Syncing our documents via iCloud Drive and the Files app


Did you know that with the release of iOS 11’s new Files app it’s now possible to sync your OmniPlan, OmniGraffle, and OmniOutliner documents between Mac and iOS 11 devices via iCloud Drive?

(Syncing via Omni Sync Server (which is free) used in conjunction with OmniPresence app (which is also free) is still an option.)


I suppose I don’t understand the logic of this move, so please explain? I really hope you all implement direct access to iCloud Drive documents from the iOS apps as well. You wouldn’t drop the File>Open… menu in the macOS apps and force users to navigate to documents in the Finder to open them, so why drop the (beta) access to iCloud drive that was in the OmniOutliner iOS app and force users to use the


So this is totally reliable? I recall you built Omnipresence because you couldn’t trust iCloud (and other services) would not mangle your package files.

So I can ditch Omnipresence with confidence?


The interface between OmniOutliner and Files is hopelessly obtuse. I want the standard iOS document picker; the Omni document-based apps have always been extremely confusing with how to get to apps in iCloud Drive (now in Files).


In the years since we shipped OmniPresence, we’ve often heard customers say that they’d prefer to store documents in the sync accounts they already had set up, rather than set one up just for Omni’s apps. For a customer like that, Files may represent an improvement - and that was the kind of customer the original post had in mind.

@jgjones28 I’m sorry for the disappointment we’ve caused! For a lot of customers, the previous iCloud sync was hard to understand, set up, and use. For those folks, we feel that Files offers a better experience. As one of the folks who did manage to use it, though, I can understand your frustration. Direct access to those files from within the apps would certainly be an improvement - I’ll make sure the rest of the team knows you’d like to see that happen.

@Splinky: We’re not aware of any issues at this point, either from our own testing or from customer reports. That said, we can’t rule out the possibility of issues. I personally still feel better about trusting my files to OmniPresence rather than iCloud, but I think each person is ultimately going to be the best judge of what works for them.


The iCloud interface in the iOS OmniOutliner app is something of a mess. Like other apps, Omni should have its own default folder. Even if not, it shouldn’t show subfolders in that interface; I have my Documents folder synced, and I have to scroll a ridiculously long time to see the “Omni” folder I created in iCloud Drive.


Why do you not fully trust iCloud?


Part of it is just a general distrust of (even well-intentioned) large organizations in tech to not screw things up or compromise their customers’ data when the stock market or a national government brings pressure to bear. Security is not achievable through obscurity, but I don’t think it’s actively harmful either. :-)

The majority of the issue for me is purely functional, though: even if I wanted to use iCloud Disk, I can’t. For several years, the laptop I use at work has been in disagreement with literally all of my other devices about the contents of my iCloud Disk. Have signed in/out of iCloud several times and done multiple OS reinstalls, but nothing can persuade this Mac to see the files that all my other devices show.