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-   -   Alerts/alarms/reminders/Push notification discussion [Also see sticky.] (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=12653)

tehprince 2008-07-21 05:42 PM

Alerts/alarms/reminders/Push notification discussion [Also see sticky.]
 
Through the iPhone app is there a way to setup a reminder to be e-mailed, or maybe use an alarm on the iPhone?

I need some way to remind my goofy self to do something.

Lizard 2008-07-21 07:26 PM

Nope. Sorry. OmniFocus can't run in the background, so if we put an alarm feature in, you'd have to have your iPhone on and in OmniFocus in order for the alarm to trigger. Not very useful.

Until Apple adds some kind of background notifications to the SDK, you probably need to put your alarm-type reminders in the built-in Clock app on the iPhone (which does give you alarms even if your iPhone is asleep).

tehprince 2008-07-22 04:20 AM

[QUOTE=Lizard;42011]Nope. Sorry. OmniFocus can't run in the background, so if we put an alarm feature in, you'd have to have your iPhone on and in OmniFocus in order for the alarm to trigger. Not very useful.

Until Apple adds some kind of background notifications to the SDK, you probably need to put your alarm-type reminders in the built-in Clock app on the iPhone (which does give you alarms even if your iPhone is asleep).[/QUOTE]

Can you do it through the desktop app? A way to set email or SMS reminders?

Lizard 2008-07-22 07:06 PM

I think you might be able to if you set up Growl notifications, but I'm not sure...

Andrew 2008-07-22 07:20 PM

OmniFocus doesn't support sending out notifications, either on the phone or on the desktop. It's something we might consider on the desktop in the future, but it's not imminent, and currently, at least, there are limitations that prevent support for such notifications on the phone.

Meanwhile, we recommend using iCal or something equivalent for actions with such specific timeframes (the so-called "hard landscape" items).

chinarut 2008-07-23 06:06 AM

[QUOTE=Andrew;42183]Meanwhile, we recommend using iCal or something equivalent for actions with such specific timeframes (the so-called "hard landscape" items).[/QUOTE]

aha - this may be a nice reason to implement [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?p=38924"]day-specific next actions[/URL] as discrete events in iCal.

I want to be careful to note it is not just for workaround purposes for the iPhone (although this sure would work well for the foreseeable future - the current SDK may likely have stabilization attempts alongside Snow Leopard) - there are other reasons why such a feature would be useful in general which I will not get into here.

Ken Case 2008-07-23 06:47 AM

[QUOTE=Lizard;42181]I think you might be able to if you set up Growl notifications, but I'm not sure...[/QUOTE]

Yes, on the desktop side you can install Growl to get Task Available, Task Due Soon, and Task Overdue notifications. You can configure Growl to forward those notifications back to your phone through either SMS or Email.

Hope this helps!

tim.jeffries 2008-08-06 12:08 AM

[QUOTE=Andrew;42183]OmniFocus doesn't support sending out notifications, either on the phone or on the desktop. It's something we might consider on the desktop in the future, but it's not imminent, and currently, at least, there are limitations that prevent support for such notifications on the phone.

Meanwhile, we recommend using iCal or something equivalent for actions with such specific timeframes (the so-called "hard landscape" items).[/QUOTE]

@ Andrew. Hi :) Has Omni considered creating the option to set an ical alarm for an action? OF wouldn't need to display the notification but when synced with iCal the alarm could be displayed elsewhere.

Andrew 2008-08-06 12:22 AM

I'm not familiar with what all we have considered so far regarding notifications, but if the Growl option that Liz and Ken mentioned above is insufficient for you, I certainly recommend emailing support (best to note your forum name in the subject to help whoever handles the email) to register your desire for that or some other kind of notification.

tim.jeffries 2008-08-06 01:28 AM

[QUOTE=Andrew;43926]I'm not familiar with what all we have considered so far regarding notifications, but if the Growl option that Liz and Ken mentioned above is insufficient for you, I certainly recommend emailing support (best to note your forum name in the subject to help whoever handles the email) to register your desire for that or some other kind of notification.[/QUOTE]

Growl is good for my desktop, I'm concerned about when I only have my iPhone though. If OF could set iCal alarms then I would be able to be notified on the iPhone using them. I'll email support though, thanks for your help.

chinarut 2008-08-06 10:40 PM

tim: good point re: notifications on the iPhone.

that said, on the desktop, i have been quite pleased with my Growl notifications - they have been working very well over the last month for me!

