||July 17, 2012
When iOS 5 came out, there were a lot of features that we couldn’t have been happier to see come to our devices, Reminders being one of them. With a built-in application that allowed us to set a notification based on time or location, we thought we might finally have the best solution from the company itself. While Reminders is indeed a good app, there are a few things that could be better.
Checkmark, on the other hand, looks to fill in the holes that Reminders has left hanging around the operating system. This robust get-things-done application offers the same solution that Apple’s app does, but takes things a few steps beyond, cementing its status as possible King of Checklist Apps (a category I just made up, but whatever).
As I said, whatever you can do with Reminders, you can do with Checkmark. Want to have a time/date based reminder notify you? Check. Location based reminders? Check again. Checkmark does what the Reminders app do, but in my opinion, Checkmark’s alerts are a little more superior to Apple’s solution. I will say that I’ve run into some timing issues with Reminders, as it would either not go off at all, or too early. Granted, the sample size I’ve been using Checkmark has been a little smaller in comparison, but it hasn’t given me one misstep along the way.
Location based reminders, however, weren’t always an exact science. The app had slight difficulty recognizing locations for me when I first started using it, but the more I used it, the more accurate it became. Whether that was by design or just a fluke I’m not sure. Regardless, that was probably the most frustrating thing to me at first, since I use location reminders as often as I breathe. The geofence locations you can set for Checkmark are actually pretty large, but also have the option to be quite specific so you don’t worry about a reminder going off when you’re just passing by. This was the best feature for me once my location reminders started making sense, since I’m usually in the same congested area of my city quite often.
Since Apple’s native Reminders app doesn’t have geofencing, only immediate location notification, it was nice having this option in Checkmark. If I know I’ll be driving near a certain place at some point, it’s a great thing being certain I’ll get a notification regardless of whether or not I’m actually at that address. This was something else I really liked about location reminders in Checkmark; that I didn’t have to add the address to my contacts list in order to create a notification, unlike with Reminders. All I have to do is directly add the location right into the category and it does the rest for me.
For a lot of users, one of the highlights might be Checkmark’s ease of use. Instead of tapping away to create one simple reminder, your number of taps is drastically reduced to just a couple or few. With Reminders, it would take an inordinate number of tapping and more tapping, which is not the case with Checkmark. In the grand scheme of things, are those extra taps really going to affect my life? No, but the convenience Checkmark gives the user with less time spent actually creating an event is wonderful.
The biggest drawback to my use of location based reminders is that my iPhone’s battery depletes at a fast rate. This is going to happen no matter which app I’m using as long as it’s constantly updating my location, so it wasn’t as if I noticed a major difference in battery depletion between Reminders and Checkmark. But if this is your first time using location reminders, be forewarned: you can expect your battery charge to last about half as long as it did before, depending on how many you have set, and the frequency of which you set them.
In all, Checkmark is a wonderful solution to whatever your remembering needs might be. Could you get by with the native Reminders app? Absolutely, but would you enjoy Checkmark a little bit more? You just might. The ease of use is where it shines best, but even its interface is a delight to interact with. The design is intuitive, and the colors and aesthetics will have your eyes glistening with joy as you look upon them. Is that a bit dramatic? No. It looks that good.
Checkmark is $2.99, and since that’s not the typical price for an app like this, I’m sure a few users might be hesitant. In my opinion, though, it’s worth it to have such a wonderfully designed and useful app, especially if you’re going to use it frequently.