes for more info.

OmniFocus for Mac and iOS

OmniFocus 3.3.3 for iOS fixes several bugs: with counts, CSV export, notifications, and Omni Account creation. See the release notes for details.

OmniFocus 3.4.2 for Mac also fixes bugs: with counts, a Perspectives window crash, and handling of dropped items (notifications, summaries, and badges). Read the release notes for the full scoop.

OmniOutliner for iOS

OmniOutliner 3.3.4 for iOS includes a fix for a crash when launch on the current iOS 13 beta. (Note: more work remains for iOS 13 compatibility.)

As always: if you have any questions, please email — our amazing Support Humans are standing by, ready to help.

How to Sign Up for OmniFocus Testing with iOS 13

by Brent Simmons on July 11, 2019

If you’re already running iOS 13, and would like to help us test OmniFocus for iOS — for compatibility and new features — visit Omni Test Signups and sign up. We’ll send you a TestFlight invitation once we have builds that are ready for public testing.

Then let us know how it’s going, either by emailing or by posting on our Slack group. Thanks!

If you’re not already running iOS 13, please remember that it’s still in beta, and that means there are bugs. Please take this warning seriously — see Mac and iOS Public Betas and Omni Apps for more about this.

OmniFocus Subscriptions Can Now Be Purchased in Mac and iOS Apps and on Our Store

by Brent Simmons on July 10, 2019

With the release of OmniFocus 3.4 for Mac, you can now purchase an OmniFocus subscription from within OmniFocus for Mac as well as within OmniFocus for iOS and from our store.

Important note! You can still purchase separate licenses for OmniFocus for Mac and iOS — you don’t have to subscribe. Subscriptions are optional, and they’re not the best choice for everybody.

But, if you are considering a subscription, you should know that for $9.99/month, or $99.99/year, you can subscribe to OmniFocus Pro for Mac, OmniFocus Pro for iOS, and OmniFocus for the Web.

For more information about subscribing, read Subscribing to OmniFocus, which covers all the options.

If you have additional questions or need help, please contact support. Thanks!