Jd47 2008-10-10 02:52 PM

What if you give OF the ability to generate a simple calendar that iCal can subscribe to? Give tasks the option to be alarms and make their due date/time events with alarms?

iCal would do all the heavy lifting and users could keep everything in one place, rather than creating one-off tasks in iCal.

BonafideBM 2009-02-23 10:46 PM

Pop-up Alert support...In Apple's future?
 
Has Apple indicated if they are going to allow non-Apple apps like OF for iPhone access to the pop-up support used by apps like Text and Calendar?

JKT 2009-02-24 09:15 AM

Something like it for third party apps on the iPhone was meant to arrive last September, but mysteriously it still hasn't. I assume that whatever Apple had in mind didn't work very well once they realised just how many apps would want to use it, so they started over and whatever the new API is going to be, it is not going to arrive for some time (probably).

BonafideBM 2009-02-24 07:56 PM

[QUOTE=JKT;55676]Something like it for third party apps on the iPhone was meant to arrive last September, but mysteriously it still hasn't. I assume that whatever Apple had in mind didn't work very well once they realised just how many apps would want to use it, so they started over and whatever the new API is going to be, it is not going to arrive for some time (probably).[/QUOTE]
That sounds plausible. A GTD app like OF for iPhone has a genuine call for it as opposed to something like iFart. But - something I just realized - OF for iPhone would have to run in the background full time just like Phone and Mail. Well, I am all for it. Having a popup-alert-plus-vibrate-plus-tone occurring at 4:59 PM will ensure that I pickup the light bulbs at the hardware store on the way home (as opposed to the placid passivity of the little red badge icon with a number in it, which I am too predisposed to ignore, since my home springboard is full of little red badge icons with numbers in them.)

Hear this Omnigroup? I really hope this is where we can take this app, Apple willing, of course.

CatOne 2009-02-25 06:51 AM

Of course, your methodology (ring alerts all day long reminding me of things I should be doing) somewhat flies in the face of GTD.

vballas 2009-02-27 05:08 AM

I really cannot understand why the original apple plan wouldn't work.

Imagine this.
A mainstream notifications queue that runs in the background, indepentently from apps.
Each app can add / remove / change notification either from the web OR from the app when it runs.

If a notification comes of time, then the system just displays it.

Why would that simple logic not work ?

JKT 2009-02-27 05:38 AM

I assume it is because you could theoretically have ([9 x 16] + 4) = 148 apps all sending to the queue in quick succession (and potentially multiple times for each app, e.g. an IM app), thus leading to notification overload and battery drain. In theory that worst case scenario sounds absolutely dire; in practice, I doubt it would be anywhere close to that extreme. However, I suspect that once Apple started testing their initial implementation, they quickly realised that there was the chance that things could get close enough to the extreme that it would be unworkable in real world usage.

I'm just hypothesising so I could be well off the mark. However, what is self-apparent is that what Apple tried just didn't work well enough or we would have had it in the OS by now.

Ken Case 2009-02-27 06:25 AM

[QUOTE=vballas;55882]I really cannot understand why the original apple plan wouldn't work.

Imagine this.
A mainstream notifications queue that runs in the background, indepentently from apps.
Each app can add / remove / change notification either from the web OR from the app when it runs.

If a notification comes of time, then the system just displays it.

Why would that simple logic not work ?[/QUOTE]

That's exactly the feature request I made to Apple last summer: time-based notifications that work like their proposed server-based notifications, so we can schedule notifications from OmniFocus. I'm still hopeful that it will happen at some point.

BonafideBM 2009-02-28 12:01 AM

Good! Thanks Ken. I am ecstatic to hear that this is a feature you'd like to add. People that wouldn't want to use it wouldn't have to, of course, but it would be a godsend for errand management.

BonafideBM 2009-03-17 07:24 PM

Announcement by Apple today on iPhone OS 3.0:
[url]http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/sdk.html[/url]

"Push notification", as they call it, arrives. Nice, I think this is what we've been waiting for.

hexatron 2009-03-18 06:17 PM

[QUOTE=BonafideBM;56974]Announcement by Apple today on iPhone OS 3.0:
[url]http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/sdk.html[/url]

"Push notification", as they call it, arrives. Nice, I think this is what we've been waiting for.[/QUOTE]

woo!!
omni, please jump on this. i want omnifocus to annoy me into doing things, like pingme does. ([url]http://gopingme.com[/url])

CatOne 2009-03-21 06:03 PM

Recall though, you're talking "summer" to get this, as it requires the iPhone 3.0 OS and that's target at "summer." Omni Group can't do a thing about it before that -- best they can do is have OF for iPhone ready for the 3.0 OS when it launches.

