Push-Triggered Sync in OmniFocus

by Derek R. on July 15, 2015

Today we released OmniFocus 2.6 for iOS with a new Dark Palette, Swipe to Flag, and Push-Triggered Sync, a new feature in OmniFocus that helps keep your database up to date. We’re starting a gradual rollout to our customers now—read on to find out when you’ll start seeing push and how to tell if it’s enabled for your account.

What it means for you

When Push-Triggered Sync is enabled, OmniFocus for iOS will start syncing more frequently in the background as you make changes on other devices. This means that OmniFocus on your iPhone or iPad will have your latest changes right away, no matter where you make them. Because you’ll be syncing more frequently, the amount of data in each sync should also go down; your syncs will finish much faster.

Push-Triggered Sync doesn’t change how OmniFocus is already syncing your data. Whether you’re using Omni Sync Server, another hosting provider, or running your own server, Push-Triggered Sync just sends a timely notice to OmniFocus: “Sync now, please”.

Since this feature is still new, you won’t see the full benefit until all of your iOS devices are upgraded to the latest version of OmniFocus for iOS or OmniFocus for iPhone (the latter is currently waiting for App Store approval). This isn’t just a server-side change; the copies of OmniFocus that you run on your devices need to be updated to support push. We’re starting with iOS and iPhone in version 2.6 and then adding push to the Mac later this summer.

When you’ll see it

If you’re syncing with a service other than Omni Sync Server, Push will be enabled for you as soon as you install version 2.6. No matter where you sync, you’ll need to have OmniFocus for Mac 2.2.1 installed in order for your iOS devices to receive push triggers from your Mac.

Omni Sync Server users: we want to make sure we don’t start a fire in the server cabinet. To start, only our OmniFocus 2.6 TestFlight testers will have Push-Triggered Sync enabled. When all is well and we’ve determined how quickly we can bring new people in, we’ll start adding more. It’s a big jump from 1,000 TestFlight users to over 100,000 active Omni Sync Server users—multiplied by all of their iOS devices!—but we expect this rollout period to be weeks, not months.

You’ll be able to check your status by tapping on Push in OmniFocus Settings. If you see “Awesome,” you’re in! You’ll start seeing Push entries in the (new) Sync log! If it’s “Holding” instead, you’re still in line.

OmniFocus Push Settings

Privacy

This implementation of faster sync changes the amount of anonymous data that is sent to Omni from OmniFocus, but presents no new privacy implications for task information in your database. Check out our support article for all of the technical details.

As always, if you have questions about any of this, send us an email!

Coming Soon in OmniFocus 2.6 for iOS

by Derek R. on June 9, 2015

Last week we pushed out OmniFocus for iOS v2.6 to our TestFlight gang—people that have signed up to check out new features in OmniFocus. (Check out, sure. But more importantly, help us find bugs and stuff!)

“
What’ve you added?” you’re asking, hopefully. Dark Palette, Push-triggered Sync, Swipe to Flag, and several fixes! I’m guessing it’ll make a lot of you happy.

Dark Palette in OmniFocus v2.6

Push-triggered sync will improve syncing on all devices—updating more frequently and all in the background. It’ll be available to all Omni Sync Server users.

…and even people running their own WebDAV server! For a lot of details, check out our support article.

It’s not too late to sign up to help test OmniFocus, if you’re wondering. You can do that on our OmniFocus TestFlight page. We’ll let you know when other apps are available to test, too.

Thanks to our current testers, and another thanks to Apple for making TestFlight available. The results are enormously helpful.

OmniOutliner for iOS now available on iPhone and iPad

by Ken Case on March 19, 2015

In January, I announced that we would be providing free updates to our iPad apps to make them into universal iOS apps, designed to feel at home on both iPad and iPhone. We shipped OmniGraffle for iOS two weeks ago,OmniPlan for iOS last week, and this week we’re shipping the third!

Screenshot of OmniOutliner for iOS running on an iPhone 6+

OmniOutliner 2.3 ships today (March 19, 2015) and is a universal app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch! We’ve worked hard to bring OmniOutliner’s design and features to all of your devices running iOS 8.1 or later.

To get OmniOutliner for iOS, please visit the App Store. You can learn more about OmniOutliner by browsing our website, or by downloading our free, comprehensive user manual. You can also watch 30-second preview videos of OmniOutliner running on different iOS devices over on our vimeo page.

This particular app release has been long-anticipated: we’ve been wanting to bring OmniOutliner to iPhone for years. After all, our customers—you!—started requesting it the day the App Store opened in 2008, and when we shipped OmniOutliner for iPad in 2011 it sold 10,000 copies in the first three weeks! But for OmniOutliner to be really useful on an iPhone, we felt it was important to start by getting a solid syncing solution in place (which shipped in Q2, 2013). And then to modernize the iPad app for iOS 7 (Q3, 2013) and finally to ship OmniOutliner 4 for Mac (Q1, 2014). All of that work added up to a much longer delay than we wanted—but all of that work is now done, and we’re very pleased to (finally!) be shipping OmniOutliner for all iOS devices.

I personally use OmniOutliner for so many different things that I struggled over what to use as the screenshot, so finally (as you can see) I settled on showing a sampling of all its built-in templates. But I’m sure OmniOutliner is new to some of you, so perhaps I should back up and answer a basic question: What is OmniOutliner?

OmniOutliner is a tool for writing structured text. OmniOutliner stands apart from many other editors with its rich outlining capabilities, flexible column types, and support for embedded attachments (images, sound, or any other reference material). Our customers use OmniOutliner to write screenplays, budgets, inventories, books, class notes, legal briefs and contracts, syllabuses, and speeches. (In pop culture, Veronica Mars even used it to track a suspect’s browser history.) OmniOutliner is also flexible enough that many of our customers used it to manage their own task lists (with scripts like Kinkless GTD) before OmniFocus came along.

