Omnifocus iPhone and iPad apps Updated

Omnifocus, long considered as THE premier Task Management tool that is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, has now been updated on both the iPhone and iPad to fully support the upcoming iOS 4.2 update. The biggest addition is background sync completion, which means that users can now finally close the app even though it hasn’t completed the sync process. Like many faithful Omnifocus addicts on the iPhone, I found it counter productive that I had to wait until sync was 100% done before I could exit and do other things on the iPhone. With this new feature, it’ll be much easier to quickly add something into the inbox, hit the sync icon and leave without further delay.

You’ll find that the Omnifocus apps are rather expensive compared to other GTD apps, but if you do put the time into learning the powerful software (which is essential or you won’t be able to take full advantage of all that it offers), there really isn’t anything that compares to it on the App Store. Heck, thanks to Omnifocus, I finally started (and even completed) some projects that I though I’d ever find the time for.

Ray Gans, TMA’s productivity guru, will be reviewing the Omnifocus products in multi-parts in the very near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for his articles. Check out the full list of changes and new additions for iOS 4.2 below.

OmniFocus Omnifocus, OmniFocus, – $19.99
OmniFocus for iPad Omnifocus, OmniFocus for iPad, – $39.99

What’s New


  • When running on iOS 4.2 or later, OmniFocus will complete an in-progress sync session when it is put into the background.
  • When running on iOS 4.2 or later, if an automatic sync is due soon, OmniFocus will start a sync session as it enters the background.

Due Reminders and Calendar Notifications

  • Due Reminders are now presented when OmniFocus is active. Previously, these alerts were only presented when OmniFocus was not the active application.
  • OmniFocus now uses a custom sound for Due Reminders to distinguish these alerts from other alerts on your device. (The sound remains optional.)
  • Various improvements were made to the reliability of scheduling due reminder alerts for users with iOS 4.0 and later.
  • Changes made to Due Reminders in the settings are now immediately applied to scheduled alerts.
  • Actions are now exported to the calendar using their inherited due date when appropriate. (In particular, actions with no due date now appear on the calendar if their project has a due date.)


  • Fixed a bug where location services updates weren’t always disabled outside of Nearby Contexts mode.
  • Geolocation and business results are now displayed in your preferred language when possible.
  • Switched to the latest Google Geocoding API for finding the exact geolocation when associating contexts with an address or the address of a contact from Contacts.
  • When requesting the nearest result for a business search, the results are limited to one match to improve performance for showing nearby contexts.
  • Contexts with available actions are always eligible to appear on the map. The “nearby” distance filter is no longer applied.
  • When running on iOS 4.0 or later, OmniFocus now uses the compass arrow icon for switching to Nearby Contexts mode.
  • OmniFocus now correctly handles the cases where location services have been disabled globally, or specifically for OmniFocus, while it is suspended in the background.
  • Subcontexts that inherit a location from a parent context are no longer displayed directly on the map. Actions associated with the subcontext can be viewed through the parent context.
  • Improved help text for assigning dropped pins as the location for a context.
  • Fixed a bug when running under iOS 4.2 where switching to Maps view would inappropriately enter Edit mode immediately.
  • The map/list view switcher is no longer incorrectly disabled after returning to the map after assigning a dropped pin to a context.
  • Tapping the nearby toolbar icon will now recenter map on the current location even if there are no nearby actions currently on the map.
  • Improved filtering of invalid device location results from the location services.
  • Swipe to delete was incorrectly available for status messages such as “Finding Location” within the list-mode of the nearby action feature. Attempting to delete the status message crashed the application.


  • When assigning an action’s context or project, available choices are now sorted using localized, case-insensitive rules.
  • Fixed a bug which prevented the flag on an action or project from being set when running on iOS 4.2.

User Interface

  • Fixed a bug where using quick entry while the progress bar was active could result in the keyboard subsequently not appearing when it should.
  • OmniFocus for iPhone now honors the synced preference to hide parent of an action when showing actions in action lists. This setting is available in the View menu for OmniFocus for the Mac.
  • The configuration options for due reminders and calendar integration have been moved to a subsection of Settings called Notifications.
  • Fixed several editing and settings screens where the main toolbar was missing the standard set of buttons.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in an incorrect “due soon” means value in Settings after replacing device database with the server’s copy.
  • Fixed a text layout bug on the Welcome to OmniFocus screen when running on a device with a Retina display.


  • OmniFocus handles HTTP redirects more intelligently when replacing your local/remote database with a copy of your remote/local database, and when publishing .ics files.
  • OmniFocus better handles sync setting URLs when resuming from the background.
  • Fixed regression which prevented completion of the initial sync if there was no sync database present on the server.
  • Fixed a workaround for some quirks in cPanel servers.
  • Fixed some problems with syncing to servers with expired, self-signed, or otherwise exceptionable certificates.


  • Fixed a crash which would occur in certain situations when editing a task which became due while you were editing it.
  • Fixed a regression that caused OmniFocus to crash when changing hidden preferences. This is occasionally used by support ninjas to troubleshoot problems or configure options which aren’t otherwise available in the Settings user interface.
  • Fixed crashes when attempting to send email from within OmniFocus on a device where no email accounts have been configured in Mail.
  • Fixed a crash on initial MobileMe sync when you using a custom path.
  • Fixed compatibility problem on iOS 4.2 where tapping in the status bar caused OmniFocus to crash.
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