Lack of meaningful iOS updates


#1

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#2

We try to make sure that everyone who’s invested in OmniFocus is pleased with their investment.

We have a long track record of bringing continuous improvements to OmniFocus for iOS. Of course we wish things could move faster, and we understand that you do too — but every improvement requires careful design, implementation, and testing. Many also require documentation and localizations, too.

And then of course there are the holidays, when our hard-working team — that shipped OmniFocus 3 for iOS and Mac this past year — takes some well-earned vacation.

We have a lot of good things planned for 2019! Which we hope you will like.


#3

Im curious about the 2019 years roadmap. Lets see if also our loved and long long askes trashbin for Omnifocus will find its way into it…


#4

I am curious too. I also miss updates. I still experience battery drain with OmniFocus on my iPhone, the add to inbox bottom hangs multiple times a day. But nothing happens and no response that makes sense from the Omnigroup. I used OmniFocus for seven years, and I am seriously (but sadly) considering to use another task manager.


#5

You are truly right regarding things that are lacking, like action grouping on iPhone.

On the other hand one has to consider OmniFocus as a product, not as a set of apps around one common thing like organising tasks. In this regard, I guess product features will be put on the roadmap (has a 2019 roadmap been published yet?) considering all the different platforms that OF runs on.


#6

I see. Thanks for your reply, however I’m still not clear. Of course staff need to take holiday and I’m of no doubt that they have worked extremely hard. However 8/9 months have passed. Even if they were given 1 months holiday, heck let’s say 2 months ( which is extremely generous and quite unheard of in any company), that would still leave 6/7 months. And I don’t see that there have been any meaningful updates addressing basic issues, within that period of time. This leads me to ponder my original question. Are resources now being redirected to the new online platform? Is the pursuit of further revenue streams the dictator in what gets prioritised ?


#7

Not really clear on your point regarding ‘a set of apps’. What I do know is that OmniFocus is cross platform software and should therefore function as such. What you do on one app should be applicable to the others. Any change in that paradigm leads to confusing work flows to have to compensate for the discrepancies in cross platform function. This basic software principle still has not been taken care of after years. While time is now being spent developing other online software platforms. This is unacceptable. I’m losing patience with this company and am beginning to resent having spent 100s and 100s of dollars over the years.


#8

Our goal is, as always, to do our best to make sure OmniFocus customers have made a good investment. Shipping OmniFocus 3 for Mac was part of that, and so is shipping OmniFocus for the Web. And, yes, continuing to update the apps is part of that too.

How we devote resources is an internal matter, and normally I wouldn’t say anything about it — but a little detective work (listening to The Omni Show, for instance) would tell you that the web team is different from the Mac and iOS team. (They even have different PMs.)


#9

I see. That’s actually worse then. It seems the iOS team haven’t been redirected to the web team, and therefore begs wonderment as to why the prolonged fixes. To be frank, this conversation is what I needed to hear, and has made my mind up for me. Thank you


#10

I know you’re impatient for features you’d like to see implemented—as we all are—but I think it’s important for me to clarify that our team has been working very hard all year. Not only was there a huge push leading up to version 3.0, but if you browse the version history in the App Store you’ll see we’ve released 14 updates to the iOS app since shipping 3.0 in May. That’s a release every few weeks—a very aggressive development schedule—on top of all the work we’ve been putting into OmniFocus 3 for Mac.

I suppose we may have done ourselves a disservice by referring to most of these updates as “minor updates,” but those were written from the point of view of the app’s feature set rather than the amount of work put into an issue to track it down. A single syncing bug may not look like much in the release notes, but can take months to isolate into a reproducible case and weeks or months (depending on the complexity and subtlety of the issue) to track down and fix. And then even more work to verify that the change made to fix that issue didn’t introduce new issues elsewhere in the process. But while they’re minor entries in the release notes, we consider fixing any such issues to be a higher priority than implementing new features—even though we’re quite impatient to add those new features ourselves.

It’s certainly reasonable for you to disagree over what our priorities should be, and I certainly understand that being a basis for you deciding to find another solution. (Or even simply that you need a feature that we haven’t implemented yet.) I just think it’s also worth understanding that our team has, in fact, been working very hard this past year.


#11

I think there are two separate issues here. It’s entirely possible that the team has, in fact, been working very hard this past year AND they still delivered too little. As a developer myself I totally empathise with your point of view, but the iOS app is the single reason why I cannot with good conscience recommend OmniFocus to my friends and family. I can work with a desktop app that is less than ideal UX-wise (Keyboard Maestro, keyboard shortcuts and other hacks help a lot). On iOS though, the app is cluttered and hard to navigate and you cannot escape it. This is simply not good enough given how much the competition managed to improve things (pun intended) in their apps.

And I’m writing this as a huge fan of OmniFocus, who’ve bought almost all the versions on all the platforms.


#12

While I understand your frustration, I wish you could find a way of expressing it that isn’t so critical of the development team.

You make it sound as fi you think they’re just not very good at what they do - I don’t think that’s your intention.

