OmniFocus + Multiple Instances in iPadOS

I was dreaming about having multiple instances of OmniFocus on my iPad. Can you imagine, working on one perspective in one window, and having another perspective open in Split View. Or how about planning a trip in TripIt with OmniFocus in Split View focused on the project and Maps in Slide Over; all the while separately having an e-mail app open with OmniFocus alongside it. I’m rather excited about the possibilities.

How would you use it?

1 Like

I wanted a screen with my OmniFocus Today on the left and Fantastical on the right. Then another OmniFocus instance featuring the current Big Rock that I want to work on. I can’t wait to see iOS 13. I’m not daring enough to want to download iOS 13 until at least a couple of public betas are out and most of the major showstoppers have been worked out.


My level of daring is the same as yours. But I’m itching to try it.

1 Like

iPadOS is definitely going to bring some new possibilities to the fore.

It’s worth listening to the latest episode of the Omni Show for some hints at what the team is thinking about:


I was delighted (but not surprised, I guess) to hear that multiple instances was a key focus.

1 Like

From the outside, it looks to me like multiple instances is going to be tough.

All those assumptions you make when there is only one become apparent when there are multiple. In CompSci terms, going from one to two is the hard thing, not two to more.

Most importantly, getting access to the database right is going to require a lot of thinking. It would be simple if you assumed two instances can’t both update at the same time - and each held a lock to prevent it. But an update in one window should be reflected appropriately in all others.

Interesting points

It may not be as difficult as it might seem at first thought.

Since, OmniFocus already syncs across multiple devices, it may have already had to solve this problem.

More directly, what I understood from the OmniShow was that the OS feature is not running actual multiple instances of an app, but somehow spawning different and separate views into the app. So, I assume any third-party apps (like Shortcuts or Drafts) accessing OmniFocus would just send action items to the single-open instance of the database. Likewise, user interactions in one view would thus affect the single open database. Presumably, only the view would need to refresh (re-query) when you switch instances.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.