Multiple contexts Q4 rollout? [No, but TestFlight begins in Q1 2018]

Are multiple contexts still coming in Q4? Omni, you promised this in 2017, and it’s been promised before. It’s getting a bit late in the year with no beta, etc.


As of July they were still planning on it.

Even if it slips to January or February I feel like they will deliver. Ken has committed to it so many times and the eta keeps getting closer.

They usually deliver according to their plans. Have patience.

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As soon as they feel confident that users are safe using a beta, they often ship one. If there’s not one available now it’s because it’s really not ready (keep in mind this will make huge changes to your database).

To say there’s a lot of work going into this would be a massive understatement.

Hey, I am a big fan of the Omni Group and have bought many of their products over the years. But to put things into perspective, this is a feature that has been promised multiple times and slipped multiple times. At this point (October 16), with the holidays coming up, I’m thinking it’s doubtful we will see a released product in Q4. That’s really disappointing to me and to many of the users who have made clear they need this feature in their work flows. Omni should give a frank status report.

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Their stance the past year or so has been that it’s coming – I don’t recall it being delayed previously.

The amount of work going into this means that it takes time. We’re already seeing some of the work (improved attachment storage). But there’s still a ton of interface and interaction work on top of the database work to be done to get multiple contexts. And this work is being done whilst continuing to push out feature updates every couple months.

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I agree, I don’t think this was ever promised as something to deliver prior to the 2017 roadmap post, and the only timeline that has ever been shared outside of “2017” was Q4.

@kcase has stated on Twitter that because of Apple’s roadmap, iPhone X is the next update that will ship, but that a lot of the work on tags (formerly known as contexts) is done, and will ship this year.

Q4 just started 18 days ago :)



This feature will be coming one quarter later than originally planned. Sorry for the delay!


Haha, and just like that, the update. Thanks, @kcase!

And in those years, I’ve more than got my money’s worth with OmniFocus 2.


… particularly if you compare to the cost of an e.g. Remember The Milk subscription.


I’d rather they take the time to get it right rather than rush out a feature set that still isn’t quite there yet.

Are you in a rush to have these features? There are plenty of other software packages to choose from that may fit one’s needs.

There are also many features that Things doesn’t have such as collaborative features (like Todoist) or real smart lists (2Do) or custom perspectives (OmniFocus).

After reading the blog post, I can see many events that can alter the intended trajectory. How many times have we intended to get something done this month only to have circumstances, emergencies, or an opportunity suddenly make us shift our direction? This has happened to me many times and I’m sure it has happened to many others.

@kcase even stated as such in the third paragraph of the blog post:

As always, though, our roadmap for the year isn’t the same as the actual journey we end up taking! It indicates the direction we’re headed in, but the future is never certain—and if we actually want to get where we’re trying to go, our plans need to adapt as circumstances change.

It’s strange where life takes us. Omnigroup had to take a roundabout way to eventually get to multiple tags, enhanced repeating features, and improved notifications.

I’m eagerly awaiting for announcement of the Public TestFlight and see where it takes me. Some of us will leave and use other apps. Some newcomers will try it out. Some returnees might just give it another try.

I’ll gladly pay for the OF3 upgrade to get these promised features. Developers gotta eat too. If their hard work gives me the opportunity to improve my life and make more money, I’m all for spending something to gain something greater.

I wouldn’t say anything yet until we actually see the new release. It might be too much for some but it will definitely be worth much more to others.


Thank you @kcase I’m certainly glad to learn this. My only request would be to keep the term context instead of changing it to “tags.” I’ll use the feature whatever you call it, but I would greatly appreciate the legacy terminology, especially as a GTD guy!

And for those upset at the prospect of having to pay for OF3, I’m sorry to read that. Let me share my perspective. First, this software is so important to me that it is worth every penny I have paid for it (and then some). I want the developers to earn a lot of money on their hard work so they keep investing in it—and by extension, investing in us. I love all the updates that come included over the years for a particular version of the software. But I do not - and none of us should — have an expectation that the developers are indentured servants who must update products in perpetuity without being paid. They get to put food on their tables, too.

