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

post #1 of 36
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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.
post #2 of 36
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.
post #3 of 36
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.
post #4 of 36
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.
post #5 of 36
Does list allow you to make a list? For example, can the groceries list have a sublist of all the stuff you want?
post #6 of 36
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.
post #7 of 36
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!
post #8 of 36
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!
post #9 of 36
Goodbye Things.
post #10 of 36
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
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #11 of 36
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?)
post #12 of 36
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.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 36
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 ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #14 of 36
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.
post #15 of 36
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.
post #16 of 36
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.
post #17 of 36
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.
post #18 of 36
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.
post #19 of 36
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.
post #20 of 36
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?
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post #21 of 36
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 $$$$.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

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?

Doesn't seem so. It's linked to iCloud, which only syncs one user per device.
post #23 of 36
Pocket Informant on the App Store - has had location aware task contexts for awhile now. You set a context to a location, and PI will alert you when you are near there if that context has any tasks in it.

Its a little different than Reminders in that each task doesn't have a location - its a group of tasks. And you can get alerted when you get around that area, not when you leave. But those things are coming later anyway.

Just saying - this isn't all new. Apple's implementation is nice though, and far more simplistic which frankly makes it more accessible to a lot of people for simple stuff.
post #24 of 36
Is this is a separate home-screen icon in addition to Calendar? That seems needlessly cluttered/redundant if so; the two related functions would make a nice single app. I can see that having an icon called Reminders is useful for getting people to actually use this, though.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by slevit1 View Post

Doesn't seem so. It's linked to iCloud, which only syncs one user per device.

Well thats stupid...
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post #26 of 36
What about OmniFocus? Does all this -- if you like GTD.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

Well thats stupid...

It's possible you can send reminders to a different user, but future updates may bring group features.
post #28 of 36
If you add a phone number to call someone not necessarily in your phone book, on a given date, will it dial it automatically when you select it? Or will you have to copy and paste it into the iphone keypad to dial it?
post #29 of 36
Maps+ has location-driven reminders. You have to do an in-app purchase to upgrade to a usable version of the app. I haven't played with it much...

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/maps/id416753449?mt=8
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by imacFP View Post

It's possible you can send reminders to a different user, but future updates may bring group features.

I am just hunting down ways of rationalising my current setup.

my families phones, ipads nad ipod touches run throug googles exchange for calendars contacts and emails. The ability to each have our own email account, and a joint one, that allows us to sync wirelessly our own contacts and keep them seperate from family contacts is fantastic. Now the ability to perform the same across the reminders would be an absolute godsend.

Wife wants ot make sure I grab something on the way home from work, she enters the command into her iphone, it syncs across to mine, I walk outta the office nad the phone tells me to call into the shop.

Clean, neat, fantastic.

The calendar/contacts/mail works great with google, I would change that if it was useful. However, being tied to a single Apple ID is death.
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post #31 of 36
i also make a to-do app, and at first i was quite disturbed by this. no one wants to compete with apple! i feel really bad for instapaper and read it later. however, after this detailed breakdown, i can't help but think that this reminders app is more of an out of the box capabilities demo, than it is a full fledged change your life to-do app. i mean, who uses compass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyctree View Post

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 $$$$.

exactly. reminders adds extra cost/pressure on us to-do app makers... but, maybe that was apple's plan. perhaps, apple really wants location to be an essential iPhone experience. now, we are forced to make it so, as users will likely expect it as standard functionality. i know i am planning it (well, already was, but now it's been bumped up on the roadmap).

Quote:
Originally Posted by A_K View Post

Check this one called [...] So even if I think Reminders app is good, there are still others out there... like [...] app.

funny - someone named "A_K" is pimpin an app made by "Armand Konan" - hmm... coincidence? as a struggling app maker myself, i know how desperate the need is to get noticed. i even made a lite version of my app, and it's still not getting any traction. but, i think posting comments in a forum could be construed as advertising. so, be careful! most don't allow it.
post #32 of 36
[QUOTE=rpsx;1878975]i also make a to-do app, and at first i was quite disturbed by this. no one wants to compete with apple! i feel really bad for instapaper and read it later. however, after this detailed breakdown, i can't help but think that this reminders app is more of an out of the box capabilities demo, than it is a full fledged change your life to-do app. i mean, who uses compass?

exactly. reminders adds extra cost/pressure on us to-do app makers... but, maybe that was apple's plan. perhaps, apple really wants location to be an essential iPhone experience. now, we are forced to make it so, as users will likely expect it as standard functionality. i know i am planning it (well, already was, but now it's been bumped up on the roadmap).


THINGS--you need lists, start times, alerts and icloud integration
2DO-- you need icloud integration
FIRETASK--you need times, alerts, icloud integration
post #33 of 36
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.

And it's also used for supporting Exchange server tasks which iOS didn't do before.
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #34 of 36
I just started using this app but it doesn't look like there is a snooze feature when the initial reminder shows up? Does anyone any if it exists and I'm just not finding it?

Thanks
post #35 of 36
Anyone seen any documentation on what happens when a reminder has both a location-based alert and a time-based alert set for the same reminder? Do they both work or does one override the other?
post #36 of 36
I am wanting to jailbreak my iPhone 4 which is on iOS 5. I am sick of waiting for the untethered jailbreak so i am willing to do a tethered jailbreak. I was wondering if i do a tethered jailbreak, when the untethered comes out can i just jailbreak again without having to restore and back up. Im hoping i can just jailbreak tethered, and then when the untethered comes out just jailbreak it again.
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