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OmniFocus for iPhone: Location-Aware Contexts and More

The Omni Group - OmniFocus for iPhone and iPod touch

[Disclosure: I'm a consultant on the OmniFocus project. You can blame me for having requested any of the features you don't like.]

Oh, man. It's so nice to lift the veil on this one. It's been like I knew you guys were getting the big Lego Millennium Falcon for Christmas, but I couldn't tell you until Santa had gone back up the chimney (in his black mock turtleneck and jeans). Anyway.

Merry Christmas, Mac productivity nerds: iPhone synching for OmniFocus is coming. And it is gorgeous, usable, and location-aware. More here on OmniGroup's blog.

From the OmniGroup site:

Using your location, OmniFocus can create a custom list of actions to complete nearby. Buying groceries? OmniFocus can show you the closest grocery store and create an instant shopping list.

Capture tasks anywhere, anytime with OmniFocus: you can enter text, take a picture, or even make a quick voice recording.

Yum. Screengrabs and more -- including a reminder that you should totally visit me at the WWDC OmniFocus meetup tonight -- after the iJump.

FWIW, I'm going to let OmniFocus answer any questions people have (blog post comments, forum) about details of their apps and plans and what have yous. I just wanted to take the opportunity to fist bump the OmniNerds on their fine hard work. They're pathologically dedicated to taking care of their customers, and you can see that in this app. It's crazy-smart and a lot of fun to use.

So! Yes. Tonight. Come to the OmniFocus meetup at the W and fistbump me:

The Omni Mouth » OmniFocus meetup in S.F. on 6/10/08

What: OmniFocus meetup When: Tuesday, June 10th 2008, 6:30 - 8:00 pm Where: W Hotel (map), San Francisco • 3rd Floor, Workroom 2

Please RSVP. Max capacity for the room is 150, so make sure you arrive on time to snag a good seat.

Also, completely off topic, there's a rumor that there might be a totally informal, last-minute You Look Nice Today meetup in SF tonight featuring @scottsimpson and me (@lonelysandwich is at a Fannypack Convention in Prague). Stay tuned to @ylnt for details as they emerge.

[Again, with the Disclosure: I'm a consultant on the OmniFocus project. You can blame me for having requested any of the features you don't like.]

mhuyck's picture

OmniFocus = smartphone killer app

Tetsujin took the words right out of my mouth.

OmniFocus on the iPhone is exactly what the PalmOS should have done for the Treo... about 5 years ago. It's unbelievable to me how badly the folks at Palm bungled their ownership of the smartphone world. (Can you tell I'm a grizzled Treo 600 owner?) (Hey! It's the Treo that's grizzled, not me.)

I jumped on the Palm smartphone bandwagon back when it was clear we would not be seeing an entrant from Apple for quite a while, if at all. Things looked to be going in all the right directions for Handspring (remember them?) and I had great expectations about the future of the PalmOS. It was great to be able to use all of the old Palm apps on my phone right out of the box. Well, sort of. Most of them worked. Okay, some apps were actually updated to be compatible with the five-way navigator so they could be properly used with one hand. Don't even get me started about syncing to conduits on the Mac.

But I still had to rely on the base PalmOS features for calendar, address book and to-do list synchronization. I waited eagerly for new and improved features to come in the next release of the software. Wait, it's not upgradeable? Okay, I'll fork over the cash for the next model that has improvements in those core features.

That was years ago. I'm still waiting.

Apple has done almost everything right so far. As long as they continue to refine and perfect the core features, the iPhone will continue to be a strong player in the market. Third-party developers like Omni should be given free reign to build whatever they want to extend beyond those core features. My fear is that Apple will retain such a tight grip on the platform that third-party developers will eventually lose interest and abandon the iPhone for the latest shiny new open platform. That may sound like blasphemy now, but that very thing was just as hard to believe about Palm only five short years ago.

OmniFocus is what's tipping the scales in my decision about abandoning my Treo, PalmOS and Sprint and entering the iPhone world. Apple's iPhone software is nice, but not nice enough to make me switch. Before I saw this announcement, I was only lukewarm about the iPhone 2.0 features -- now I'm actively drooling. (Okay, so lunchtime might actually be responsible for the drool.) Apple, take note: your developer community makes the difference between market player and market dominator for you.




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