Inside Apple's iOS 5: Reminders app offers location-aware to-do lists

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
One new application in iOS 5 is Reminders, a location-based organization tool that aims to offer improved to-do lists that are compatible with iCal, Outlook and iCloud.



Reminders offers to-do lists with due dates and locations. The location-based alerts can issue an alert when arriving at a location; for example, reminding a user to buy milk when they arrive at the grocery store.



On both iPhone and iPad, reminders can be viewed in either a list or date format. On the iPad, choosing the date format provides view that features a calendar on the left side of the screen, with a list of to-do items on the right. Reminders can also be searched from within the application.



As items are completed, they can be checked on the left side. A tally of completed items then adds up at the top of the list, and these are dynamically updated with other services, including iCal and Outlook.



Hitting the plus in the upper right of the screen allows users to add items to a to-do list. Once a reminder is created, custom options are available, including location awareness, and whether to alert the user when they arrive or when they leave.









Options include "Remind Me," "Due," "Priority," "List," and "Delete." Reminders can also be tied to a day, or to a specific location. They can also be repeated daily, weekly, every two weeks, every month, or every year, and ranked with priorities of low, medium or high.



Setting a reminder based on location prompts users to allow the Reminders app to use a location -- either their current one, or an address manually entered. Users must approve the ability for the iPhone to track their location and provide a reminder.









Reminders can then provide alerts to the user when they arrive near a destination, and take full advantage of Apple's new notification system in iOS 5. With this feature, reminders will show up on the lock screen, or are available from the pull-down notification menu.



When users access the new notification menu, to-dos are listed under a special "Reminders" heading. This heading can be closed by tapping an 'X' to the right side of the screen.









How the Reminders application notifies users can be changed in the iOS Settings application. There, Notification Center can be turned on or off, the number of items to be displayed can be selected, and an option to show to-dos in the lock screen is available.









Reminders can also be shown as banners, utilizing the new notification system, or alerts, which are the current system found in iOS 4 that requires an action before proceeding. Banners will appear temporarily before sliding off of the screen.
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Comments

  • wigginwiggin Posts: 2,055member
    It's a full-featured reminder function, but no "Category" field (or did I miss it?) to be able to group your reminders? Without that I don't think many of the specialized to-do list managers will have much to worry about. Reminders will be mostly useful for one-off miscellaneous tasks. But that may be sufficient for many people.



    Edit: Or is that the "List" parameter? Hard to tell from the screen shots, if you can make different lists.
  • nobodyynobodyy Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    It's a full-featured reminder function, but no "Category" field (or did I miss it?) to be able to group your reminders? Without that I don't think many of the specialized to-do list managers will have much to worry about. Reminders will be mostly useful for one-off miscellaneous tasks. But that may be sufficient for many people.



    Edit: Or is that the "List" parameter? Hard to tell from the screen shots, if you can make different lists.



    As far as I can tell (from playing with it for a few minutes) is that there is just a single linear list of things. Honestly, it seems pretty basic.
  • september11thseptember11th Posts: 68member
    The UI seems to be getting pretty inconsistent. I really like the style of the text and buttons in the 'reminders' app, but then you have the pulldown notification bar which looks like odd half metallic half scratchy jean material, the already out of place 'folders' rubber texture, and the old blue popup notification style is still apparently in use.. Hopefully they do some system wide touching up by the time it is released.
  • kesemkesem Posts: 22member
    Does list allow you to make a list? For example, can the groceries list have a sublist of all the stuff you want?
  • a_ka_k Posts: 32member
    Combining geolocation with reminders is a great idea... But I think apple could have done better here.

    How about an app that actually asks you, item by item, if you've finished your task? Just like a friend, colleague or family member would.

    Check this one called did u? (http://www.diduapp.com). It does all that, it's fun and allows you to download pre-made lists to save data entry time.

    Plus it helps you share lists with others and the community of users. So even if I think Reminders app is good, there are still others out there... like did u? app.
  • yensid98yensid98 Posts: 302member
    Looks like a basic, but highly useful app. Way to go Apple! I doubt it will replace Todo for me, but I can easily see myself using it in conjunction. The location based reminders are a fantastic idea!
  • paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,365member
    Love the sound of this. It would be great if location based controls could be expanded to other applications, for example, when it sees I'm at the pub, it automatically ignores calls from the wife!
  • bulk001bulk001 Posts: 321member
    Goodbye Things.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Love the sound of this. It would be great if location based controls could be expanded to other applications, for example, when it sees I'm at the pub, it automatically ignores calls from the wife!



    I'm almost certain I've seen an app that changes phone functions and such based on your location, i.e. Work, Home, Bowling Alley, etc.



    Edit: Duh. . . Yes, Tasker does that
  • wingswings Posts: 261member
    I wonder how much of a drain does it put on the battery to check your location often enough to remind you when you go by the target location?



    And how close to the target location do you have to be before a reminder goes off?



