10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2014 12:07 PM by michaldepa
NFH. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

I was looking forward to location-based reminders on my iPhone 4 in iOS5, but the functionality seems to be very badly designed resulting in failures to generate reminders at desired locations.

 

An example of one of my intended uses of this functionality is to set a location-based reminder for every time my train goes through the station two minutes preceding my station, in case I fall asleep on my way home and miss my station - not something that happens very often fortunately. On my outward journey, I therefore set up a reminder based on my current location as my train went through the particular station. On my return journey, my iPhone failed to notify me as my train went through the same station. When I got home, using Google Earth I found that the GPS co-ordinates that my iPhone had recorded for my "current location" while at the station were a considerable distance from both the train line and the station, presumably because my location's accuracy was poor at the time that I set up the reminder. Because the accuracy of my location was more precise during my return journey, my iPhone did not detect that I had arrived at the previously configured location. I therefore tried to find a way to configure the correct GPS co-ordinates or enter a precise address, but no such functionality exists; you can only configure a potentially inaccurate "current location" or the address of one of your contacts.

 

The design flaws with this functionality that I have found so far are:

  • There is no way to enter an address manually
  • There is no way to enter GPS co-ordinates manually
  • There is no way to edit a configured address derived from a previous "current location"
  • There is no way to edit GPS co-ordinates derived from a previous "current location"

 

I have also noticed the following inconsistencies with the usual iOS user experience:

  • When adding a new reminder, you have to press Return to go to the next line to add a second new reminder before you can configure the parameters of the first new reminder, which is messy and unintuitive
  • To delete reminders, there is no edit button on the main Reminders list in order to generate delete buttons against each reminder. Instead,you have to go into a particular reminder and delete it from there.

 

I'm surprised that nobody noticed any of these deficiencies in beta testing. This functionality has the potential to be extremely useful for a variety of purposes, but its current implementation is unreliable and fundamentally flawed.


iPhone 4, iOS 4, Orange UK
  • Just another iPhone user Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    This is exactly what we need for the location services. Please submit your issues and suggestions to Apple at http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

  • stevenfromjohannesburg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I find the location remindes so frustrating because it always get the location of the address wrong. - search using the maps app and it's 100% on the mark, but click on the address in contacts and it puts the marker in the centre of the city.

    I wish I could just add gps coordiates to the contacts and let the location based reminders use that!

  • NFH. Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Steven, the problem you describe does not seem specific to the Reminders app, but the general way that the iPhone interprets address data stored against a contact. When I tap on a UK address in Contacts, the Maps app pinpoints the location accurately, but I get similar symptoms to your for Ireland (most probably because of a lack of postcodes in Ireland). I'm guessing that the Contacts app doesn't work well for South African addresses, perhaps because of bad mapping of address fields by iOS. Have you tried this for addresses in other countries, or perhaps changing the way that South African addresses are stored in your contacts?

  • Faffe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree it's pretty useless. I expected it to at least be able to save favorite locations, like home, work and "here". Now it expects me to have a contact with the address? Useless in 99% of my use cases.

  • mlmlmn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I cannot get this app to notify me when I leave home, say to get gas.  The map finds my "home' entry in contacts accurately but using it with reminders produces no alarm.  It seems others have difficulty as well.

  • mahadevanfrombangalore Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yup, I finally ended up using Flote. Its free on the app store and does this better. It works with regions and not points so you don't need a ton of accuracy for it to work well. Also works with maps for addresses that don't really make sense on the map.

  • devpillai Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    very true.
    it's sad that this simple flaw was overlooked by the beta testers.
    if we could manually enter the gps coordinates and save those coordinates as an address, then the problem would be solved immediately.

     

    let's hope the next update adresses this.
    in the meantime please write about this issue at http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html and request for gps coordinates to be allowed in the future update.

  • Richard Olpin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Couldn't agree more.  I've been *trying* to use location reminders ever since buying my iPhone 4S but as yet, out of many, many attempts they've only actually worked once.

     

    The kid problem is very simple, the way the phone needs the location to be an address in your address book, and it's subsequent inability to correctly locate the address. My home address is a correct postal address, and has been unchanged for 40+ years, yet clicking on my address from my own contact entry puts my location some distance down my street.

     

    Whilst I understand the issue with the address lookup, it seems to be a massive problem with the location based reminders as it's just not possible to set useful reminders.

     

    What if I want to remind myself of something when I arrive at the car park on a shopping trip?  There is no address for that in my contacts, I just want to pinpoint the location on the maps and say 'remind me when I get there'.  Surely that's the simplest my far.  Same with address book contacts, if you had a field with the gps position in then one could tag the locations and know they were 100% accurate for location services.

     

    Such a shame as it's one of the key reasons I upgraded my phone and as it stands it just plain doesn't work.

  • Richard Olpin Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Couldn't agree more.  I've been *trying* to use location reminders ever since buying my iPhone 4S but as yet, out of many, many attempts they've only actually worked once.

     

    The kid problem is very simple, the way the phone needs the location to be an address in your address book, and it's subsequent inability to correctly locate the address. My home address is a correct postal address, and has been unchanged for 40+ years, yet clicking on my address from my own contact entry puts my location some distance down my street.

     

    Whilst I understand the issue with the address lookup, it seems to be a massive problem with the location based reminders as it's just not possible to set useful reminders.

     

    What if I want to remind myself of something when I arrive at the car park on a shopping trip?  There is no address for that in my contacts, I just want to pinpoint the location on the maps and say 'remind me when I get there'.  Surely that's the simplest my far.  Same with address book contacts, if you had a field with the gps position in then one could tag the locations and know they were 100% accurate for location services.

     

    Such a shame as it's one of the key reasons I upgraded my phone and as it stands it just plain doesn't work.

  • michaldepa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found a (stop-gap) solution to this. As far as I know, it requires you to have a Mac.

     

    1) Open your Contacts app on your Mac

    2) Find yourself as a contact (it should be there in the list)

    3) Create a new address (click the +, then choose "Address")

    4) As the address, just put the GPS coordinates of the address you want to save. For example, if you lived in the Empire State Building, you would type in "40.7483688,-73.9856337". Try pasting that in google maps or apple maps and you will see that it points to the correct location. The best way I found of getting the GPS coordinates of your home or office is to get coarse coordinates using your Compass app on your iPhone, then refining it using Google Maps.

    5) Use the address you just saved (it should sync to your phone if you have iCloud enabled!) to set a reminder, it should work.

     

    I hope this helps!

     

    Michal