Editor's Choice 2019, iOS, Reviews

OmniFocus 3, the iOS version, tested

If you have OmniFocus 3 for the Mac, I’m sure you’ll have the iOS version as well. If you don’t, here are a couple of reasons why you should.

Of course, there are plenty of Mac task managers that have a mobile version as well. Synchronisation isn’t unique, either, but there aren’t many that synchronise through the company’s own dedicated server that also serves to enable email based task entries. The Omni Sync Server does require you to create a free account, but unlike other synchronisation services it is very fast and dependable, your data gets encrypted on the way and you have the ability to push synchronisation jobs to speed up the process.

And synchronisation truly means synchronisation; even your task preferences sync. For example, I changed the meaning of “Due Soon” meaning three days before the task has to be done at first. Then I changed my mind and changed the preference on the Mac to have it mean two days in advance.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to create one or more unique email addresses that will send your email – a task entry or an email from someone else you want to include in the task – to all your OmniFocus apps at once. That is very easy and efficient, and leaves you with a lot of options – and few excuses not — to enter tasks.

However, the major reason why the latest version of OmniFocus is way superior to most of the others I’ve tried is that the versions are actually identical in both feature set and the way you work with them on both platforms. The only thing that’s different is the platform’s UI and its associated human interface system. That results in OmniFocus 3 on the iPad feeling at home as soon as you start working your way through the interface.

The iPad interface, at least, gives you exactly the same functionality as the Mac version. The only difference is that the Forecast perspectives is now at the top of the screen, with your Inbox, Flagged, Projects, Nearby, Tags and Review beneath it (in that order). After those, you’ll see the Completed, Changed, Deferred and your own perspectives – even if you made them on the Mac.

Another difference is that you don’t need to press a Return ever. As soon as you’ve entered your data and switch to another panel or view, it’s entered and stored – and synced. And, in portrait mode, the Home panel where you view your perspectives slides out only when you need it.

In short, OmniFocus 3, as I tried it out on my iPad, lets me do the same things as in OmniFocus 3 on the Mac and it does so with a lovely interface and without having me learn a whole new UI.

On iOS, OmniFocus 3 is a free app with in-app purchases. The Pro features include custom perspectives, the Forecast tag, custom sidebar and custom home screen. A subscription costs around €100 a year, but you can also licence the app for $49.99 or the Pro version, which comes in at $74.99. Upgrade discounts are available. A two-week trial period is offered so you can decide whether you want the basic or pro version.