The real issue here is that the development teams priorities are different from yours: that’s a legitimate reason to be unhappy and to say so


#13

Oh, no, you definitely misunderstood me. I don’t doubt the development team is great and they do all they can given the available resources. It’s the Prime Directive of retrospections: “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”

In the second sentence I was trying to say just that. It’s possible that they did all they could, but it’s also possible that it was still not enough. Not because they are not capable developers, but because there was not enough of them or the priorities were set incorrectly or there were trying to fix the backend side of the app and there was not enough time to focus on the UI or… you name it.

I’m simply saying that Luke1 and kcase might be at cross-purposes because kcase focuses on how hard the team worked (which is probably true) and Luke1 talks about his frustration with the iOS app and it’s shortcomings which is also true.


#14

I’m glad to have been wrong. Thanks for the explanation, which. makes sense


#15

32 posts were split to a new topic: Feedback on navigating OmniFocus task lists on iOS


#16

#17

Warning - strong opinions expressed strongly. Also, note that, although I’m quoting @Deva this isn’t aimed specifically at their posts.

Omni just can’t win, can they. Of course it’s not the perfect time - it’s never the perfect time. Every piece of work done means another piece of work not done (unless you have unlimited resources, and who has that?).

This whole thread is, in my view, selfish and unreasonable. Anyone has the right to want specific features and improvements, and this is the right place to ask for them. But the pervasive tone of this thread is that my demand should be prioritised over all others. Some of the comments are downright offensive to Omni and to fellow forum members. I don’t recall, in many years of participation, so many posts being flagged for offensive content - one during the highly contentious GTD wars of OF 1 days (should OF enforce canonical GTD or allow users freedom to choose).

To read some of the posts, you’d be forgiven for thinking that purchasing a licence gives me or any one of you the right to determine, unilaterally, Omni’s priorities and workload. Well, we all bought licenses, as did thousands of others who don’t come to these forums. And we don’t all want what any one person or group of people here want. And it’s up to Omni to balance the completing demands of a diverse customer base. It’s perfectly possible to challenge Omni’s judgement without descending to the kind of ad hominem commentary we’ve seen here.

When OF3 IOS launched, Omni were told they should have prioritised the Mac. When OF3 Mac went beta, there were people here telling Omni that without OF Web there was no future and they’d better get on it - pronto. Now we’re being told that Omni’s neglecting OF IOS (not just neglecting, but doing it through stupidity, laziness, incompetence, cynicism or some combination or permutation of all four).

Meanwhile, as @Deva suggests, bug fixes, maintenance releases, compatibility with frequent operating system updates are being dismissed as inconsequential. Never mind that thousands of users are entitled to expect that their applications work reliably and that problems are fixed.

Of course, someone, somewhere reading this is thinking “fanboy” even if they don’t say it aloud - but that doesn’t affect the point. Stop being so entitled.


Feedback on navigating OmniFocus task lists on iOS
#18

Guys,

Maybe the tone is not right and too critical of Omni folks efforts to make Omnifocus 3 a better software. At least for me, it is still the best and most powerful task manager - and I cant think an app which is more important to my workflow than this one, except Microsoft Word and Excel, but that´s it.

Luke is not asking for some powerful new feature: he is asking for a basic, fundamental, navigation feature that was excluded from this current version, something that I and Jan_H already mentioned: Action Groups on iOS (Omnifocus 3 for Mac is spot on regarding this subject!).

On iOS, specially iPhone, if your project has plenty of action groups (maybe that´s the case of Jan_H and Luke, and it definitely my case too), your view is going to be cluttered with plenty of tasks and information that you do not need right now. Is this selfish? Depends. It involves my workflow, yes, but I do think that this overall design makes navigation difficult for folks that do use action groups. I maybe wrong about this issue but, at least for me, I cannot use the iPhone version of Omnifocus 3, and I would love to. I am still waiting for a fix since June/2018.


#19

It’s one thing to ‘virtuously’ express strong opinions’ however something quite different when one begins to use language such as ‘selfish, entitled, offensive’. This is uncivil and unnecessary. The irony being that you are indulging in the very actions you purport to take issue with. The hypocrisy is rather fascinating.

As a reminder, this is a public forum, which means it’s a platform for debate, regardless of whether or not opinions, including frustrations, that you may not agree with, are supposed to be allowed. If this debate is not conducive to you, consider not frequenting this forum, or alternatively request that this forum be closed, if you believe that civil exchanges of ideas that you do not agree with should be shut down. That kind of behaviour however does set off a very dangerous precedent, and kinda defeats the whole purpose. If anything, it is your tone sir, that has erred on the side of incivility.

My frustrations have surrounded functionality that have been removed (not features), and still not reintroduced after a lengthy period of time. And therefore, yes it should be prioritised, when users are forced to change the way they used to use the software, without any prior notice, and need to find clunky new work arounds. How is this a form of entitlement. Because you personally are not affected by these changes, gives you no right to judge what is and is not a requirement for other equally invested users.

I am also intrigued to know the content of the ‘many flagged posts on this thread of which you have never seen the likes of in so many years’, that have caused you such angst and offence ?

However please only reply if you are able to find a way of being part of a civil debate, without the drama, as otherwise this jibber jabbering is simply a waste of time.


#20

Ditto that. Just checked the release notes: there’s been a steady stream of updates to Mac and iOS, just as I remembered. 3.2 for Mac just released. The whole premise of the thread is nonsense. Post and email feature requests, but don’t complain how long it takes or assume your pet feature must be their priority.