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Checkmark for iPhone now available, simplifies reminders

Checkmark for iPhone now available, simplifies remindersCheckmark for iPhone, a new reminder app from Snowman, is now available. The app was teased earlier this month and is in the App Store for an introductory price of US$0.99. As I said before, Checkmark makes it easy to create location- and time-based reminders. Here's a look at Checkmark for iPhone.

Looks

Checkmark presents two main screens: Where and When. The former is your starting point for location-based reminders. It offers a 3x3 grid of icons representing your oft-visited locations. It's greyscale and the custom icons are easily recognized. You can re-order them as you wish with a function similar to "jiggle mode" in iOS. Tap and hold on any icon and they start to shake.

Flip the Where screen over to view outstanding vs. completed tasks, or tap the location icon in the upper right-hand corner to add a new location from the map, your current position or from among your contacts.

What's very cool is that Checkmark keeps your location-based tasks sorted by distance, starting from your current location. So, as you move through town, you can see which tasks you're closest -- geographically -- to completing.

The When screen provides a list of time-based reminders, sorted by due date. Again, it's legible and you can flip between outstanding and completed tasks.

My only complaint is due to an old habit. To exit Checkmark's "jiggle mode," you tap a Done button. I often hit the Home button, exiting the app. A little practice will cure that behavior.

Use

As I said, you can create two types of reminders with Checkmark: location-based and time-based. Let's start with location-based. But first, tell me if this scenario sounds familiar.

"Hey honey, go to the post office after you get the kids from the bus."

"Yep, no problem."

Later, at the bus stop:

  • Angry Birds
  • Talking with neighbors
  • Greet the kids
  • Discuss macaroni jewelry, pros and cons
  • Deflect requests for playdate/candy
  • Get in car, drive home, with no recollection of promise to visit the post office
  • Trouble

Apple extended a hand to forgetful folks like me in the form of location-based reminders. Its developers figured out to put a "geo fence" around a location and trigger a reminder once a user's phone moves beyond it. It's brilliant.

Siri is the obvious front end for Apple's Reminders app (though not the only one), and I find that, for whatever reason, Siri dislikes my voice and transcribes my speech incorrectly more often than not. I can create a reminder manually, of course, but Checkmark is so much faster.

After dropping a pin on the location of the bus stop and naming it "Bus Stop," it's always available. Now I can simply tap the icon, add "check mail" upon departure, hit Save and I'm good.

Of course, there's more. A notes filed let's me add task-specific information (like "Ask about packages" or "Buy commemorative Hello Kitty stamps") and a timer offers precise control over exactly when the notification will trigger: 5, 10, 15, 30 or 60 minutes after arrival or departure. That's pretty cool.

You can even give Checkmark a radius to work with. For example, alert me when I'm within 100 feet of the destination. Other options include 150, 300, 800 or 1,600 feet.

Creating a time-based reminder is just as snappy. Hit the "+" to begin, add your title and any notes and then choose the date and time. Click Save and you're done.

There are a few settings to be aware of. You can choose between miles and kilometers and adjust sensitivity, or "accuracy" of location services. By default, Checkmark uses Normal accuracy. By flipping the switch to Best, you get a more precise reading but at the cost of additional battery drain. In my testing, Normal works fine and I suggest keeping in there.

Finally, you can switch reminders, alerts, text alerts and badge counts on or off.

Conclusion

Checkmark is a good way to go. It looks good and niceties like icons, the timer and control over the size of the geofence are super handy. Those of you who, like me, depend a whole lot on receiving timely reminders would do well to check out Checkmark. Get it now for the sale price.

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