Using an iPhone’s Location Based Reminders

The iPhone’s Reminders app can be set to remind you about something at a specific time, as you would expect. However, sometimes it is more useful to be reminded of something based upon where you are and what you are doing, like leaving or arriving at home or work, or maybe getting in or out of the car.

To set a location-based reminder, create a new reminder or tap an existing one, then tap the blue symbol to its right:


Swipe the REMIND ME AT A LOCATION switch to the right, then tap the LOCATION field that appears below it.

You can tap one of the options listed on the next screen to choose a location or action. These include CURRENT LOCATION, HOME or WORK, GETTING IN THE CAR, GETTING OUT OF THE CAR, and locations you have recently searched for in the Maps app. You can also search for a location or enter an address in the SEARCH field at the top of the list.

Most of these options work using your device’s location services, but the car options will only work if your iPhone is paired with Bluetooth to your vehicle’s music or handsfree system (connection or disconnection from the Bluetooth is what triggers the reminder).

If you choose any option but the car, a map and two buttons will appear at bottom of the screen:


Tap WHEN I ARRIVE or WHEN I LEAVE to choose when the reminder should occur. The blue circle around the red pin in the map is the zone that the app will be watching for you to enter or leave in order to trigger the reminder. You can drag the black circle at its edge to make that zone bigger or smaller. Note that location services can be slightly inaccurate depending upon where you are, so a larger zone is more likely to ensure the reminder is triggered.

Once you have the perameters set, tap DETAILS in the upper left of the screen, then tap DONE in the upper right.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant