iPad or Bust! Mac App Store or Bust Too!

by Ken Case on November 29, 2010

It's been another crazy busy month here at Omni! In the last four weeks, we've celebrated Thanksgiving and somehow survived Seattle's snow, we've started private beta testing of OmniPlan 2 and shipped updates to OmniFocus and OmniWeb for Mac. Oh, and that's not counting the 13 app releases we've submitted to the App Store this month: 2 iPhone updates, 4 iPad updates, and 7 "new" Mac apps (OmniFocus, OmniGraffle Standard and Pro, OmniOutliner Standard and Pro, OmniGraphSketcher, and OmniOutliner).

"OK," I hear some of you asking, "15 app releases this month? That's great and all, but really I only care about one release: where is OmniOutliner for iPad?"

Well, given that we're at the end of November and we have yet to reach beta, I think I can predict with confidence that OmniOutliner for iPad won't be shipping this year. We did finally come up with a design that makes us all reasonably happy on paper, but we're still busy implementing that design in code—after which we'll be running it through its paces to make sure it works as well on an actual device as it does in our imaginations.

(Not that our engineering team has been idle while all this design work has been going on. They've been busy working on all the nuts and bolts which make up the unique functionality offered in OmniOutliner!)

For those who prefer pictures, here's an updated graphic:

"You're really going to sell your apps through the Mac App Store?" I hear others asking. "What about all those questions and challenges you mentioned in your last blog post? How will you handle upgrade pricing and volume discounts, for example?"

We've decided the best way to solve those problems is to recognize that the Mac App Store isn't an exclusive distribution channel, so it doesn't need to solve every problem. We will continue to sell our apps through our own website (in addition to the App Store), where we can continue to offer discounts for upgrades, bundles, and volume purchases. We still think the Mac App Store will be the most convenient way to purchase apps for the average consumer, but those who prefer more flexible terms and options will be able to continue to purchase and install apps directly from us.

"Hey, wait, those weren't my questions at all!"

Hmm, um, OK, sorry, my magic 8-ball palantír must be broken! If you have a question I didn't answer (or any other feedback you'd like to share), please let me know! Either leave a comment here, or send me a message on twitter (where you'll find me at @kcase).