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OmniOutliner 4 and iPad (Updated 7/23/10) Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
******** Update 7/23/10 ********

I apologize for the lack of recent OmniOutliner status updates and we greatly appreciate all your patience and enthusiasm for OO. As you may have heard, we just submitted OmniFocus for the iPad to Apple on Wednesday night (yay!). So as far as our iPad plans go, that puts OmniOutliner up next which has actually been in development for a little while already. As far as an estimated release date goes, around the end of summer is our current goal.

So where does this put OmniOutliner 4? Well, as we also mentioned before when we announced our iPad plans, we don't want the iPad app to delay development on OO4. So both OO iPad and OO4 are concurrently being worked on and work has never stopped on OO4. What's taking so long then? The last few months our OO4 developers have been very hard at work getting our outline view and related animations finished. This work is unfortunately taking much longer than anticipated. Due to this, our current best estimate for release is near the end of this year. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I assure you the OO4 team is hard at work and we certainly haven't abandoned or shelved the app.

And that's the current state of all things OmniOutliner. Once again, thanks for your continued support patience!


Incase you haven't been following our blog, we announced two weeks ago that we're planning to bring five apps to the iPad: OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniPlan, OmniGraphSketcher, and OmniOutliner. I'm sure this brings up the question of what happens with OmniOutliner 4 for some of you.

Well, at first we were planning to not changing any plans and starting on the iPad version after OO4 was out, but after our iPad announcement it was clear that there is a big desire for OmniOutliner on the iPad as soon as possible. So in response to that we've modify our plans a bit as detailed in this follow-up blog post.

Originally Posted by Ken Case
So we started thinking about how we could get started on OmniOutliner for iPad sooner. We really don’t want to delay OmniOutliner 4, so we instead started thinking about how we could finish OmniOutliner 4 more quickly. We realized that if we scaled back some of the esoteric features which we’d planned for the Pro edition of version 4—cloning and multiple schemas—we could shave three months off its development schedule and get started on OmniOutliner for iPad that much sooner. Now, both of those features are still pretty interesting to us, and we’ve already laid the groundwork for supporting these in the underlying outlining engine—but we think bringing OmniOutliner on iPad is more important overall, so that’s what we’re going to do.

So I’m pleased to say that both OmniOutliner 4 and OmniOutliner for iPad will be coming three months sooner!

Oh, what’s coming in OmniOutliner 4? We’ve rebuilt the engine inside of OmniOutliner, so among other things it will support text zooming, showing and hiding columns, “Smart Match” completion cells, searching across all column types, better link handling (no more unfindable tokens!), and (in the Pro edition) saved smart folders. (Also, say goodbye to the old Aqua drawer!)
So, both are still coming and OO4 will be release first, but not with all the features we had planned. The bonus is they're both coming sooner!

Last edited by DerekM; 2010-07-23 at 01:28 PM..
I can see the challenge this present the OmniGroup, but from my point of view I'd rather you went the whole hog with OO4 and then developed the iPad version. OO on the Mac has an existing user base, the OO iPad user base is theoretical at the moment.

That said, my world won't fall apart without cloning in OO4 for a few months longer.
Originally Posted by bashosfrog View Post
OO on the Mac has an existing user base, the OO iPad user base is theoretical at the moment.
But OO4's user base is just as theoretical as the iPad's...and if OmniFocus for the iPhone is any indication, there will be a lot of new customers brought into the fold.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see OO4 tomorrow and OO4 on the iPad (and perhaps with a reader on the iPod/iPhone?) the day they go on sale :-)
Personally, I've been waiting for cloning since OO2 and this news is extremely disappointing. I've looked at other tools that include cloning but have held off because the other features don't work as simply as OO.

