iOS 7 & Omni: What’s new, what’s cool

by Derek Reiff on September 17, 2013

Today we’re very happy to announce that new versions of OmniOutliner for iPad, OmniPlan for iPad, and OmniFocus for iPhone are available to everyone via the App Store!

Really cool, really tilted

We‘re really proud of these new apps and have spent a lot of time adapting to both the new design aesthetic and overall improvements in iOS 7. These apps are gorgeous, offer more functionality, and—we think—really represent Apple’s suggestion of deference, clarity, and depth.

OmniFocus 2 for iPhone was truly developed from scratch for iOS 7. First, we put together a home screen that was capable of showing a bit more than before. We all love Forecast — in OmniFocus 2, you’ll get a peek at your week on page one. With iOS 7’s tint colors, each badge and each view of the app has a specific feel. And if you need to go all the way to the Home screen, tap-and-hold the back button to get there.

All with iOS 7’s new Background App Refresh.


In OmniOutliner 2 for iPad, there’s of course the brand new look for iOS 7 — and a lot more, too. We’ve added dozens of hardware keyboard shortcuts so you can stay in the zone and leave your fingers on the keyboard while you work. We completely redesigned and rewrote the Doc Picker, too. Outlines are downloaded via OmniPresence in the background, and you can organize your files by folder. (The same folders you’ll find on the Mac, if you’re using OmniPresence there!)

New templates make it easier than ever to get started without fiddling, and theming support means you can change the look of your entire outline after the fact rather than worrying about that up front.


And in OmniPlan 2 you’ll see a fresh, iOS 7-inspired interface—and the new Doc Picker. But we’ve also added a number of powerful features which were previously only available in the desktop edition. View a task’s scheduling influences, or highlight the critical path so you can understand which milestones are most essential to keeping your project on track. Sharing is easier than ever: you can still do collaborative editing with others using OmniPlan, but you can also AirDrop HTML and PDFs.

There’s also a new in-app purchase for importing Microsoft Project™ files. It’s designed with a try-before-you-buy model, so you can preview the result before you tap Purchase.

Each are a new app and a new purchase — separate from v1. OmniFocus 2 for iPhone is $19.99; OmniOutliner 2 for iPad is $29.99; OmniPlan for iPad is $59.99. OmniPlan’s in-app purchase for Microsoft Project™ support is $39.99.

Omni’s Plans for iOS 7

by Ken Case on September 10, 2013

This morning our team gathered together (both in our theater and in our company chat room) to follow along with Apple’s iOS 7 release announcement. This was a welcome break for our engineers, testers, designers, and documentarians, most of whom have been working virtually non-stop since Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June.

What have they been working so hard on? Brand new versions of three of our iOS apps: OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, OmniOutliner 2 for iPad, and OmniPlan 2 for iPad. We’ll be submitting final builds of those apps to Apple this week and you’ll be able to purchase them as soon as they are approved for sale in the App Store. We’ve redesigned all three apps to take full advantage of Apple’s latest technologies, and that means that they require iOS 7.

What does this mean for you, our customers?

The new apps will be released as new products in the App Store; you’ll purchase them just like you would any other app, and they will be completely separate from the old versions. We’re really excited to show you how cool the new user experience is and what features we’ve added, and will be sharing more as we get closer to release. Just like the rest of our product line, these apps will come with our 30-day money back guarantee and world class telephone and email support.

The old versions of OmniFocus for iPhone, OmniOutliner for iPad, and OmniPlan for iPad will be removed from the App Store. If you’re not planning on updating to iOS 7 or need a version of any of these apps that runs on iOS 6 for any reason, you’ll want to grab them before the new releases ship. However, please note that we don’t plan on doing any more work on these iOS 6 apps: our iPhone and iPad development efforts are now fully focused on iOS 7.

To sum up: we’re fully committed to iOS 7 for our next round of iPhone and iPad apps—starting with OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, OmniOutliner 2 for iPad, and OmniPlan 2 for iPad, which we’re submitting to Apple for review now. Anyone who still does need to run our apps on iOS 6 has a little bit of time to purchase before the existing versions are removed from sale. But we’ve found iOS 7 to be an incredible update, and we think you’re going to love the product of all of the hard work our team has put into redesigning our apps for iOS 7 over the last three months.

P.S. — We expect that you should all be able to continue to use our version 1 apps on iOS 7. (We’re testing this now, but we’ve barely gotten the GM release to test against ourselves!) We’re not trying to force anyone into upgrading—but we hope you’ll like our latest work enough to decide you want to!

