Friday, 24 June 2011

iOS5 Reminders app preview

After a while I am here again, this time with a preview of the upcoming Reminders app built-in the new version of iOS coming this autumn, iOS5.


This app is going to be a big competitor to other task apps like eTask or 2Do, specially if you use already MobileMe synching for tasks. As long as I understood the new Reminders app will sync tasks not only with iCloud service, but also with ActiveSync, and hopefully also with CalDAV services like Yahoo. I have my doubts if Google tasks will be supported as they are not following any standard for synching, but they have their own API.


So finally Apple has realized of the need for a task list application. I never understood why they did not include it from version one, as they did with other productivity apps like Calendar or Notes.

Reminders app supports tasks, priorities, due dates, reminders and lists. This is mostly what I need for my daily task organization.
  • Priorities: I do not use more than the standard three priorities (low, normal and high) so this is fine for me. For other people used to more options for priorities, this app might not be the best.
  • Due dates are also a standard feature and tasks with no due dates are also supported.
  • Reminders: In the reminder section, very interesting options have been added, specially the geotagging, allowing you to add reminders whenever you enter or leave an area. For instance, you have to do something as soon as you leave from work, then you can add it into your Reminders app with an option to notify you whenever you leave your work area. Thanks to the build-in GPS, Reminders will notify whenever you leave the office area. It also works the other way around, when you enter an area. For instance, when you arrive home you have to do this and that. Really clever and useful. However I can see a big impact on battery life as the GPS has to be used often in the back ground for notifications.
  • Lists of tasks are also supported. I guess these lists are equivalent to calendars in MobileMe, for instance.
Let's have a look at the interface now.


This is the main list view. In the upper part you have first a button to organize the sorting order and a selector to see the tasks by lists or by date. Then we have the list title and the tasks. Note the add task button as a + sign next to the list name. Tasks can be marked as completed also from here. For more detail, just press on the task. In this view you can switch easily between task lists by sliding left or right. You can see in the lower part an indicator to see how many lists are and in which one you are right now, marked with a gray point.

If you select sort by date, you will get into this view:


In this case tasks are shown based on dates. You have the date on the top and a date selector in the lower part of the view. You an swipe to the sides to move between the views or use the selector on the lower part. On the top bar you have a date selector button that will bring you to the date selector view:


From the main view you can also access the completed tasks:


Let's have a look now to the task edition and creation screen.


Options are quite simple and by pressing Show More... you can get to the full options:


You can then edit reminder, due date, priority and list. From the Remind Me option you can then select if you want to be reminded on a date and also when you enter or exit an area. Really useful.


From the list option you can easily select a list or even edit to add new lists or delete existing ones:


And another of the features I really look forward, the synchronisation with iCal on MacOS Lion:


In general, Reminders app is a simple app that will satisfy most users requirements. I am really looking forward to it. But we will have to wait until autumn for the iOS5 release.

Until then, I will continue using eTask app.



  1. The thing that seems to be missing is the option to sort tasks alphabetically. Seems rather obvious so I'm perhaps missing something.

  2. You are not missing anything. Reminders app is quite limited. Also an option to sort by priority or by due date is also missing :(