Casper TFG 2009-04-20 03:03 AM

I hope they do!

I am sure OF would sell more if they did:D

shhQuiet 2009-04-23 10:31 AM

Q: Best way to create iPhone alerts [Answer: OF actions->iCal events via AppleScript]
 
My goal: When I create an action in OF that has a due date, I'd like an iPhone calendar entry to be created. That way, I can see those things on my iPhone further down the road than "soon" (currently 2 days).

I have OF for Mac, and I was hopeful when I saw "iCal integration", since I sync my iCal with my iPhone thru MobileMe as well. Unfortunately, this integration creates iCal to-dos, which are unsupported on iPhone. What I'd like is to create a calendar event (which would sync to iPhone) for those actions in OF that have a due date. Actions without a due date would be ignored. The calendar event could be an all-day event.

Is there any way to get this functionality without writing a script? If no, then will someone write the script for me??? ;)

Thanks!
-Steve

JKT 2009-04-23 12:29 PM

A script for creating iCal events is available in this thread (from Brian):

[url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?p=55309#post55309[/url]

I think that jumps you to the post which links to the latest version.

shhQuiet 2009-04-23 12:44 PM

Sweet! Thanks a million

bangzoom 2009-04-28 02:22 AM

Alerts
 
Yes yes yes! Alerts are key! I need to be reminded. About everything I do!

rjfay 2009-04-29 05:31 AM

Alerts would be great.

What would be diabolical on the other hand would be in-app purchases. "Click 'Buy' to add a task to this project."

kman42 2009-04-29 10:14 AM

I don't think Apple's Push Notification is going to get us notifications in Omnifocus. It is designed for notifications from a server, not the phone. For example, you will be notified if you get a message on an IM service or a tweet. It isn't designed to allow third party apps to provide notifications in the background. Omni would have to set up a server with accounts for all their users that continuously sync'd with their devices to keep a list of when notifications should occur. This seems unlikely.

I think what you are after is for Apple to develop an on-device notification system that allows third party apps to register upcoming alerts so that they occur at specific times. I haven't heard about anything like this.

Brian 2009-04-29 04:49 PM

Some clarification for folks that find this thread in the future: At the time of this writing, only Apple has access to the code that pops up notifications on the iPhone; third party apps like OmniFocus cannot do it.

haelo 2009-05-05 03:28 PM

iPhone OS 3 will support 3rd party notifications in several ways, will OmniFocus for iPhone be supporting this?

paulduv 2009-05-20 08:51 PM

Second that.
 
I second that. And I think it really comes down to the OF developers coming to terms with the fact that a whole lot of people would love to have the missing piece of useable and simple notifications from OmniFocus.

I [I]really[/I] hope the OmniFocus developers are intending to be on top of the new notification features... I'm dying for anything that will make reminders, alarms, etc. easier in OmniFocus.

The forums are peppered with comments like, "Yeah, but hard dates are for your calendar". That whole "hard landscape" dogma is just unbelievable to me. Ok, caps-lock is going on: IF I CAN SET A START DATE AND/OR A DUE DATE, PLUS HAVE SOME NOTIFICATION,[B] IN WHATEVER I'M USING,[/B] THEN THAT THING IS A CALENDAR.

It makes as much sense to say that OF is not for hard deadlines as it does to say, "Computers are not for writing letters, type-writers are for writing letters." Just because it doesn't have pictures of kittens, doesn't mean OmniFocus can't perform the function of a calendar perfectly well. Much, [I]much[/I] better in fact, since we've all gone through all the trouble of creating projects and contexts in OF something we can't do in iCal, or on our Kitties in Baskets calendars on the fridge.

And let's be serious: clearly David Allen was not visualizing the functionality that could be [I]built into[/I] a system like OmniFocus when he counseled that hard deadlines should be on a calendar. Not that I accept that he's the Second Coming, but if his word is gospel, where did he say, "If a system comes along that [I]could[/I] handle hard deadlines, and fit just nicely in your existing GTD setup, [B]whatever you do, do not use it for that purpose.[/B]"?

