Charging into Fall with the Omni Group

Greetings from Seattle, where the cloudy weather is settling over us like a comfy blanket, ushering in a season of chilly mornings, delicious fall beverages and extra productivity.

That means it’s time for another issue of The Omni Newsletter, and boy do we have a lot to catch up on!

iOS 16 is Here, and Omni Apps are Ready

At the Omni Group, we like to be ready on the “day and date” that new hardware, devices, and operating systems become available. We’re early adopters ourselves, and want our customers to be able to get to work with the latest updates right away—so it’s important to make sure all our apps are ready to go!

We’ve tested our apps against iOS 16 throughout the summer, and we’re happy to report that the current versions of OmniFocus 3, OmniGraffle 3, OmniPlan 4 and OmniOutliner 3 run great on iOS 16. So if you’re as eager to update as we are, you can rest assured that your current Omni apps are ready too.

As a bonus treat for iOS 16 adopters who are running the OmniFocus 4 TestFlight on iPhone, we’re also happy to note that we’ve added lock screen widgets that you can use right now in the latest TestFlight builds. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

iPadOS 16 Preview: Customizable Toolbars

OmniGraffle 3.19, OmniOutliner 3.10, and OmniPlan 4.5 for iPhone and iPad are now available for preview via TestFlight! These app updates include support for new toolbar functionality on iPads running iPadOS 16 (currently in beta). Document toolbars are now fully customizable, with new toolbar button options, allowing you to do the following, all from the iPad toolbar:

A screenshot showing new customizable toolbar feature in Omni Outliner 3 for iPadOS

The document toolbar now also supports document title menu functionality, introduced by Apple in iPadOS 16, and provides quick access to app options previously only accessible in the document browser.

While these updates do not require iPadOS 16 for installation, new toolbar functionality is limited to iPads running iPadOS 16. You can try out the new features by joining the app TestFlights now, and they’ll be officially available as soon as iPadOS 16 is released.

OmniFocus 4 for Mac TestFlight Begins

Drumroll please… OmniFocus 4 for Mac is now available for testing!

While we have relied on TestFlight for distributing test builds of our iOS apps since Apple launched TestFlight to Apple developers in 2014, OmniFocus 4 for Mac is the first Omni Mac app to be made available via TestFlight. We are thrilled that Apple has made TestFlight available for Mac apps, particularly as it means a single TestFlight sign up will provide access to OmniFocus 4 on all supported platforms. If you’re one of the over 7,000 people already testing OmniFocus 4 for iPhone and iPad via TestFlight, OmniFocus 4 for Mac is already available to you - simply install TestFlight on your Mac and sign in with your Apple ID to gain access!

A screenshot showing the updated Forecast perspective in OmniFocus 4 for MacOS

If you haven’t yet signed up to join the OmniFocus 4 TestFlight, you can do so here. Please be advised that once we hit 10,000 active OmniFocus 4 testers, we will not be able to accept additional TestFlight sign ups. If you’re interested in testing OmniFocus 4 on any device prior to launch, we encourage you to join and install a test build today.

OmniFocus 4 for Mac is still in active development, and you can expect some rough edges as we bring pieces into place. You’ll find all the details about the current state of OmniFocus 4 for Mac in this blog post.

OmniFocus 3 Update Brings Full Voice Control Support on iOS and macOS

Most of our current work centers around the upcoming OmniFocus 4, but we couldn’t wait to share a few new capabilities with OmniFocus users, especially automation fans. OmniFocus 3.13 provides a wide range of improvements to Omni Automation, including support for Speech Synthesis.

With these automation enhancements, OmniFocus 3.13 now takes full advantage of the new Voice Control features offered the latest iOS, iPadOS and macOS releases, delivering an incredible level of voice-driven productivity.

If you’re new to Apple’s Voice Control feature, it empowers control of a Mac, iPhone and iPad entirely with one’s voice. It isn’t Siri; it’s control. Voice Control offers an enhanced command and dictation experience, giving full access to every major function of the operating system. For someone with motor limitations, Voice Control is transformative; but one doesn’t need to have motor limitations to have it enhance the experience of using OmniFocus.

Michael Tsai explained it well in the context of his own usage experience with OmniFocus, as did Shelly Brisbin in an overview plus a deeper dive over on Six Colors. David Sparks and Rosemary Orchard discuss “Control with your Voice, with Sal Soghoian” on the Automators podcast.

These new “speakable” capabilities are fully documented with plentiful examples in the new Voice Control section of the popular Omni Automation website. Turns 30 (and The Omni Show Turns 100)

Finally, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass to note a couple of milestones in Omni company history:

Looking Forward

Omni has come a long way in the past thirty years, and we’re just getting started! Stay tuned for the next issue of the Omni Newsletter, and keep an eye on our blog for all the latest updates.

Until then, stay warm, stay safe, and we’ll see you next time.

Want to catch up on past newsletters? Check out the archive here.