Second, if the source of the frustration is that the feature was “promised.” That is unfair. We customers bought OF without this feature. We are fortunate that the OmniGroup shares its roadmap with us, but that does not create some kind of commitment by them to deliver a feature (for free!) or add it to an existing version of the software. We would all welcome it if it did come as a free update, no doubt about that. We cannot expect that, though. It is unfair to accuse the company of wrong doing for “breaking” a commitment or be bitter about that. Still, I appreciate that it is frustrating when there is a feature you really, really want that is not available.

It’s clear to me that the OmniGroup works really hard on delivery world class software. These guys care about excellence, and it shows in every feature and function of all their products. I am grateful to the OmniGroup team and am particularly grateful about how these products have improved my work product and administration of that work product. Thank you OmniGroup.


I don’t mind paying for this in version 3. The roadmap said it was coming in 2017, not it was coming as a free update in 2017.

But, I am a bit uneasy about the Groundhog Day sequence that seems to repeat itself of Omni having to push this feature out because of various iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch enhancements.

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Thanks for the update! This seems like a good fit for a new OF to me, I’m happy to volunteer as a guinea pig too ;)


I have learned to choose software by the features it has today, not what developers promise in the future.

I hate to be that guy, but if Things 3 works better for you, then there’s nothing stopping you from using it. Maildrop and UI animation aren’t my missing features, and not the things that keep me in OF. Things 3 would need a complete rewrite and to head in a different direction before I switched. I’m using OF because it’s OF.


Me umpteen. :-)

I think we already have the Send to OmniFocus e-mail address available via the OmniFocus sync server. This is already taken care of inside OmniFocus.

I’m glad to see Things 3 finally add this one as well.


I remember a number of years ago, I think it was, that Ken Case something about not feeling good about providing advance information about what features are coming up in the future. Because he knows how difficult it is to make accurate predictions as to how soon this or that feature will actually be implemented.

Then, presumably because he heard and read all the voices calling for this and that and wondering when this or that feature will be implemented, he changed his mind and wrote up a roadmap.

Now we have the case that it wasn’t possible to come through with everything that was on the roadmap. So now there are dissatisfied voices about that. (Please note, it was a roadmap and not a promise.)

Whatever you do, you just can’t win.

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I, for one, am grateful for some of the new features that were introduced this year. A look at the version history should show us that they haven’t been keeping still. A person’s favorite feature request might be someone else’s third or fourth choice. I really love the new iOS 11 update that just arrived.

URL schemes, inbox in the Projects perspective, new attachment storage, faster syncing, a new database structure that will allow multiple tags to become possible, and global search {search here, search remaining, search everything). These are just a few of the things that got released in 2017 alone according to the version history.

A roadmap shows the basic general direction that we are heading to. I don’t see any post that says a feature was “promised.” They hoped for Q4 2017 but made no promises.

OmniGroup has a very generous offer of letting anyone sell their license to someone else on this forum if a user is not satisfied. This offer is for licenses bought through the Omni store. The Mac App Store will have their own rules and we will be subject to those policies installed by Apple.

In order to get to that long awaited multiple tags, the database had to be carefully revised. That included faster syncing and improved large file attachment performance. Now a new user interface has to be carefully thought out. Next will be a public beta to test the new tag system in the real world. I can understand that this is a large endeavor that must not be rushed. As stated in Ken’s post, numerous other things also had to be taken care of. If Omnigroup ignored High Sierra and iOS 11, they would have egg on their face for not taking advantage of the new features while other developers update their app to do so.

I’ll give Omnigroup a lot of credit for churning out the new updates. This is what makes this area so interesting. If we wanted to use another app, we are free to do so. Many users were happy to jump to Things 3, 2Do, Todoist or the other apps. Many stayed with OmniFocus. And some users returned back to OmniFocus. The level of competition is great. All of the other developers will have a solution for multiple tags if a user wants multiple tags today. Otherwise, let’s just see what the public beta will look like. If it’s a miserable failure, it will show itself. But I think it looks safe to say that Omnigroup is actually looking forward to offering multiple tags as well as numerous, long awaited feature requests. I don’t think I can see malicious intent of deceiving us, the users, and defrauding us.