For those who have already been using OmniOutliner on iPad, here are a few highlights from the release notes:

  • Free Scrolling Outline — The outline view now freely scrolls, so the outline column can be scrolled off the screen.
  • Images — Image attachments will automatically scale down to fit the width of the column.
  • Updated Layout — The layout of the interface has been adapted to work on smaller iPhone and iPod touch screens as well as larger iPad screens. As a result, some controls have moved to new homes and some adapt themselves depending on your screen size and orientation. We hope we’ve done this in a way that makes the app even easier to use efficiently, but if you have any comments about any of the changes please don’t hesitate to email us!

That’s three universal apps down, one final app to go. Next up: OmniFocus for iOS!1


  1. OmniFocus is already available on iPad and iPhone, of course—but we’re building a free update to the iPad app which will make it into a universal app which runs on both iPad and iPhone. Current owners of the iPhone-only app who wish to upgrade to this universal app will receive a 50% discount. 

OmniPlan for iOS now available on iPhone and iPad

by Ken Case on March 18, 2015

In January, I announced that we would be providing free updates to our iPad apps to make them into universal iOS apps, designed to feel at home on both iPad and iPhone. We shipped the first of these universal apps two weeks ago, and last week we shipped the second!

Screenshot of OmniPlan for iOS running on an iPhone 6+

OmniPlan 2.1 shipped on March 12, 2015, and is now a universal app which runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices! With the Pro upgrade, OmniPlan can now import Microsoft Project (.mpp) documents created by Microsoft Project 2013 (in addition to 2003, 2007, and 2010)–and for the first time on iOS, OmniPlan Pro can also export documents to Microsoft Project (2013 only).

To get OmniPlan for iOS, please visit the App Store. You can learn more about OmniPlan by browsing our website, or by downloading our free, comprehensive user manual. You can also watch 30-second preview videos of OmniPlan running on different iOS devices over on our vimeo page.

For those who have already been using OmniPlan on iPad, here are some highlights from the release notes:

  • MS Project 2013 Compatibility (Pro) — The In-App Purchase feature for MS Project Support (OmniPlan Pro) has been updated with import and export support for MS Project 2013 (.mpp) files.
  • Touch Gesture Granularity — Dragging a task bar’s duration will now move in more sane and manageable increments, based on the gantt chart’s current time scale.
  • Gantt Chart Performance — Horizontal pinch-to-scale is much smoother now.
  • Updated Layout — The layout of the interface has been adapted to work on smaller iPhone and iPod touch screens as well as larger iPad screens. As a result, some controls have moved to new homes and some adapt themselves depending on your screen size and orientation. We hope we’ve done this in a way that makes the app even easier to use efficiently, but if you have any comments about any of the changes please don’t hesitate to email us!

OmniPlan is having a great first week on the iPhone, and we’re incredibly honored to be currently featured on the App Store as one of the iPhone’s best new apps (both on the home screen and in the Business section):

Screenshot of the App Store featuring the OmniPlan 2.1 release

As I mentioned in my earlier blog post about OmniGraffle for iOS, we’re really appreciating being able to test our apps with hundreds of customers now that TestFlight is available! Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help test our apps!

That’s two universal apps down, two to go. Tomorrow’s release: OmniOutliner!

OmniGraffle for iOS now available on iPhone and iPad

by Ken Case on March 18, 2015

In January, I announced that we would be providing free updates to our iPad apps to make them into universal iOS apps, designed to feel at home on both iPad and iPhone. The first of these universal apps is now available!

Screenshot of OmniGraffle for iOS running on an iPhone 6+

OmniGraffle 2.1 shipped on March 5, 2015, and is available on any device which runs iOS 8.1 or later. To meet the needs of our worldwide customers, it’s now available not only in English, but also in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. This free update also adds support for the new Fill Effects and Filters which we recently introduced in OmniGraffle 6.1 for Mac, and fixes a number of bugs and other issues.

To get OmniGraffle for iOS, please visit the App Store. You can learn more about OmniGraffle by browsing our website, or by downloading our free, comprehensive user manual. You can also watch 30-second preview videos of OmniGraffle running on different iOS devices over on our vimeo page.

For those who have already been using OmniGraffle on iPad, here are some highlights from the release notes:

  • Fill Effects (Pro) — Fill Blend and Filter effects are now available, making it possible to blur, pixelate, and magnify content behind a shape. (These effects are also available in OmniGraffle Pro for Mac, starting with v6.1.)
  • Editing Points — We’ve added a mode for editing the points of the current shape which you can access by selecting a shape or line, then tapping the new double-bordered diamond icon in the bottom toolbar. This mode makes it much easier to drag existing points, add points, and remove points.
  • Updated Layout — The layout of the interface has been adapted to work on smaller iPhone and iPod touch screens as well as larger iPad screens. As a result, some controls have moved to new homes and some adapt themselves depending on your screen size and orientation. We hope we’ve done this in a way that makes the app even easier to use efficiently, but if you have any comments about any of the changes please don’t hesitate to email us!

OmniGraffle for iOS has been very well received so far, and we’re incredibly honored to have been featured by the App Store as one of the iPhone’s best new apps (both on the home screen and in the Productivity section):

Screenshot of the App Store featuring the OmniGraffle 2.1 release

This is the first major iOS app we’ve shipped since TestFlight launched, and it was really great to be able to test this app with hundreds of customers. This let us smooth out the rough edges before we shipped, rather than having to scramble to fix issues afterwards. Our thanks to Apple for TestFlight, and our thanks to all of you who volunteered to help test our apps!

That’s one universal app down, three to go. Next up: OmniPlan!