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Alarms - some guidance appreciated Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have posted a few questions in the forum and have appreciated the helpful nature if everyone here. I am considering implementing OF in my small company. In my research I have found screenshots showing an option for calendar integration. I am also aware or the developments in the iPhone version and local notifications.

Can anyone clarify what options are available for generating alarm reminders for actions in the iPad version?

Many thanks

Stefan
 
Notifications on iOS devices: most (but not all) iPhones are now running iOS 4, but iPads are still using a version of iOS 3. The two versions of iOS have different approaches to notifications. When running on a device OmniFocus (both editions) will use whatever features the OS supports.

Now: more detail. :-)

On an iPad (or an iPhone with iOS 3 installed) OmniFocus does not have the option of presenting an alert without some sort of external server. When running on one of those devices, OmniFocus can export a calendar file to your iDisk (or another WebDAV server) which contains info about all your actions' deadlines - every time you sync, the file gets updated.

OmniFocus then tells the Calendar application on your iPad or iPhone how to subscribe to that calendar file. The calendar application presents alerts to you. (Apple gives their own applications access to code that OmniFocus doesn't get. On iOS 3, the calendar app can present alerts that we can't.)

As you may be thinking now, this setup seems kind of complicated and less-than ideal. You might hope that Apple would make things better. Well, in iOS 4, they did!

Applications running on iOS 4 devices have access to a new feature called "Local Notifications" - essentially, all apps can now do what the calendar app was doing on iOS 4. When OmniFocus is running, it tells the OS about your upcoming event deadlines, and then alerts appear. No server export necessary.

So, the rundown:

OmniFocus for iPhone: does whatever it the current device supports. IPhones can run iOS 3 or iOS 4; either set of features will be active depending on your phone.

OmniFocus for iPad: iPads currently run a version of iOS 3, so it only does the calendar export. Once iPads support iOS 4, it will behave like the iPhone app and do whatever the current device supports.
 
Thanks Brian. I am aware of the new features in iOS 4 - like many I can't wait for this to hit the iPad.

Could you help me a little further?

Option 1. Focusing on the iPad --- what is the route for me to export entries to mobile me calendars?

Option 2. If I ran the iPhone and iPad versions (via mobile me sync) can entries from the iPhone version appear in a mobile me calendar?

Thanks

Stefan
 
Hi Brian - having read your reply a couple more times would my summary be accurate as outlined below.

I have mobile me. So -- I sync to that and if I enable the calendar integration an additional file is created holding calendar data.

OF sets up the calendar on the iPad to subscribe to the calendar file.

The only way the calendar is updated is if I sync from OF.

If the above is an accurate understanding the only last question I have is this --- are alarms automatically enables in the file on iDisk? In other words, I don't have to go through an extra step to look at the iPad calendar - see the structure of an entry created by OF - and then edit the calendar to add alarm data?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefMercury View Post

If the above is an accurate understanding the only last question I have is this --- are alarms automatically enables in the file on iDisk? In other words, I don't have to go through an extra step to look at the iPad calendar - see the structure of an entry created by OF - and then edit the calendar to add alarm data?
That's correct, the alarms are set for you, and you don't have to do anything except subscribe to the calendar. One thing to be aware of, however, is that depending on your calendar data settings (push/fetch), the calendar app may not immediately refetch the calendar file after OmniFocus makes some changes to it. If you are changing the due date of something in the next few hours, and it is essential that you get the notification, then after watching the sync complete, you should open up the Calendar app and verify that the little appointment that triggers the notification gets inserted. This is especially prone to failure when you are testing the mechanism out for the first time you don't want to wait around, so you make a test action and set it to be due in a minute or two, and then you say unkind things about Omni products when you don't get the notification, when it is actually Apple's software that let you down :)
 
 


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