Inspired by the iPad The Omni Group turns its attention to business apps for Apple's new device.
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Apple's January announcement of its new tablet computing device triggered a full-on sprint among application developers, giving them 66 days to adapt their successful apps from the desktop or the mobile phone to the iPad, a tablet PC, if they wanted to be on-screen for the iPad's April launch date. For The Omni Group, it represented the opportunity of a lifetime.
"It's the first platform that really has made sense for our applications," says founder and CEO Ken Case.
The group is the Seattle software developer behind the Omni web browser for the Mac and popular productivity applications OmniFocus, OmniGraffle and OmniGraphSketcher. The firm has five productivity apps for the Mac, but only one--OmniFocus, a self-organization app that Case calls "a to-do list on steroids"--has been available for the iPhone. That's because its other apps, such as OmniGraffle, a diagramming and website mock-up program, wouldn't have translated well to the small iPhone screen. The roughly 9.5-inch-by-7.5-inch iPad changes all that.
"It's clear that this is the direction computing devices are going in," Case says. "Touching a screen to push text and scroll the screen is a much more natural way." Having business-focused apps ready by the iPad's launch date "is our chance to get in on that future, and the extra visibility that comes with it," he says.