The Omni Group’s excellent project management application OmniPlan and its impressive graphics software OmniGraffle have both had major new releases with many new features. Dwarfing them all, though, is that the two can now also run on iPhone.
Previously… there was a Mac version and an iPad one but no iPhone. Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have big screens, the Omni Group has been moving their apps to the phone.
That’s obviously good: even the bigger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus is not as handy as an iPad or Mac but you always have your phone with you so the usefulness is high. What’s nicer still, though, is that if you already have these apps for iPad, you’ve now got them for your iPhone. For free.
It’s the same app in both cases. Just go get them from your Purchases section in the App Store. That’s still true even if, like me, your iPhone is the older, smaller type, an iPhone 5.
I’ve not been on the beta tests for either of these but I have for the other two Omni Group apps are that coming to iPhone very soon. And I can tell you that having OmniOutliner available on my iPhone has been a huge boon. I don’t have to tell you that having OmniFocus on my iPhone is superb.
Of these four apps, only OmniFocus was already on the iPhone – but it was there in an iPhone-only edition. That was good, I used that thousands upon thousands of times, but now that’s gone and instead we get the iPad edition turned universal. That means we get features that were previously only on the iPad. And yes, that means Reviews. We finally get OmniFocus’s reviews feature on iPhone.
I don’t honestly know what OmniGraffle is for. Hang on:
OmniGraffle is for creating precise, beautiful graphics. Like website wireframes, an electrical system design, a family tree, or mapping out software classes. For artists, designers, casual data-mappers, and everyone in-between.
Thanks. For some reason I read that, I understand it, but I forget it. And the next time there’s a new version of OmniGraffle, I get to wondering: what in the hell is OmniGraffle?
It’s not for me, that’s the other answer and it’s the explanation. I don’t need graphics like this, I don’t create them, I can’t create them. So in my productively-focused brain, it wouldn’t get into my head and it wouldn’t get a spot on The Blank Screen. But it’s by the Omni Group.
I am wedded to this company’s To Do software OmniFocus. If it ran on Windows and Android, I would skip a whole chunk of my workshops and just recommend OmniFocus to everybody. As it is, I recommend OmniFocus to everybody. Buy a Mac first, if necessary.
Then if I’m wedded to that, I’m having a fling with OmniOutliner. This is the outlining software that changed my mind about outlining. I used to do it solely when contractually obligated. Now I am still an explorer on the page but if I have to do anything quickly, I whack down some thoughts in OmniOutliner and let them grow until they find their own form. I’ve done books like this. Interviews. Events. I’ve done things where having juggled the outline around until I’m happy, I’ve then sent that outline directly into OmniFocus where it’s become a whole series of tasks.
I am now planning a lot more events and I’m toying with OmniPlan chiefly because it’s made by the same firm. So when the Omni Group announces a new version of OmniGraffle, I notice and am compelled to tell you about it. I’m just rubbish at actually telling you anything about it. So do go read the full piece on the Omni blog.
They’ll join OmniFocus, which I may have mentioned one or a thousand times before. There’s no timescale yet but the Omni Group is looking for beta testers for the apps:
Are any of you interested in helping us test our apps before they’re ready to submit to the App Store? We’re working on bringing all of our iPad apps to the iPhone, so we have a lot of testing to do! And with Apple’s new TestFlight Beta Testing program, we’re able to invite up to 1,000 of our customers to test our apps while they’re still under development.
There’s not a lot more detail in the full piece but it does include instructions on how to apply to be a beta tester. I think that 1,000 Apple-imposed testing limit will fill up very quickly so go take a look now if you fancy it. I’ve applied but I only really know OmniFocus: as much as I use OmniOutliner, I’d say I’m a very basic user of it. I’m looking at OmniPlan but haven’t even glanced at OmniGraffle.
So for me the news here is that at some point soon we’re going to have OmniOutliner on iPhone and that’s big.
You have to suspect that this move is related to the bigger screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. I’m currently sticking with my iPhone 5 so I’m curious to see both how these apps work on that and whether their presence will change how I use the iPad versions.