Daily Tip: How to create a location based Reminder in iOS 5

Installed iOS 5 and the brand new Reminders app that comes built-in, and wondering how to create one of those fancy new location-based Reminders. Luckily, once you're inside the Reminders app it's dead simple to add a task. From there it's super simple to add a location based reminder.

Note: Location based Reminders only work with Lists that are

  1. First tap into the Reminders app and click the + sign in the upper right hand corner to add a new reminder (or you can simply use an existing reminder and add a location to it).
  2. By default the Reminders app just functions as a checklist of sorts with no default reminder time. To change this, tap into the reminder you just created or an already existing reminder.
  3. Under the reminder name tap into Remind Me.
  4. From there you have two reminder options - On a Day or At a Location. In this instance, you'll want to toggle At a Location to On.
  5. You can choose to have that reminder set for your current location or you can tap in and use any address you'd like.
  6. Once that's done you can choose whether you want the reminder to notify you when you leave or when you arrive at the location you specified in the previous step.
  7. Tap Done in the upper right hand corner and you're good to go!

When you arrive or leave the location you specified, you should receive a push notification.

Now, in my experience location based reminders seem to cause a bit of battery drain considering location services has to check consistently for your position. Keep that in mind and use time based Reminders when you can instead.

Have any other Reminders tips to share? Smart ways you've figured out to use it? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Daily Tips range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to create a location based Reminder in iOS 5


Is there a way to save your home address/work etc so it's easily found in this and/or for Siri to find your home address or will Siri automatically know your name?

Phil Schiller mentioned in the Apple Special Event that Siri will ask you for the first time.
I assume Siri will ask your home location if you haven't already preset it in your contact.

I have myself set up as a contact and included my address. When I first set up a location-based reminder, it immediately displayed my home address. Try that :)

I set up a location based reminder and noticed that the Location service never turns off. The green indicator was on the status bar, and in the Location Services in settings. Has anyone else noticed this?

It needs to constantly track your location to provide a location based reminder. That is where the name came from.

If you set your Address Card in Settings - Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders will use the addresses saved in your personal card as your work/home addresses...just label them as such on your card.

Location Based Reminder need to know your location before making appropriate arrangements. If it only knows your location when you're connected to a WiFi network, that defeats the purpose of a Location Based Reminder.

Yeah, I really don't understand why Apple won't let us create location-based reminders on a 3G enabled iPad…!? Doesn't make sense at all…

Doesn't work on my Iphone 3GS NOR on my Ipad 1 !!!
Moreover, I can't figure out how to sync reminders with my Outlook task list?
And the "reminders tip" on the 3rd picture above is not shown either.

I see what you mean about the battery drain - took me from 100% to 40% in a little under 2 hours... Not going to be using this feature much...
It's a shame that you can't set a 'Check Interval' so that you can set it to 'Check My Location Every 15mins, 30 mins, 1hour, constantly'.
It also amazes me that they couldn't make the phone update your location based on an event, such as you moving from one cell to another... or when you move away/near from a WiFi network.

I set a location based reminder to remind me of something when I left the house. I set it before going to bed last night and left the phone unplugged. It dropped from 100% to 98% battery in 7 hours. So I personally am seeing almost no extra battery drain.

You evidently have a super-iPhone because mine couldn't maintain that kind of battery life for 7 hours even if it was in airplane mode.

The big battery drains are Network, 3G and Wifi. I went overseas and was using my phone as only a camera so I disconnected those options and the battery lost 0% battery overnight. (But maybe you're right and Johaen8 & I have super iPhones. Isn't that cool?)

An iPhone that can't last for more than 7 hours in airplane mode? I've owned every model of the iPhone since the original back in 2007 and could always do way better than 7 hours if I let it just sit an d not touch it. Try putting it in airplane mode, leave it at home and don't touch the thing ever for 24 hours then come back. If it's drained then you may have defective iPhone.
I currently use the iPhone 4S and its surprising the difference I get when I take my phone to work with me and have it in my pocket versus if I forget to take it and leave it at home. At work it might drain 50% in 5 hours. If I leave it at home all day when I get back it might be at 99% and feel like a super iPhone.

You don't need iCloud. My home broadband is so slow I didn't enable iCloud. You can save Location Reminders to the local iPhone and they still work.
I'm not sure how useful they are though - mine didn't trigger me leaving work until I was 2 miles away. If I did that at home I'd be back from the shop before I'd gone that far away.

Can't use any location. Only the address of a contact - unless I'm missing somethin

So far this hasn't worked well on my iPhone 4 - as someone else said, I've gotten my notifications literally MILES from my specified point, and sometimes 8 hours after the fact. Also, IINM this needs a data connection (at least my phone does). I'll keep trying though. Good thing there are great third party apps like ALARMED, although they don't have location-based reminders.

They should have integrated this with the Maps app. Wouldn't it be much easier to select a location from a map or just enter an address right in the Maps app the same way that you enter directions?

I totally agree. Currently when I say "Remind me to get toothpaste when I arrive at Target", it doesn't know what "Target" is unless I go to Maps (ironic) and then create a contact for the Target I want. If it doesn't know a location it seems like it could search Maps in the same way it brings up a list of contacts to help narrow down search. Right??

My Reminders don't show "at a location" option. The only thing I see is "on a day." I have checked my settings and Reminders app is included in iCloud. Now what?

My iPhone 3GS does not have the location option in reminders. I have the iCloud>Reminders set to on. My location services is On. Am I missing something or does this feature not work on the 3?

Would be a million times more practical if you could choose a point from the maps programs versus being limited to addresses saved in contacts.
Also a +1 about setting the "check location" interval. It's a must in future updates.

I would like to be able to label the locations a I please. One way of doing that is creating new contacts with the custom names and addresses in my address book but it is not comfortable to have to add every location as a contact.
I wish they added the option to choose a location by dropping the pin on the map and naming it as we like.
Any workarounds to solve this?

Check that your version of Outlook is compatible (32-bit), that you have the iCloud Control Panel installed and active, and notice that said add-in creates new groups of calendars, contacts, mail, and tasks. Kind of a pain that it doesn't integrate with your existing default groups.

The note that "Location based Reminders only work with Lists in your iCloud Reminders account" was helpful! Switching the "Show More..." -> List to iCould Reminders enabled the "At a Location" option.
By the way, to default reminders account to iCloud, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts Calendars -> Reminders (all the way at the bottom) -> Default List.

The note that "Location based Reminders only work with Lists in your iCloud Reminders account" was helpful! Switching the "Show More..." -> List to iCould Reminders enabled the "At a Location" option.
By the way, to default reminders account to iCloud, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts Calendars -> Reminders (all the way at the bottom) -> Default List.

I'm able to use Siri to set location-based Reminders ("Remind me to pick up dog food Monday when I leave work.") but for some reason Siri always adds a time to her confirmation ("Here's your reminder for when you leave work, or by this Monday at 9 am." I'm not asking for a time-based reminder, since I leave work at different times...I just want a location-based reminder for WHENEVER I get home, or leave work, or whatever. I can't find anything about this on the phone, nor in iPhone 4S for Dummies. Anybody know the fix to this?

turned on iCloud for reminders
(after an annoying session getting my apple ID to be my email address)
still does not all LOCATION BASED, only DATE BASED reminders
been on 800 MY APPLE for 20 minutes of terrible hold music