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Timescales and future plans for OF? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I know you (Omni) are having to juggle lots of balls to keep your family of products going, but can you give us any idea of what's in the pipeline of OF iPad?

I think I'm in the unfortunate minority who are really struggling with OmniFocus on this platform, judging by the other comments here, but I'm kind of at my wits' end. I've tried to force myself to use OF, forcing myself to outline projects on the iPad rather than using another outliner and then importing it, but it just seems so slow and clunky. It's horrible to use when at a client's place. Unlike the Mac version, which makes it so easy to chuck stuff in haphazardly and then move it around and break it down, OF for iPad seems suited only to tasks where you know how the breakdown will look right from the beginning. It works fine for one-off remember-the-milk type tasks, too, but I need it to manage the larger projects in my life.

So, I'm trying to decide whether to persevere through this dark time or whether to seek an alternative. It would be really useful to have an idea of how you are perceiving our reaction to OF - do you see the user interface as only needing small tweaks, or do you agree that there are some large scale UI changes needed (for example, creating/moving/rearranging hierarchically complex projects)?

If the majority of users seem content, I'll understand that you'll want to concentrate on other projects, but it would be really useful to know what's going on inside the Omni mind - what are your priorities?
 
I don't speak for Omni, and I think the fellow best suited to answering your question (Ken Case) is off on (well-deserved) vacation right now, but I'll offer the following observation: Omni also has a product called OmniOutliner, which was the progenitor of OmniFocus. OmniOutliner is the next app coming to the iPad from Omni, due out sometime in the coming months, I believe. I do not believe OmniOutliner would cut the mustard if the outlining features there do not rise above what OmniFocus has so far delivered. Assuming that a viable product is delivered (my fervent hope, as I really want OmniOutliner for my iPad!) I think we will see improvements in the UI retrofitted into OmniFocus.

Have you tried capturing just as a flat list in OmniFocus, then applying the outline structure and ordering after you have the actions entered?
 
There are definitely things about OmniFocus for iPad we could do more work on, and we want to make those improvements. That said, the current app appears to have been very well received by a large group of customers.

We're in the process of determining how best to use our engineering time to give those folks what they're asking for while also working to bring new editions of our products to the folks that don't currently have a tool they can use on the iPad. (Or have been waiting a long time for a new version on the Mac.)

We're going to keep working on OmniFocus for iPad, of course, but at the same as we work on the projects we'd been deferring until now.
 
More generally, I do think that the Mac app is currently easiest to use when you have lots of hierarchical organization to do. I personally tend to add a lot of info in the iOS apps, then structure it on the Mac.

We've learned a lot by doing our first 3 iPad interfaces, though, and I'd agree that OmniOutliner is probably the first place where we'll need to apply those lessons and step it up a notch. (Not being sure how to nail a touch-based outlining interface is one of the reasons we didn't tackle OO right out of the gate, actually.)

As we figure this stuff out for OmniOutliner, we'll eventually be able to take those lessons back and apply them to OmniFocus. That kind of learning takes time, though; we didn't want to delay OmniFocus until we had figured the answers out. Current app represents the best job we could do at the time - suggestions welcome while we figure out how to bring you a better one. :-)
 
Thanks for the info, Brian and Mr.(?) Palmer, much appreciated. This openness and honesty, even about the shortcomings of your products, is what makes Omni such an attractive company to buy into. Despite the fact I can't really work OF / iPad into my life at the moment, it never seems to feel like wasted money as long as this feedback channel remains two-way. Buying into a family rather than buying a box.

You're right - getting OmniOutliner up and running on the iPad is a logical step on the way to an efficiently realised OmniFocus UI... right then, time to start stirring up the OmniOutliner forum :)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
I do not believe OmniOutliner would cut the mustard if the outlining features there do not rise above what OmniFocus has so far delivered.
I agree.

The outlining and moving features are the clunky parts of OF iPad. Grabbing, moving, and organizing things was where I though OF iPad would shine.

The Review and Forecast features are a saving grace. But the overall organization and drilling into multiple levels of hierarchy without a quick Home button back make anything more complex really laborious.

Like you've described, I hope that re-figuring this stuff out for OmniOutliner gets ported back into OF iPad. That's the moment I think I'll feel special about my $40. I do have confidence things will get better - the track record tells me that.
 
You'll be happy to learn that there is a Home button in the latest builds...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
You'll be happy to learn that there is a Home button in the latest builds...
:D

Hoorah!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiK View Post
:D

Hoorah!
Yip Dee Doo Too :)
 
 


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