This past April I wrote an article about using the location alert feature in Apple’s default iOS 5 Reminders app. This feature uses GPS navigation to post preset reminders based on when you arrive at or leave a specified location. The technology alone behind this app is so cool that you will want to see how it works.
Well now some very smart third-party developers have created another location reminder app called Checkmark ($0.99) that makes it even easier to configure reminders using preset locations you frequently go to. If you often forget things when you’re out and about, location reminders could possibly save you precious time and maybe even a little money.
How It Works
The user interface of Checkmark is what makes it stand out above Apple’s Reminders. The home page of the app consists of your preset locations which you tap to set reminders. You can also set conventional reminders based on date and time.
So for instance you might set up a location for your home or apartment, your local grocery store, gas station, and the school you attend or drop your kids off to. When you set a reminder in one of the presets you get notified when you arrive or leave the designated location. I’ve even used Siri-set location alerts to remind me to take something out of the trunk of my car when I arrive home. While you might think I shouldn’t need an app to do that, it’s frustrating to get out of my car, walk upstairs, only to forget my camera equipment is still in the trunk.
Setting location alerts in Reminder’s app is not that difficult, but Checkmark makes it essentially a 3-step process–that is after you add presets to your typical locations. You can add a location in one of three ways: by your current location, from the GPS map, or from a location in your Address Book. Just tap the green location button in the upper-right of the app.
You might start with just adding those locations you frequent on regular basis. Those addresses probably already exist in your Address Book. Also, getting locations from the map is even useful for when you’re traveling out of town and you need a set of reminders for when you arrive say at the hotel.
Checkmark includes over 25 uniformed designed icons for various types of locations, including home, school, drug store and gym. You can use the same icon more than once, because you assign a title to them when they are created.
When you tap the panel button on the upper-left of the screen, you get a list of all your set reminders. Your reminders get posted on your iPhone like other app notifications; however, though notifications include vibration alerts, the sound of the alert is not quite loud enough.
Another cool feature in setting Checkmark reminders is you can set a time for the reminder, such as 15 minutes after you arrive at a specified location.
You can of course go into the Settings app, tap Notifications, and select the Checkmark app to change how you want your notification to be posted. Checkmark also saves your reminders when you tap them as done, but unfortunately you can’t reuse them for future reminders.
When you want set a non-location reminder, simply tap the “When” button at the bottom of the app, followed by the green + button. From there you set your date, time, and title.
Which Is Better?
If you’re a heavy user of location reminders, Checkmark will come in handy because of how easy it is to set up reminders. However, Siri on the iPhone 4S makes it easy to set reminders as well. For example, you can tell Siri to remind you to purchase a particular item when you arrive at the store. The store you refer to must also be in your Address Book in order for Siri to make the connection.
Apple’s Reminders on the other hand will also be integrated with the next version of OS X Mountain Lion, which will make it convenient for setting up reminders from your Mac.
So basically you might want to have both apps on your iPhone if you use location reminders on a regular basis. But let us know what you think of Checkmark, and what additional features you would like to see included in the app.
For other location reminder apps and ideas, check out directory of articles here.