Update — We’re unable to offer upgrade pricing for Mac App Store purchases

by Ken Case on September 4, 2013

Nov 16, 2016 update: We’ve found a way to offer upgrade discounts and trials on the Mac App Store! Starting with OmniGraffle 7. More information here.

Jan 6, 2014 update: While we’re unable to offer upgrade discounts for Standard editions of our apps through the Mac App Store, we’re hopeful that Apple will continue to approve upgrade discounts for Pro in-app purchases for customers who have previously purchased our apps through the Mac App Store, just like they’ve already approved for the upgrade discounts we offer for the Pro edition of OmniGraffle 6.

My apologies: I’m afraid we will not be able to offer upgrade pricing to our Mac App Store customers after all. So long as we continue to sell our apps through the Mac App Store, we are not allowed to distribute updates through other channels to apps which were purchased from the App Store.

We still feel upgrade pricing is important for customers purchasing serious productivity software, since the initial value received from purchasing an app like OmniGraffle or OmniPlan is much different from the incremental value of upgrading that app from version 5.0 to version 6.0. We will continue to ask Apple to support upgrade pricing in the App Store, and I would encourage others to do the same—but until that happens, upgrade pricing will only be available to customers who buy our apps direct from our online store.

September 6, 2013 update:

Not being able to offer the same discounted upgrade pricing to all our customers no matter where they’ve purchased (as we’ve previously done with retail boxes) is obviously disappointing for us. But I should note that this lack of discounted upgrade pricing actually affects a minority of our customers, because most of our customers still purchase directly from our online store (where we can offer discounted pricing).

We accepted this limitation of the Mac App Store and explained it to our customers in my original blog post at the launch of the Mac App Store (on January 6, 2011): Mac App Store or Omni’s online store? Your choice!

As I said in that original post:

The Mac App Store is the most convenient way to buy our software, letting you purchase, download, and install our apps with just one step, and easily update our apps at the same time as you update other apps you’ve purchased from the the store.

But to be clear, the Mac App Store is not the only way to buy our software: we’ll continue to offer direct sales and updates through our own website as well. Through our website, we can offer much more flexible terms and options: trial and beta downloads, upgrade pricing, and discounts for volume, bundle, and educational purchases.

No matter which way you buy our software, you’ll be getting the same product: all of our Mac App Store apps are exactly the same as the apps we sell through our website (except for a few minor changes made to work with the store). We’ll also keep future updates to our apps in sync—apps you’ve purchased directly through us will continue to update themselves as they always have, while App Store updates will appear on the App Store (after a slight delay due to the App Store’s review process). And either way, you’ll have the same great support from our team here at Omni.

All of that is still true, and two and a half years later we still think the App Store is the most convenient way to buy our software—it’s just more limited in its pricing options.

OmniKeyMaster: Upgrade Pricing for Mac App Store Customers

by Dave on August 27, 2013

Update: Unfortunately, we’ve had to remove OmniKeyMaster from our website and can no longer offer upgrade pricing to App Store customers.

When we first announced our plans for 2013, we mentioned that we would be offering upgrade pricing on new versions of our Mac Apps to those who purchased the previous version from the App Store. Today we’re happy to announce that OmniKeyMaster, the app that makes discounted upgrades for App Store customers possible, is ready for you to download and use.

OmniKeyMaster is a simple app that finds App Store copies of Omni apps installed on your Mac, then generates equivalent licenses from our store - for free. This gives Mac App Store customers access to discounted pricing when upgrading from the Standard edition to Professional, or when upgrading from one major version to the next. Another benefit: since they don’t have to wait in an approval queue, our direct releases sometimes get earlier access to new features and bug fixes. OmniKeyMaster lets App Store customers access those builds, as well.

Note: While OmniKeyMaster lets you take advantage of upgrade pricing in the Omni store, it does not entitle to you to an App Store version of the upgraded app. Due to Apple’s App Store rules, the only way to get a Mac App Store copy of an application is to pay full price.

We’re excited to be able to offer these discounts on our upcoming OS X releases, and invite all of our Mac App Store customers to check out OmniKeyMaster. Even though we don’t have any new versions of our flagship apps to announce this week, you can give yourself a head start by generating upgradable licenses now. There are instructions for using the app on the download page, and we’ve included a short video below. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and our Support Humans are standing by to answer any questions.

OmniFocus 2 test going quiet

by Ken Case on June 24, 2013


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, tweeting to @OmniFocus, or calling 1-800-315-OMNI or +1 206-523-4152.