Macworld | iWorld 2012 this week — we’ll be there!

by Derek Reiff on January 23, 2012

Macworld is almost here!

Join us, if you would, on January 26th, 27th, and 28th at booth 802. (There’s no need for a map; it’s extremely close to the Exhibit Hall entrance.)

We won’t beg, but we’d love to see long-time users, show our stuff to some new users, and give away some Pretty Cool Things we had made up.

This is actually our 12th straight attendance, but I’m calling this Number One, because Frakes. And Ihnatko! No big deal.

There’s always something worth checking out at Macworld — at the very least, follow along with our Instagram (omnigroup) feed or our posts on Twitter: @omnigroup. We’ll be posting awesome things throughout our stay which will all be newsworthy, I’m sure.

Also: OmniPlan for iPad previews and a quick presentation on Friday at noon!

Take a gander at our presentation lineup by heading over to our permanent Macworld page, or read ahead.

Lastly, if you know of a fantastical ramen or dumpling place we should check out while we’re in San Francisco, comment or email!

11:15OmniGraffle: Space Planning
12:00OmniOutliner: Building a Budget
1:15OmniGraphSketcher: Data Visualization
2:00OmniFocus: Weekly Review
2:45OmniOutliner: Crafting Classy Documents
3:15OmniGraffle: Basic Wireframing
4:00OmniFocus: Daily To Do List
10:30OmniOutliner: Crafting Classy Documents
11:00Ken Case Q&A
12:00OmniPlan for iPad: First Look!
1:15OmniGraffle: Basic Wireframing
2:00OmniOutliner: Building a Budget
2:45OmniFocus: The Basics
3:15OmniGraffle: Space Planning
4:00OmniFocus: Review
10:30OmniGraphSketcher: Data Visualization
11:00David Sparks
12:00OmniGraffle: Space Planning
1:15OmniFocus: The Basics
2:00OmniOutliner: Building a Budget
2:45OmniGraffle: Basic Wireframing
3:15OmniFocus: Review
4:00OmniOutliner: Crafting Classy Documents

What’s the deal with the Omni Sync Server, anyway?

by Derek Reiff on January 12, 2012

Here we are

Almost two years ago, we opened registration for a brand new service: the Omni Sync Server. It was introduced slowly, of course, shared via email to folks who had trouble with MobileMe sync conflicts or setting up their own WebDAV server. Next, we invited users via Twitter and our OmniFocus forums to expand our base a bit more. (We survived that!)

At that point, we didn’t know whether the service would be free. We announced publicly in December of 2010 that it would. It isn’t free for us—about five or six folks here have had their hand in the design/implementation/upkeep/engineering of OSS—but definitely worth it. But! it’s reasonably fair to say that OmniFocus paired with OSS makes for the best experience.

So, in the past two years, it’s been pretty great — with a few exceptions. We’ve taken it down to physically move our servers to the next rack over; we’ve had a few cases of the early-morning Mondays (I’m so sorry I said that) because of I/O difficulties when sign-ups started ramping up. (Technical note: we were also using our first Mini to redirect everyone to the appropriate machine; it was overwhelmed.)

We’re now fine-tuning the system and preparing for worst-case scenarios as much as we can be:

  • What if a Mac Mini jumps off the rack at our colo facility?
  • What if a drive dies on each Mac Mini at the same time?
  • Other relatively bad thing.

Soon, after we get all of that figured out, we’ll be taking the Sync Server out of beta. Edit: It sounds a bit like we’re not currently backing things up; we are! We’re also finalizing our EULA — we want something that we like and which our lawyers will tolerate. (We’ve removed the beta badges in our apps in preparation for this; the site’s warning remains.)

What’s next?

We definitely have some ideas for a great new OmniFocus feature or two involving OSS. We also have plans to use it more and more for all of our document-based apps (see: everything else), and will move away from importing/exporting and over to syncing of documents.

Twitter-folk can stay up-to-date here with news and announcements.

We really like iCloud, but there’s still a lot we, as developers, just don’t know. Hopefully we’ll find out more in the coming month(s).

Some data from sync clients

We tweeted yesterday that exactly 31,500 users were active on our servers in the last 8 days. The most interesting bit, I think, is the most popular OS X machine: the 2011 Macbook Air. 10%, with 7% of the 13” and 3% of the 11”.

Five folks do their OmniFocusing on an Xserve. (There’s nothing wrong with that!)

Marco Arment, developer of Instapaper, occasionally shares some of his iOS statistics. I’d suggest heading there for a better breakdown of what it actually means for developers, but this is interesting:

  • 92% of the devices using our Sync Server are completely up-to-date on iOS 5.0.1.
  • Because of rounding, we can say that nearly 100% of our users are running at least 4.2.1
  • 68 devices of 38,741 are running something less than iOS 4.

And finally, for the OmniFocus geeks:

All 3592119%
Desktop only544417%
iPhone only372812%
iPad only20697%

Keep in mind that these are active devices in the last 8 days. In our latest versions of OmniFocus, we decided to up our minimum OS version to 4.0, so users that are less likely to upgrade their OS might also be less likely to explore syncing.

Happy Holidays, from Omni Support

by Derek Reiff on December 16, 2011

From all of us in the support department here at Omni, Happy Holidays! (The rest of Omni also wishes you the best.)

This is a very quick note to thank everyone for, over the course of 2011: 41,805 emails, 3,763 phone calls, and a decent amount of tweets. And a few more before the 31st, I’m sure!

While you’re off visiting with family and friends, try not to let us waste the day away, though. We’ll still be scattered about on our Macbooks and iPads—at slightly reduced hours—while we visit family around the US. (Also, Iceland and Great Britain!)

Phone support, too. Leave a message during normal west coast business hours and we’ll call back ASAP.

That’s all. Happy New Year!

OmniPlan 2.0.3 released!

by Skwirl on December 12, 2011

OmniPlan v2.0.3 is a free update to licensed OmniPlan v2.0 users. This release includes a critical fix to project syncing with an OmniPlan server repository. If you'd like to check out the full release notes, click here

We love hearing from you! You can reach us by tapping using the Send Feedback feature in OmniPlan, sending email to, tweeting to @omniplan, or calling 1-800-315-OMNI or +1 206-523-4152.

To start using the new version, you can use the built-in software updater in OmniPlan v2.0 or you can download it from our website here.

OmniFocus is now on speaking terms…

by Liz on November 18, 2011

As soon as Apple announced Siri, everyone who owns OmniFocus for iPhone let us know just how much they needed these two tools to work together.

A couple of friendly productivity fiends took matters into their own hands and figured out that Siri could send emails to the OmniFocus inbox on their Macs.

We could have said “Yay, Siri and OmniFocus can work together” and gone back to our long-term projects. Instead, a couple engineers got to talking “You know, if we… and then the server… and…” “Wow, I think that would totally work!”

So, if you have an iPhone 4S and OmniFocus for iPhone, you can stop typing items into your inbox, and just say whatever comes to mind.

David “MacSparky” Sparks put together a couple videos to show you how it works.

OmniFocus & Siri from The Omni Group on Vimeo.

Here’s more detail on how to get set up:

OmniFocus + Siri configuration from The Omni Group on Vimeo.

If you tell Siri a time, OmniFocus will set the due date. If you specify a location, OmniFocus can assign it to the corresponding context.

OmniFocus + Siri: Location from The Omni Group on Vimeo.

We’ll be standing by on the usual support channels if you need any assistance. Twitter:@omnifocus, Email:, Telephone: 1 800-315-OMNI