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Omnifocus to get an update

The Omni Group has unveiled the next version of its flagship to-do app, OmniFocus 2 for the Mac. But the app won't be available for a while: It's first going into private testing, then public testing (the company thinks the term "beta" has become effectively meaningless); all the company will say on the record is that the final version will ship later this year.

The main goal of the update is simplification, says Omni Group CEO Ken Case--understandable, given how notoriously complex the current version can be to use. In going simpler, new version borrows heavily from the iPad version of the app, which was released last year.

For one thing, the new version consolidates its various view options--Inbox, Projects, Contexts, and so on--in one sidebar, just as it does on the iPad. It also sports a new Forecast tool--introduced in the iPad version--that lets you see how many items are due on each of the next few days. You're also able to give each project its own review schedule; important ones can pop up each day, while you can opt to be prompted about lower priority ones weekly or monthly.

Starting with version 2, the company will split OmniFocus into two different versions: OmniFocus Pro, which will cost $80 from the App Store and the OmniFocus site; and OmniFocus Standard, which will cost $40 and do without a few advanced features, such as custom views and the ability to run Applescripts. There will be some form of upgrade pricing for buyers who purchased version 1 from the OmniFocus site, none for those who bought from the App Store.

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