Omni Group Roadmap for 2019

Every year, Omni Group puts out their road map. This year’s road map sounds exciting…

2018 saw Omni Group deliver OmniOutliner 3 for iOS, OmniFocus 3 for Mac, and OmniFocus 3 for iOS. We also saw a test preview for OmniFocus for Web.

These steps set the foundation for further work in 2019. This year, the blog states that we’ll see the launch of OmniFocus for Web and subscription-based plans, and volume discounting for large organizations for the various Omni product offerings.

I’m curious to see OmniJS, a Javascript based automating solution that will open up new doors for OmniPlan and OmniFocus. You can see OmniJS in OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner now.

https://omni-automation.com

Automation has been a hot topic with podcasts such as Automators helping us improve our workflows with the ability to customize our apps to work better for every person’s unique needs.

Some other features that didn’t make it into OmniFocus 3 in 2018 were repeating notifications, collaboration with other OmniFocus 3 users, and time zone support for globetrotters.

I’ll be curious to see further enhancements to what I’ve felt is a weak point in the OmniFocus ecosystem - the user experience for OmniFocus 3 for iOS users. The small screen iPhone sizes have been a challenge for OmniFocus 3 users if Twitter is to be believed. There will be a concerted effort to work on the user experience for Omni’s software offerings on the small screen. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Omni Cooks have up their sleeves as they try to improve the iOS experience.

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But while 2018’s roadmap was almost entirely focused on new features (with tags and manual sorting and flexible scheduling and flexible notifications and batch editing), the overall theme of our work for 2019 across all our product lines will be to improve the flow of using our apps. We’ll be reviewing the ways customers navigate our apps—making them easier to navigate on small touch devices, more efficient to use from a keyboard, and more accessible to the sight-impaired.

This piece gets me the most excited. Keyboard use is challenging across the entire app, and I’ve found OF3’s iOS apps to require a lot of extra taps than needed.

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My own R&D focus lately has been on improving how macOS apps can be used together, basically desegregating apps. When apps can work well together, a lot of cognitive productivity workflows become possible.

OmniGroup apps have a “copy as link” function that is particularly useful. It enables users to connect objects and documents from their different apps (and also to simply paste links to OmniGroup objects/documents in other apps). However, a current little limitation of OmniFocus for macOS, which they could easily fix, is that when you click on a link to an OmniFocus task, OmniFocus can wipe out the current perspective. There’s no option, currently, for OmniFocus to check whether the link destination (project , folder or task) already happens to be exposed in a given window.

Contrast Safari. If you access a web link from outside Safari, Safari will search for a tab or window that has that link open already, and present it.

The problem reduces the usefulness of OmniFocus links. I’ll be getting in touch with them soon to request they address the issue.

At least they have the (copy as link) function, however. And it is scriptable, which we use.