Cult Favorite: Omni Apps Prove iPad is Not Just a Toy


OmniGraffle brings professional diagramming to iPad.

OK, class, weekend playtime is over. Time to get to work. More than 300,000 of you have had fun since Saturday playing games, watching movies and lazing around in bed with the Sunday New York Times on your new iPad. Now it’s Monday morning and the question is: can you justify bringing Apple’s new gadget into the office and putting it to work as a productivity tool?

Well, should your work involve producing graphs, flow charts, schematic designs or anything similar the answer is a resounding yes if you’re hip to the productivity apps from Omni Group.

What it is: In particular, OmniGraffle for iPad is a robust application for producing professional-looking presentations that organize your thoughts visually and present them beautifully.

Why it’s cool: OmniGraffle leverages the unique capabilities of the iPad by allowing you to sketch freehand shapes directly onto your canvas. Remember fingerpainting? It’s not that different: just drag your finger across the screen to draw. If the end of a drawing nears the beginning, OmniGraffle for iPad closes the shape for you. The freehand drawing feature alone highlights one of the vast differences between iPad and iPhone or iPod Touch. Built-in stencil shapes such as stars and circles can be manipulated with the touch of a finger, so you can easily change a 5-pointed star into a 12-pointed star (and decide just how pointy you want its points to be) or draw a perfect quarter-circle. The app’s diagramming tools help you turn your freehand sketches into snappy diagrams with a couple of taps, keeping lines connected to shapes even when they’re moved. Documents produced in OmniGraffle can be exported and shared as PDF files, opened in OmniGraffle for Mac or stored for editing later right on the iPad.

Where to get it: OmniGraffle for iPad is available now for $49.99 in the iTunes App Store.