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Hey I love OmniFocus on my mac but hate it on my iPhone, why? The loading time at the beginning of the app. This really needs to be fixed. GTD is about speed, and OmniFocus for iPhone is damn slow to startup. There should be NO loading time at all, let it happen while i'm in the app, or in the background, whatever. Find a solution for the headache that i get every time i start up the app. Make it quick, snappy. Please Omni, i love you work on the Mac OS X version, but make it work on the iPhone. The loading screen makes me cry every time.
I couldn't agree more - I bought an iPhone specifically for Omnifocus, upgrading from a Sony Ericsson P910, and though I love it, I must admit that capturing actions on the go was *much* faster on my old phone.

It's slow enough on the iphone that I find myself being put off using it for capturing stuff on the fly, as I know it'll take 15-20s of waiting before I can even start typing, and on the go I just dont have time. On my old phone I could open the flip, add a next action to a list and close the flip in about 10 seconds - before Omnifocus has even finished loading. This may sound fussy but when I'm mid meeting and want to quickly jot something down, it's the difference between that action being fluent and quite transparent to the others in the meeting, and me being distracted for half a minute while I look at my gadget.

IMO where we need speed is the capturing stage more than the reviewing stage - I generally don't mind a wait to review lists for example, if one's necessary to load the main db - so Evert's suggestion of having the main file load in the background is a good one. All we need loaded for capturing stuff is the list of projects and contexts not their contents. If even that's too much, the ability to simply capture stuff 'raw' to the inbox without context/project would be ok

Finally, one additional suggestion - I don't know if this is feasible technically, but it would be great if omnifocus could take over the double-click feature of the home button, so that instead of bringing up ipod controls it brings up a quick-entry capture to inbox feature - the iphone equivalent of the quick capture KC/window on the mac version. As it stands, even if Omnifocus's loading time becomes instant, the act of capturing something will still be slowed down by having to slide the iphone unlock thingy, enter your passcode, wait for the flashy graphics, then hit the omnifocus button - and some of us would rather have quick idea capturing than quick access to our music..for those that want both, perhaps a triple click for OF?

Thanks for listening,


It sounds to me like you need to archive some items from your database on the desktop version of OmniFocus and then sync again. Choose File, then "Move Old Data To Archive".

I have a very extensive database of projects and actions, and my iPhone version of OmniFocus loads in under 5 seconds (I timed it just now).

In fact, I also timed how long it took me to launch OmniFocus, hit the inbox button at the bottom of the screen, type "This Is A Test Action", then hit save and exit OmniFocus. I even made a mistake in the spelling and had to backspace and correct it (I spelled "Text" instead of "Test"). Still, I did all of that in under 20 seconds. That's all I ever do when capturing stuff anyway - contexts, projects and due dates can wait until later when I have time to comb through my inbox.

Now, don't get me wrong, I would love it if OmniFocus was much snappier, so in a sense, I agree with you. I just thought I would point out that you seem to be having unnecessary delays and it's probably because you have a ton of old OmniFocus data that needs to be archived.
Thanks for the reply, but the phone hasn't slowed down since I started using OF so I don't think I have too much junk in there - it's always been slow.

Anyway I'm not just talking about Omnifocus's loading time, but how long it takes from start to finish using OF on the iphone to take a note - your test was a rather good reflection btw.

I just did another test - with the iphone asleep in my hand from the moment I decided to jot something down to actually being able to start typing this time took about 16 seconds, and that was going as fast as I could - this (and the 20s of your test) is just too long IMHO, and numerous others on this forum seem to think that too. Its certainly far longer than the 5s or whatever my old sony ericsson used to take from start to finish.

Admittedly in my case the phone wasn't on the home screen (safari was the last thing I was using on it before I put it to sleep) so an extra push of the home button was required once it was unlocked, but I think that's how it would be in the real world - who presses home every time they finish doing something on their phone?

Anyway this is exactly why I think if possible OFi capturing should be available even while the phone's locked, by double or triple-clicking the home button - that way we don't have to wait for any annoyingly slow GUI animations at all..

Last edited by Jon C; 2008-09-13 at 11:16 AM..
I'm no expert, but I'm sure the "double home button press" is something that Apple doesn't make available to 3rd party applications.

Too bad.
Well we can but hope :)

Btw I just dug out my old phone, a Sony Ericsson P910 to see whether I was imagining how fast it was at capturing tasks. From opening the flip to being able to start typing a new to-do took 5 seconds.
Just to add my two bits worth, I bought OmniFocus for the iPhone just yesterday. I have not used OmniFocus on the Mac yet, so the database is empty (except for the "learn about GTD" and "learn about OmniFocus" projects that come with it - thanks for the pointers!).

It takes OmniFocus on my 16GB iPhone 3G v2.1 about 5 seconds to become usable from the time I tap the OmniFocus icon in the Dock - all of this time is spent with a white bar across the screen (see attached screenshot, "this is OmniFocus for iPhone").

I'm trying to convince my girlfriend that she should get an iPhone too, but she looks at the 5 seconds it takes to just open OmniFocus, and proceeds to open her paper diary, write the stuff I was looking to enter into OmniFocus, close the diary and put it back in her pocket, smiling smugly all the time.

Sure, paper isn't as flexible as electronic - but when she can erase an entry from her "Inbox" (you know, with an eraser - that's the little white bit on the end of a pencil, for those who can't remember) and rewrite it in the appropriate context faster than I can with the iPhone, where's the advantage to spending $AU1000 on the iPhone and an extra $AU23.90 on OmniFocus? ;)

I'm the one with the Apple product. The smug smile should be on my face!

PS: For my purposes, OmniFocus on the iPhone Dock is just about right. "Home" -> "tap" --(wait 5 seconds)--> start working with OmniFocus. Instant responsiveness would be perfect, less than 2 seconds would be usable.

PPS: Thank you, everyone involved with the OmniFocus project! The current implementation is exactly what I need, no more no less. It's always a pleasure to use OmniGroup software, thank you for releasing software when it's ready, rather than when the marketroids tell you to.
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Last edited by Grail; 2008-09-14 at 06:29 PM.. Reason: Add praise and throw flower petals
I have OF open on my iPod touch all the time, so all I have to do is unlock the screen, so by the time I am able to start typing is about 3 seconds. If you are going into a meeting where you think you will need to put in some actions, why isn't OF already open? After all, if you were using a piece of paper you would have surely checked that you had a blank piece of paper and a pen that works before going to the meeting wouldn't you.
For my purposes, I can't have OmniFocus open all the time. I open Google Maps to check what the suggested route is from A to B. Along the way I get a phone call and have to make notes in OmniFocus. That extra 5 seconds of "um.. er... just waiting for my computer to catch up with me..." is annoying. I'm not normally a penny-pincher, but when I'm talking on a mobile phone, I can virtually hear the pennies clinking into the service provider's piggy bank (not to mention, the caller's frustration level rising exponentially).

Perhaps I should just get into the habit of switching to OmniFocus just before I press the wake/sleep button :)
I said it in the slow syncing thread and I will say it here. The slow load time makes OF practically unusable for me. I don't know what to do about it.

I hope one of the developers make a response here.

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