OmniPlan, the popular task-management application for Mac is now available on iPad. The promising app arrived this week in the App Store.

Created by The Omni Group, OmniPlan for iPad isn’t for casual task planners, nor is it a simple to-do app. Instead, the app is a feature-rich package that uses Gantt charts to set tasks, assign material and human resources, and share documents with multiple users.

Does it succeed? Yes and no.

As a standalone product, OmniPlan is cutting-edge and makes great use of the iPad’s gesturing abilities. It helps you visualize an entire project using a combination of charts, schedules, summaries, and milestones. Additionally, its responsive interface makes it easy even for first-time project planners to learn the program quickly and get down to business.

For those with little project management experience, however, we strongly advise you to read the OmniPlan for iPad e-manual, or better yet, visit The OmniGroup’s support forums. Also be sure to checkout the four sample projects that come preinstalled.

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At its core, OmniPlan allows you to track an overall project time frame and then break down each of its component parts, or sub-tasks, and milestones. Additionally, you’re able to assign human resources to each of these, and track their value (wage or hourly rate), title, and availability during the project.

Don’t worry; if you make a mistake within your timeline, OmniPlan will come to the rescue and display a violation window. This popup also includes an explanation of the problem and offers possible solutions.

As your project advances, OmniPlan lets you set completed milestones using completion percentages denoted by tags, as well as assign dependencies.

Not surprisingly, OmniPlan on iPad makes great use of the tablet’s touch screen capabilities. In particular, we are most impressed with just how easy it is to drag tasks around on the Gantt chart simply by using a finger. Additionally, the app works perfectly with the iPad’s pinch, zoom, and pan gesturing abilities.

Take a look at this video:

 

An introduction to OmniPlan for iPad from The Omni Group on Vimeo.

Beyond the iPad

OmniPlan for iPad does have some limitations, as do most Version 1.0.1 releases. In this case, these primarily have to do with the app’s syncing and file sharing limitations.

Currently, team members can only sync projects using a WebDAV server or one provided by The Omni Group. Additionally, you cannot use OmniPlan for iPad to open Microsoft Project files, nor access them using Dropbox or iCloud. Finally, and most alarming, you can’t email OmniPlan for iPad files from your tablet.

What you can do, however, is import OmniPlan files from your Mac to OmniPlan for iPad. This can be accomplished by sending an OmniPlan 2 project file to yourself as an attachment and then opening it from the Mail app on your iPad.

Additionally, you can connect your iPad to iTunes and click on your iPad in the sidebar in iTunes. Then, click on the “Apps” tab and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section. You can select OmniPlan from the list of apps on your iPad and click on “Add…” to add your OmniPlan project files to your iPad.

The Omni Group has been a leader in the project management software business for many years. With OmniPlan for iPad, they have another winner. While we aren’t happy with the app’s current limitations, we’re pretty sure they will be worked out in a future app release. Even with these limitations, however, OmniPlan for iPad ($49.99) is impressive and comes recommended for those who do a lot of project management work.

Do you use OmniPlan for Mac and plan on using the iPad version?