Opal doesn't feel like a productivity app

I feel like with a lot of the features added lately I’m using opal less so I thought I’d share my current use case to explain why the features I’m asking for are important. I’d love you to share yours to help get development back on track.

My primary productivity app is Session. It’s a Pomo timer. Why is it my most used? Phenomenal shortcut support. I can basically have it run shortcuts when I start a session, end a session, take a break, you name it. I can check the current session, start a session, everything all from shortcuts. These shortcuts allow me to do things like choose a reminder from IOS, start a focus session for it, set my focus session, mark it as complete when done. Super slick. This is productivity and these are the apps that are going to win in the long run on IOS.

How I was using Opal: I have sessions set up for every hour of the day. This is because cancelling is too easy and I want to make sure I don’t get stuck for over an hour. This was working well. Then out of nowhere there is a new session cap that totally butchered this (there’s a theme here - not understanding use cases and breaking functionality). When my Session break starts, I have to have it open up opal to then use the minute dialer, then press pause. Horribly inefficient.

How I wish I was using it: I’d use personal automations to start opal every hour. Then, during sessions I would respectively start and cancel sessions. However, the shortcut action is literally the bare minimum. It will fail while cancelling if the session isn’t running which breaks the flow. And it will fail with the inverse. This could easily be remedied with an action to be able to check the current session or just not erroring when run. Or even better, I’d love to be in a deep focus session all day that I can’t cancel and be able to trigger breaks with a shortcut session from Session.

I love the community Opal is building but I really feel the development isn’t going in the right direction, at least for my “persona” as a power user. Does anyone else feel the same?

1 Like

Totally echo this. I would love for this app to succeed. But, over the months, I feel it’s not going in the direction which wants me to use the app more.

  • Love the intention of the app, but strategy seems unclear.

We love you Opal!


@here thank you for sharing this. I get an important insight from your messages: we need more transparency on our strategy and roadmap. I’ll think about the best way to do this.

Also: "Medium Focus" Protection: Set fixed number of Breaks, no cancellation this is being implemented @Bwt615 (on your suggestion!). It will come this month. This will create a ‘medium’ protection with a limited number of breaks allowed.

For advanced shortcut support, I created a single page here: Advanced Shortcuts Support
Let’s keep our shortcuts conversation there so we can get other members of the community to upvote / comment and we can prioritize against other requests.

One more thing @Bwt615 , I’m sorry to hear about the Session limit issue. Apple only allows 15 “monitors” to run in total. Sessions work with monitors. We set a limit of 10 Sessions maximum to “save” 5 slots in order to power 🔥 [Planned] ⏱ App Limit / Time Limit / Budget use of distracting apps.