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How to use the iOS 5 Reminders app

iOS 5 is full of new features, one of which is a Reminders app designed to help you stay better organized. Read on to find out more about the new Reminders app in iOS 5.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

It's happened to the best of us--we go to the grocery store with a mental list, sure that we could never forget one of the only six items on it. Then we get back home, look in the bag, and realize we forgot the chocolate chips for the cookies we've been craving.

With the release of iOS 5 getting closer by the day, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users will soon be able to take advantage of the new Reminders application that is included in Apple's latest mobile OS. Here we take a look at the app and show you how to use some of its features.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

When you first launch the Reminders app you will be presented with your default list. Here you can quickly add another item to your list, or swipe left or right to view another list.

If you would prefer to view your reminders by date, you can tap on the Date button on the top to view all of your lists organized by date.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

To enter a task or item you need a reminder for, simply tap on the plus sign. Enter a title for your reminder and tap anywhere on the screen to hide the keyboard again.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

After you enter a title, you can then tap on the reminder and you will be shown a settings screen for that particular reminder. Here are all the possible settings:

  • Set the date and time for an alarm (as well as a location-based reminder)
  • Set a repeat schedule for a reminder
  • Set the reminder's priority
  • Change the list the reminder is associated with
  • Enter any notes applicable to the reminder
  • Delete the reminder

Selecting any of the options listed above will take you to another screen, allowing you to customize that selection. For example, you can set the reminder priority to none, low, medium, or high.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

If you select the date and time option, you can change the due date and time that the reminder will go off. One of the more interesting settings is that you can base a reminder alert on your location. To set a location-based reminder, turn the "At a Location" switch to On.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Once this switch is on, you will be asked to select the location you want the alert to be associated with. You can either use your current location or select the address of a different location. Once a location is set, you can then set whether you want to be alerted when you leave or arrive at that location.

If you want to base a reminder on a location other than your current one, the address of that location will have to be saved in your Address Book. Also, we had zero luck getting an Exchange account with Reminders enabled to let us set up location-based reminders.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you set a location-based reminder then your phone will constantly be monitoring your location, which will drain your battery rather quickly. Try to only set location-based reminders for the immediate future, not for hours or days into the future.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Once you have set up the reminder to your liking, press Done. You will then be taken back to view your lists. As you can see in the screen above, under the title is the alert time as well as the location indicator and address (in the case of this example, I've blurred the address).

Once you have completed an item, tap the blank box to the left and a check mark will appear, moving the item to the Completed list.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

To add lists or edit the order of your lists, you can tap the button with three lines in the top left corner of the main screen. This will bring up a list of your lists. If you tap the Edit button, you can rename them, rearrange them, or add another list.

Reminders is a robust app that will make it easier to remember those items that you swore you never would forget, as well as the ones you gave up on trying to remember long ago.