I understand the need to prioritise development and I feel that cutting back on features for OO4 will produce a far less compelling upgrade as including cloning and multiple schemas would. What does this mean for upgrade pricing? By dropping these features, does that mean that after waiting years for an upgrade from OO3, we'll have an upgrade to OO4 and then another when cloning and multiple schemas are developed, effectively having to pay twice for features we were expecting to see in OO4?

whpalmer4, I can't agree that the OO4 user base is as theoretical as the iPad user base. OO3 has an existing installed base and if the features are compelling enough plenty (if not most) of those people will upgrade.

Now, I'm still looking forward to seeing OO4 and I'm a big advocate for OmniGroup and own all of the products except OmniGraphSketcher. I'll have to wait for the feature list to see if the Pro version has enough features I need to upgrade to.
We haven't gotten an answer from Omni yet, but I'm not sure there's any reason to conclude that these desired features not being in 4.0 means they won't be in some other version of 4.x. Look at all the features that have gone into post-1.0 releases of OmniFocus, for example. If they come out in 4.x, you won't have to pay any more than if they come out in 4.0. Have you ever looked at the length of the historical release notes for OO3?

As for the debate over whether there are customers for OmniOutliner on the iPad, did you not notice that the reason for the stated change in plans was the large number of requests for OmniOutliner on the iPad? The responses to Ken's first post on the blog had dozens, and I would certainly count it among the things I'll buy on the first day available, along with OmniFocus.
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
As for the debate over whether there are customers for OmniOutliner on the iPad, did you not notice that the reason for the stated change in plans was the large number of requests for OmniOutliner on the iPad?
This forum is full of requests for cloning/aliasing & multiple schemas/column layouts. The number of requests, and the reasons for them, aren't why OG is trying to ride the iPad wave. Almost all requests for enhancements to OO/OOP are from existing customers. OG is after new customers, and those who have been waiting for years for features will just have to wait longer.

I don't blame OG for going after the iPad business - early to the App Store means they can scoop up early adopters and tout an established track record for OG apps. I just think it's a shame that it has to be at the expense of those who had reasonable expectations for certain features in OO/OOP 4. OG was asking for OO/OOP 4 feature requests/suggestions four years ago and even started a thread specifically asking about 'cloning/aliasing in OO4?' two years ago.

Those customers for OmniOutliner on the iPad could very well have certain expectations of OO/iPad that won't be met by the OO/iPad feature set. If that's the case, well, they can just get in line with the others who are waiting for the next version.
for some, cloning/aliasing is of no value, and i have no interest in them. but having OO3 or OO4 on an iPad from day one is of GREAT value. so don't assume the existing users are going to be a base for the next upgrade.
I have to admit that reading the OO4 announcement has left me disappointed. I said long ago and I will say it again:

While I agree that it is far overdue, and you are correct in pointing out that many outliners have went by the wayside, OO4 better be good or it will flop. I have felt for several years now that 003 is ok for outlining but it has it's limits and could be much easier to format. It has always been clunky for me to work with. I started on 002
By flop today, I mean existing customers are not going to upgrade like one would expect. Waiting for 4.x to deliver sought after requests reflects the attention given to the OO platform.

OO4 could be so much better but let's face it, OO3 is looong in the tooth. It is no longer my choice for outlining and that is very sad in my geek heart because Omni is my top bookmark under Mac Software in Safari.

I understand the business decision for the iPad to get the software but I don't understand why it has taken this long to deliver the updates dedicated users have waited patiently to appear.

Yes, I have an iPad 3G 64 GB on pre-order so the allure to have it on my iPad is there, it does not overpower the disappointment that OO4 will be lacking with the new release.
An iPad update. This has not changed our OO4 plans.
In OmniOutliner 4 I would like to have multiple outlines available in one file via tabs in the way that Microsoft Excel can have multiple spreadsheets in one file.

I use OmniOutliner to maintain To Do lists for a number of projects. The concatenated lists would be too long to work well within one outline (too much scrolling up and down), but it is inconvenient to have to keep multiple OO files open, one per project. Tabbed outlines would solve this problem.

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