Omni Roadmap 2017 — Q4 Update

by Ken Case on October 18, 2017

Each January we like to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and to share a roadmap of our plans for the coming year. Our 2017 roadmap talked about switching to free downloads for all our products; shipping OmniOutliner 5 for Mac; and introducing OmniGraffle 3 and OmniOutliner 3 for iOS with slide-in information panes and powerful JavaScript automation.

This year’s roadmap also talked about our plans for OmniFocus. About how its new sync format lets us make fundamental improvements to the data it keeps track of—enabling faster syncing of databases with large attachments, supporting multiple tags per item (replacing contexts), and improving the system for notifications and repeats. And how our iOS app can take some design cues from the Mac app to make it easier to see the information you care about and work with multiple tasks more efficiently.

As always, though, our roadmap for the year isn’t the same as the actual journey we end up taking! It indicates the direction we’re headed in, but the future is never certain—and if we actually want to get where we’re trying to go, our plans need to adapt as circumstances change.

This year, iOS 11 gave us a huge opportunity to make all of our apps much better, with strong support for Drag and Drop between apps, Files app integration, and—of particular interest to OmniFocus—Siri integration. With Siri support, we were finally able to add things directly to an OmniFocus list by saying things like “Add dry cleaning to Timely Actions in OmniFocus,” and later to check them off by saying “Mark dry cleaning complete in OmniFocus.” So we put our other plans on hold, worked our tails off, and had some great updates to our apps ready to go the day iOS 11 shipped.

OK, so, what next? Now that our iOS 11 work has shipped, where does that leave us with respect to our roadmap for the rest of the year?

  • We’re still planning to ship OmniOutliner 3 for iOS this quarter; it will start its public TestFlight within the next few weeks.

  • The OmniFocus features discussed in this year’s roadmap will debut next quarter (Q1, 2018) with the public TestFlight of OmniFocus 3 for iOS.

We’ll have a lot more to say about OmniFocus 3 as we get closer to that public TestFlight, but for now let me just reassure anyone who’s contemplating a purchase of OmniFocus that if you purchase version 2 today (for either iOS or Mac), you’ll receive a free upgrade to version 3 on the same platform when it ships. (And, as usual, anyone who already owns OmniFocus will be eligible for a 50% upgrade discount.)


(Feedback? I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on Twitter at @kcase, or send me email at kc@omnigroup.com.)