So I'm begging: Omni guys, [I]please[/I] take quick, and full advantage of notifications in the upcoming iPhone update. And there are clearly a lot of people on this forum who feel the same way.

paulduv 2009-05-20 09:00 PM

Well maybe there's some hope.
 
My little rant was after reading this comment on another thread:

"Of course, your methodology (ring alerts all day long reminding me of things I should be doing) somewhat flies in the face of GTD."

But I see that further on, Ken talks about a feature request he made to Apple to make notifications do-able. So I guess it's on the radar, if it's technically possible. I feel much better.

danielandrews 2009-05-21 04:05 PM

[QUOTE=kman42;59208]I don't think Apple's Push Notification is going to get us notifications in Omnifocus. It is designed for notifications from a server, not the phone. For example, you will be notified if you get a message on an IM service or a tweet. It isn't designed to allow third party apps to provide notifications in the background. Omni would have to set up a server with accounts for all their users that continuously sync'd with their devices to keep a list of when notifications should occur. This seems unlikely.

I think what you are after is for Apple to develop an on-device notification system that allows third party apps to register upcoming alerts so that they occur at specific times. I haven't heard about anything like this.[/QUOTE]

What he said. Unless Omni were to ...

- Set up a server that would read your sync'd file, then ...
- Submit to Apple every time there is a new due event, which would then ...
- Notify you on your phone ...

The 3.0 implementation of push notifications won't work.

bali 2009-05-23 01:44 PM

The only possible way for reminders and notifications (besides Apple Calendar) is currently the Push service announced in FW 3.0.

We are finishing a simple reminder application called NotifyMe which supports this (and it's completly different from Omni products). NotifyMe is not trying to compete with Omni and it's great GTD philosophy, so hopefully I won't be banned here for posting this.

Check NotifyMe if you're just looking for simple reminders:

[url]http://powerybase.com/notifyme[/url]

jbkendrick 2009-05-23 07:13 PM

I would prefer SMS from OF
 
Rather than add a layer with iCal, I would prefer to see Omni add an SMS notification feature, similar to Jott, directly to the OF client.

I've submitted a feature request on this and suggested that a notification check box and perhaps amount of time before due to be notified, could be added to the date area on the action inspector to enable a reminder.

The cell number to use for SMS notifications could be entered in preferences for use whenever a notification is enabled. John

JohnJ80 2009-05-25 11:16 AM

Growl for SMS only works if you have your computer live at some point. What about us road warriors that use OF on our laptops and iPhones? Doesn't work.

The mac version needs to have alerts like iCal does. There are actions that need to be completed by a time and need to have reminders. iPhone version needs to support push notifications in iPhone 3.0.

I'd like to see the Omni own up to say that they are going to do this. Otherwise, as much as I adore OF, I'm going to have to look at moving on to something else.

The way I've gotten around this is to kludge up an interface through Toodledo that can send SMS (or email) messages. Here's the AS that does that:

[url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=12624[/url]

That said, it's a kludge but it does work.

J.

JohnJ80 2009-05-25 11:20 AM

Here is how I addressed this using Toodledo's SMS and alert function:

[url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=12624[/url]

I concur that OF needs to have this capability in both the mac and in the iPhone. When iPhone 3.0 comes out, it should be a breeze on the iPhone. It is straightforward to do it now on the mac.

Those who claim the purist mantle and say "do that on your calendar" don't have to use it if it's there. In point of fact, put a check box in the preferences that says "Don't supply any notifications" or something like that. Don't like it, then don't use it. To say to not have it is basically a ridiculous argument and probably big time limits the market that OF tries to address.

There are quite a number of actions that need both a context and a time to be enabled.

J.

JohnJ80 2009-05-25 11:23 AM

It's a needed feature and there has to be a way to do this.

Here's what I do using Toodledo's email/SMS notification capability:

[url]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=12624[/url]

Works, but you get about an hour's notice. Not time of.

J.

Brian 2009-05-27 02:14 PM

[QUOTE=JohnJ80;60294]When iPhone 3.0 comes out, it should be a breeze on the iPhone.[/QUOTE]

Unfortunately, the feature that Apple is talking about for iPhone OS 3 doesn't do what we need to provide the feature folks are asking for.

For more info, see [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost.php?p=60372&postcount=19"]Ken's post[/URL].


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