Apple

Pro tip: Get the most out of location-based reminders

Location-based reminders let you get notified of certain tasks when arriving or leaving a specific location. Let us show you how to take full advantage of these reminders.

Reminders in OS X and iOS

The Reminders application has been a mainstay on iOS devices since the introduction of iOS 6, and it lets you create and organize your various tasks. The best part is that these reminders sync with iCloud between your iOS and OS X devices. However, there's one feature of Reminders that you may not have fully taken advantage of yet: location-based reminders. With these types of reminders, you can have an alert displayed on your device whenever you enter or leave a geofenced location. Let's examine how to take full advantage of this feature.

Creating location-based reminders

You can easily create location-based reminders by opening the Reminders application on one of your iOS devices and following these steps:

  1. Tap into a list where you wish to create a reminder.
  2. Tap on the first available field to create a reminder as you normally would.
  3. After entering your reminder, press return to exit the text entry mode.
  4. Tap the [i] button beside of the newly created reminder.
  5. In the Details view, enable the option for Remind me at a location (Figure A)
    Figure A
    Figure A
  6. Tap the Location button that appears
  7. In the Location view, you can enter any address or use the defaults that appear (Work, Home, Current Location). Note that Work and Home are pulled from your address card. Once the location has been selected (Figure B), tap either When I arrive... (to get a notification when you enter the geofenced region) or When I leave... (to get a notification when you leave the geofenced region).
    Figure B
    Figure B

In the same view where you set the location for the reminder, you can also set how large you want the geofence to be for the reminder. Note that a geofence is a circular region around the location point of interest. Your reminder will be triggered whenever your device passes in or out of this geofence region.

To adjust the size of the geofenced region, tap on the black dot that appears, and drag it in or out. You'll see how large the region is in meters.

Location-based reminder notifications

Based on the location-based reminder that you set above, whenever you enter or leave the geofenced region, you'll get a notification on your Lock screen just as you might with any push notifications in iOS.

When swiping this notification from the Lock Screen (or tapping on it when it appears as a notification in other apps), you'll be taken to the Reminders application where you can see the location-based event for your current location.

Overview

This feature of the Reminders application can be very powerful and useful. Imagine writing down your grocery list in the Reminders app and having your grocery list automatically show up on your Lock screen when arriving at the store. There are numerous possibilities that this feature can be used for.

Do you use location-based reminders? If so, how do you use them to remind you of tasks that need to be accomplished? Let us know in the discussion below.

About

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

2 comments
paulgareth
paulgareth

Also, you can use Drop Messages for location based reminders for OTHER people! Imagine setting a grocery list reminder at the store for someone else. Plus, its fun.

paulgareth
paulgareth

Also, you can Drop Messages for location based reminders. You can use it to set reminders for OTHER people as well as yourself. Plus, its fun. Imagine setting a grocery-list reminder for someone else at the store..

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