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iPad 2 - Need for speed Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
As I was using OmniFocus on my "magical" iPad last night and waiting almost a full second for tasks to respond to be completed, I thought about the iPad 2 and the need for speed.

Obviously the new A5 in the iPad 2 should help out with some of the tardiness of OmniFocus, but what other cool things might bring?

- Adding photos to tasks via the camera?
- Sharing my tasks on my TV?


Not one reply?

Well, I hate to say it but OmniFocus for the iPad is still pretty slow on my iPad 2. Each touch of an element takes anywhere from a second to a few seconds to update.

Is anyone else seeing this slowness?

BZ, what is the context in which the actions you are manipulating are being shown? I find that on my iPad 1, the animations if I am showing a single project or context are quite fast, but if I am in a perspective that includes the bulk of my large database (remaining actions grouped by start date, for example), there is a multiple-second pause after making a change. I am hoping the iPad 2 will speed that up a bit, but not holding my breath, as I am not sure either of the two processor cores in the new chip are much more powerful than the old one. Certainly OmniFocus for Mac doesn't take advantage of multiple cores (I'll be happy to pay for OF 2 for that alone, if it does so effectively!) Didn't do much research on the matter as i was hoping to be able to do empirical studies, but so far that hasn't worked out :-)

Please don't misconstrue my remarks about OF 2 and multiple core support as anything other than an extrapolation from previous statements from Ken about not dropping support for Tiger and Leopard in OF 1.x (thus no ability to use Grand Central Dispatch). I have seen no indication there is any consideration being given to doing the work to use GCD in OF 2, either.
I had an opportunity to visit a friendly local Apple Store to try out the iPad 2 with the two resource hungry Omni apps. While I am sure the doubling of RAM capacity will put an end to my frequent out of memory crashes in OF and OG, the rest of the experience was so similar to current performance that I didn't even bother to open the old iPad to run some side-by-side comparisons. I guess that will make the wait easier to bear! I was briefly tempted to inquire about purchasing an unopened unit someone returned as I was leaving, but I didn't have my gift card on me...
I just sent feedback to OmniGroup requesting they do something to improve the performance of OmniFocus on the iPad. I just switched over to the iPad 2 and it's just as SLOW as ever.

I just waited 7 seconds to switch from one day to another in the Forecast view. The average for switching days is about 3 seconds. There must be a way to squeeze out better performance on the iPad 2 with the faster A5 processor and increased RAM.

Does anyone know if OmniGroup is working on an optimized version of OmniFocus to take advantage of the better/faster iPad 2 hardware? Where's the OmniFocus love for iPad 2? LOL.

They've made quite a few improvements over the years to various versions of OmniFocus to make it more efficient on a single-core system, and I've seen nothing to suggest that there aren't any more possibilities (quite the opposite!) I'm glad to have another voice clamoring for improvement here (though I would prefer they continue working on single-core improvements, which should also help out those fortunate enough to have a dual-core system). You did the right thing to make sure your voice is heard, by sending feedback with the Contact Omni menu item. If there's enough feedback complaining about the performance, perhaps they'll spend the resources to have an experienced hand do some careful performance analysis and act on the findings. I don't think you should hold your breath about seeing much in this department in the immediate future, however too many other irons in the fire at the moment.
I use OmniFocus on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad and they are all perfectly in sync via MobileMe. I see no performance issues with OmniFocus on my Mac or iPhone 3GS, yet OmniFocus on the iPad 1 and iPad 2 both perform so badly. The OmniFocus UI freezes up where it is very slow to respond to touch commands. There has to be something wrong programmatically when OmniFocus on the iPad 2 with its A5 processor performs like crap, and is outperformed by the iPhone 3GS with the same database.

I'm sure OmniGroup is aware of the performance problems with OmniFocus for iPad. When will OmniFocus perform properly is the big question that I ask myself every day. It probably requires a major overhaul to add the omitted code to make the magic API calls. I was a happy OmniFocus for iPad user when I started using not so much.

I'm glad I'm not the only one now noticing that OmniFocus continues to be a snail on the iPad 2. OmniGroup, please fix this.


Last edited by ITGuy; 2011-04-08 at 03:29 AM..
I checked with the team about this: in working on the iPhone version of Forecast view, we figured out some performance improvements that we'll port back to the iPad's version in an upcoming release.

In the meantime, there are a couple things that may help folks understand what's going on.

The first thing to know is that how long it takes to switch to Forecast view depends on the number of items in your database. If you sync with a Mac, the usual tricks - archiving completed actions rather than keeping them in your database, for example - will make switching to Forecast view faster.

Another thing to know is that the A5 has much faster graphics capabilities, but in terms of clock speed, it's actually identical to the previous chip. It's got two processor cores you can throw things at, which is great. But it's like sticking two engines in a car; you can do the extra work that takes and it will make the car somewhat faster. Just not twice as fast.

Games are a little bit of an exception here. Apple worked hard on the graphical side of things - those got 'up to nine times faster' according to their website. Games do a lot of drawing, so you're going to see much faster performance there.

General purpose computing and data-crunching tasks won't see the same degree of improvement, though. In this case, the latter part of the process is more relevant.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Brian; 2011-04-08 at 03:17 PM.. Reason: "faster" -> "somewhat faster"
Thanks for the update Brian. OmniGroup has the best Ninjas.

I'm glad to hear there are some forthcoming performance improvements to the Forecast view. They can't come soon enough. My impressions are that OmniFocus on my iPhone 3GS performs much better than on my iPad 1 and iPad 2, and I'm not just talking about the Forecast view. I can quickly navigate between projects and actions on the iPhone 3GS, yet both generations of iPads have equally slower performance navigating between projects and actions. All devices have the same database.

There is something not right with the iPad version of OmniFocus. It's not just the iPad Forecast view that needs optimizing. The iPhone version puts the iPad version to shame with the same size database, so archiving is only a tactical solution for iPad users. We shouldn't have to archive just because the iPad version behaves badly. The iPad version of OmniFocus needs a performance overhaul.

Have the same issue with both iPad 1 & 2. When I start at the "main" view and tap the Projects disclosure button (to make the left pane slide over into a list of projects) there's a good 1-2 second pause before it happens. I realize this sounds like a too-small amount of time to be concerned about, but it's noticeable and there's no lag at all doing the same thing on the iPhone (yes, a 3GS here as well).

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