    (I know how it COULD do this... it could postpone a location check if it knows you are some distance away from the nearest target location and could not possibly be close to it within some time limit. But does anyone know?)
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A_K View Post


    Combining geolocation with reminders is a great idea... But I think apple could have done better here.

    How about an app that actually asks you, item by item, if you've finished your task? Just like a friend, colleague or family member would.

    Check this one called did u? (http://www.diduapp.com). It does all that, it's fun and allows you to download pre-made lists to save data entry time.

    Plus it helps you share lists with others and the community of users. So even if I think Reminders app is good, there are still others out there... like did u? app.



    Which doesn't appear to be location aware.



    This happens every time Apple releases an App-- people start citing other apps that do other things that they think Apple should have included. But that's how you end up with Microsoft or Adobe kitchen sink style software-- something so crammed with functionality that most people will never even see it, much less use it.



    It's pretty typically Apple to focus on basic, dead simple functionality. Personally, I don't need or want a phone app that's constantly chiming or vibrating as I move from place to place, to tell me what I need to do next. I do have an interest in an application that allows me to enter a place-based reminded when I think of it, which is typically somewhere other than the place in question.



    Apple may or may not additional functionality to Reminders, but if they do they'll be careful to make that functionality simple and easy to access. What they won't do is start adding a bunch of stuff willy-nilly just so every user can get every feature they might want.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,165member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Love the sound of this. It would be great if location based controls could be expanded to other applications, for example, when it sees I'm at the pub, it automatically ignores calls from the wife!



    I need one that checks if I have left home then reminds me to take my iPhone ... Oh wait a minute ...
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    One new application in iOS 5 is Reminders, a location-based organization tool that aims to offer improved to-do lists that are compatible with iCal, Outlook and iCloud. ...



    I wish we could get the attractive paper used here in "Notes."



    Why Steve Jobs thinks that the creepy yellow paper with the fake brown leatherette finish is anything other than pukey is beyond me. While I'm on it, why not give us an option to ditch the stupid wooden bookshelf in iBooks too.
  • gustavgustav Posts: 802member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I wish we could get the attractive paper used here in "Notes."



    Why Steve Jobs thinks that the creepy yellow paper with the fake brown leatherette finish is anything other than pukey is beyond me. While I'm on it, why not give us an option to ditch the stupid wooden bookshelf in iBooks too.



    Most people take to UI that looks like real world objects. Only geeks like us like chrome and lasers.
  • kris.whitekris.white Posts: 9member
    ReQall had location based reminders too. It probably worked great in suburban areas where if you got within a mile of the grocery store, it reminded you so you could detour. I've lived in much more dense cities (Vancouver, New York) where I'm always within a mile or two of my locations because I'm walking, but I'm not like right there--so I was always getting reminders of places that (in my opinion) I wasn't really right by.



    I hope they have some sort of adjustable diameter so you can be more specific on where you want the reminders go to. There's a difference between being 3 miles away from something in Plano Texas while driving by and being 3 miles away from something walking downtown in Montreal.
  • urbansprawlurbansprawl Posts: 153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post


    Goodbye Things.



    Haha, no no no no. This has nothing on Things. It's way too basic! There are very fundamental location-based things missing. That's all I can say.
  • wigginwiggin Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by A_K View Post


    Combining geolocation with reminders is a great idea... But I think apple could have done better here.

    How about an app that actually asks you, item by item, if you've finished your task? Just like a friend, colleague or family member would.

    Check this one called did u? (http://www.diduapp.com). It does all that, it's fun and allows you to download pre-made lists to save data entry time.

    Plus it helps you share lists with others and the community of users. So even if I think Reminders app is good, there are still others out there... like did u? app.



    Add in Reminder routing, too. Tell it which things you want to work on and have it route the most efficient directions to get to each task location.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wings View Post


    I wonder how much of a drain does it put on the battery to check your location often enough to remind you when you go by the target location?



    And how close to the target location do you have to be before a reminder goes off?



    (I know how it COULD do this... it could postpone a location check if it knows you are some distance away from the nearest target location and could not possibly be close to it within some time limit. But does anyone know?)



    Could it use w-fi or cell tower triangulation to know if you are getting close and then kick on the GPS when it needs more precise location? After all, they are saving that location database everyone got all worked up about locally on your device. Might as well use if for something.
  • slevit1slevit1 Posts: 5member
    Yes, you can have multiple lists. By default, it just has a list named "reminders." If you want to create separate lists, you hit a button in the upper right hand corner, then go to Edit and create new list. This way, you could have a grocery list, reminders, a work to-do list, etc.



    The biggest problem I see with the app is that you can only choose a location out of your address book, which makes no sense to me. You should be able to go into Maps and search for and choose any place you want. Maybe I'm just missing something, but the location part seems pretty useless as it is.
  • cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Anyone who has iOS5 up and running.



    Does Reminder have the ability to sync multiple apple ID's together, like for my wife and my seperate apple IDs?
  • nyctreenyctree Posts: 9member
    ok developer's of Things, 2Do, ToDo and Firetask, take your new API's and create a really good UI around Reminders and iCloud....best one by "fall" gets my $$$$.
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