OmniFocus 2 test going quiet

by Ken Case on June 24, 2013

Folks,

Thanks so much for all the great feedback on our test builds of OmniFocus 2! We’ve learned a lot about what works well for you and what doesn’t, and two weeks ago we were also inspired by Apple’s latest designs with their emphasis on deference, clarity, and depth.

Things are going to get quiet around here for a while. We’ve had plenty of feedback on this test design, so we considered turning off these test builds altogether—but we’ve decided to leave them up (as is) since some of you have told us that these builds—even in their rough state—are helping you to be even more productive. (And yes, we’ll also continue to send out test invitations to those who have been waiting patiently for a chance to try version 2.)

We’re looking forward to applying the lessons we’ve learned, and we’ll be back with some fresh builds later this year!

As always, we welcome your feedback! You can reach us by sending email to omnifocus@omnigroup.com, tweeting to @OmniFocus, or calling 1-800-315-OMNI or +1 206-523-4152.

OmniPresence document syncing ships this week

by Ken Case on May 20, 2013

I’m very pleased to announce that OmniPresence document syncing will ship on May 22!

For the last several years we’ve been hard at work bringing automatic syncing to our Mac, iPad, and iPhone apps, so our customers always have their latest work available on all their devices. We started by adding automatic syncing to OmniFocus in 2008, then to OmniPlan in 2011—and this week, on May 22, we will round out support for automatic syncing in OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniGraphSketcher by shipping “OmniPresence” document syncing.

Here is what OmniPresence looks like in action:

 

OmniPresence is designed to work well with any Mac app which supports OS X’s Auto Save and Versions. Using the same underlying document coordination as Versions, OmniPresence lets your app know when a document has been changed on another device, and double-checks to make sure it always syncs a current and complete copy of any documents currently being edited. OmniPresence can’t prevent conflicting edits from multiple devices—but when that happens it automatically saves both versions of conflicting edits so that no edits are lost.

OmniPresence is also designed to support document syncing within teams. By creating a shared sync account for your team, you can make sure that everyone on your team always has the latest copy of every document available on all their devices.

We believe in building solutions that will stand the test of time, and we believe that your data should be yours to control—whether you’re syncing your personal files or your company’s confidential information. So rather than use a proprietary syncing service which might not be available in five or ten years, OmniPresence is built on top of open web server technologies. This means you can sync documents using your own web server, such as the Apache server built into Mountain Lion Server. (We’ve posted instructions for setting up WebDAV file sharing on Mountain Lion Server on our support pages.)

We know that some customers would rather not have to set up their own service, so we’re currently scaling up our Omni Sync Server to support OmniPresence. We’re not quite sure how much additional traffic to expect from customers using OmniPresence, so we’re not opening the floodgates to all our customers just yet—but we are trying to make OmniPresence available to all accounts as quickly as possible. (Anyone who has checked the “I am brave” box at sync.omnigroup.com should already have access, and anyone else who checks that box will be given priority access.)

Finally, a quick note for any developers out there: we will be releasing the source code to OmniPresence as part of our open source frameworks on github, so you’ll be able to take our code and do whatever you want with it. OmniPresence is already compatible with other third party apps on Mac, but because of the sandbox on iOS it will require some integration work to support OmniPresence on iPad or iPhone apps. Our first goal was simply to use OmniPresence to sync documents in our own apps—but we’d love to see other apps start using it as well!

Thanks, everyone, for your patience as we’ve built automatic syncing into all of our apps. We hope you’ll enjoy OmniPresence as much as we do!

Public test of OmniPresence for Mac

by Ken Case on April 26, 2013

If you’re one of our many customers who want to always have your latest documents available on all your devices, I have good news! We’ve finished our limited private test of OmniPresence and are now beginning a wide-open public test of OmniPresence for Mac.

You can start using OmniPresence today, syncing documents using your own web server, such as the one built into Mountain Lion Server. (I’ve posted some instructions for setting up WebDAV file sharing on Mountain Lion Server over on our forums.)

If you would rather not manage your own server, you can sign up to help us test OmniPresence on the Omni Sync Server by checking the “I am brave” box at sync.omnigroup.com. This won’t enable OmniPresence right away, but it will let us know that you’re willing to move your account to a test system where we’re analyzing the load produced by OmniPresence. (Until we know how much load it produces, we’ve blocked it from accessing our production systems so that we won’t degrade their performance for people who are currently using them to sync OmniFocus and OmniPlan.)

I should note that OmniPresence requires Mountain Lion and iOS 6. We’ve tried to make it work with earlier operating systems, but we ran into issues which only Apple can fix (and which they did, in OS X v10.8.3 and iOS v6.0).

We would love to do a wide-open public test of our iPad apps as well, since sharing your documents between all your devices is what really makes OmniPresence valuable. But we’re only allowed to distribute final versions of our iPad apps through the App Store.

Until we do ship OmniPresence in our iPad apps, we’re not actually done. But we’re certainly getting close!

OmniPlan 2.3 public testing

by Skwirl on April 4, 2013

Good news everybody, OmniPlan 2.3 is ready for public testing and we’re inviting everyone to take it for a spin!

“What’s new in this release?”, you may be asking. Great question!

  • OmniPlan now runs in the App Sandbox to keep your computer safe and support for OS X Auto Save and Versions has been added. We employ security features which are new to OS X 10.8, so this version will not run on earlier releases of Mac OS X.
  • A lot of work has gone into improving our handling of Microsoft Project file formats, specifically MPP import. Please let us know if you come across any issues and send along the Microsoft Project file, if possible.
  • We’re introducing a new feature to help answer the question, “Why did OmniPlan schedule this task on that date?”. It’s called Scheduling Influences, and you can enable it under the View menu when you have a task selected.
  • Support for new constraint types like ‘start no later than’ and ‘end no later than’ constraints have been added. The old constraints are still there and are referred to as ‘start no earlier than’ and ‘end no later than’.
  • By popular request, gantt chart date headers are now printed at the top of every page.

Of course, no release is complete without a healthy serving of bug fixes. You can read more about them in our release notes.

Standard warning: Our Public Test releases are not for the faint of heart. There will be bugs. We want to know them.

Still interested after all that reading? If so, head on over to our Public Test page to grab the latest OmniPlan 2.3 Public Test release!

OmniFocus at Camp 1 Vineyard

by Derek Reiff on April 3, 2013

This is the third in our Customer Stories series.

Late last summer we traveled down to Rancho Alamo Camp 1 to talk to Michael Werk, owner and operator. Before (an alleged) retirement, Michael spent days traveling and directing commercials for TV. Now he’s owner/operator of a vineyard, winery, farm, and Bed & Breakfast.

Michael uses OmniFocus to directly support his vineyard and winery projects, and it can get pretty deep. The folder structure might seem a bit daunting at first glance, but multiple varietals over many years can lead to a lot of the same tasks, timeshifted by days, weeks, and years.

It’s safe to say he has a system.

The Story

 


We talked to Michael in Los Alamos, CA. It was a pleasure to get to know Michael, Natalie, and Max during our visit. A huge thanks to Kalyra Winery, too.