We told you about Checkmark, Snowman’s upcoming location-aware organizer app for the iPhone, earlier in the month. Today, the program has finally landed on the App Store and can be yours in exchange for 99 cents. Checkmark bests Apple’s stock Reminders app on many levels while ticking all the important boxes.

It one-ups Apple with triggers based on both location and time so you can, say, be alerted to pick up your laundry half an hour before you get to the mall or have that reminder about calling your wife pop up 15 minutes after you leave work. And if Reminders’ illogical and inefficient user interface isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll definitely fall in love with Checkmark…

Checkmark also beats Reminders in user friendliness, timed location reminders, advanced features and efficient performance that won’t take nearly as much of a toll on your battery as Apple’s software.

As I mentioned before, you can set a trigger by the clock or location.

Perhaps most importantly, location-based alarms in Checkmark don’t miss a beat and go off precisely when you’d expect them, unlike Apple’s unreliable program.

Timed location reminders are particularly useful as you can set the alarm to go off, say, 15 minutes after you arrive at the location.

You’ll also love how Checkmark sorts tasks by distance, letting you view a list of the things you need to do within a certain radius. You can also set a specific radius when creating a new location in Checkmark.

Plus, an alarm’s location can be set by using your current location, a contact’s address or by dropping a pin manually on a map. The lack of manual locations in Apple’s Reminders is one of the major reasons I eventually stopped using it.

See, I typically want to add a location-based reminder spontaneously. Unfortunately, Apple’s Reminders stubbornly insists on using previously saved locations from my address book. Who on Earth wants to pollute their contacts with location entries for stuff like the favorite shopping places, cinema theaters, a baseball stadium and what not? Checkmark’s ability to drag a pin on the map to set the alarm’s location is Godsent.

That’s why Apple’s offering falls short badly in usability and why Checkmark shows Apple who’s who and how a well rounded reminder app should be done.

Reviewers seem to be liking Checkmark a lot.

Matthew Panzarino wrote in his review over at The Next Web that Checkmark is what Reminders should have been:

The idea of Reminders was always cool. Using the location-based features of the iPhone to trigger when you entered or exited a ‘geofenced’ area feels like the future. But, in practice, it never quite worked out.

And the Siri integration of Reminders just hasn’t been good enough to justify using it to remind me of things because, in the end, the shortcomings of the app itself make it near useless.

I was using Checkmark beta for some time myself and also felt it put Apple’s app to shame. Panzarino summed it up nicely:

I’ve been testing Checkmark during its beta period for some time and, I’m not ashamed to admit, was skeptical that it would be much better than Reminders has. But after taking it for a serious spin, I can say that it really makes you see how sweet a location-based alert app can be.

So, if you loved what Apple was trying to do with reminders, but want an app that actually works the way it says it should, give Checkmark a try.

I take it we can all agree at this point that Apple’s Reminders app is an unreliable, battery-taxing piece of code which could be a lot more user friendly.

MacStories editor Federico Viticci praises Checkmark’s efficient interface. He notes you can add a reminder in Checkmark in only three taps as opposed to ten taps in Reminders:

My favorite feature of Checkmark is its streamlined way of adding new location reminders. From the main “Where” screen, you can tap on a location to view all the reminders associated with it; tap the + button in the upper right corner, and create a new one with a title and (optional) notes.

Set arrival or departure — depending on whether you want to be alerted when you arrive at a place, or leave it — and hit Save. Done. Unlike Apple’s app, it takes me 10 seconds to set up a new location reminder in Checkmark.

Wrapping up, Viticci concludes:

Checkmark isn’t just a prettier Reminders app, it is a better take on a concept that Apple first explored but somehow failed to properly implement on iOS.

On the downside, the initial release of Checkmark doesn’t have recurring reminders, which is a bummer, it won’t sync with Apple’s Reminders and it doesn’t support iPad (yet) so its reminders won’t show up on your tablet (or desktop, for that matter).

More information is available at the Checkmark website.

If you wanted to use Apple’s Reminders to free up your calendar from the small errands, but gave up because it was fugly and ate up juice quickly, I wholeheartedly recommend Checkmark.

Here’s your promo video.

Of course, Apple’s Reminders may eventually catch up. It comes free with iOS 5 or later and will soon be available on Macs with Mountain Lion and on the web via iCloud.com.

I’d just bought Checkmark before getting to write this post.

Fifteen minutes in and Checkmark made me fall in love with reminders and geofencing all over again. It’s definitely replaced Apple’s horrendous app on my home screen.

Is Checkmark what Reminders should have been in the first place?

  • Got it right after reading your article 😛

  • Must try this out tonight. Anyone try it ? Post reviews please.

    • I linked to two comprehensive reviews by MacStories and The Next Web

  • ronit oberoi

    hey guys can anyone help me..
    i am looking for a software to make an iphone app prototype for my annual project.
    i am running on windows. can anyone suggest me a free software to make an interactive application prototype.

    • How about iMockups?

      • ronit oberoi

        i need it to be interactive just like the real app..
        i have a software called balasmiq which also make mockups but i need a workin one.

      • Might be better asking in the iDB forums than on here

      • I haven’t been able to open the forums for last few weeks. Can u provide the link for forums please…

    • EpicFacepalm

      Do you mean XCode?

      • ronit oberoi

        xcode is for mac i need it for windows and it requires coding also, but in my case i just need an interactive dummy app.

  • anyone know if the location-based reminders work outside of the U.S.?

  • My favourite get-your-things-done app is 2Do and I think it is still way more comprehensive than any other app.

  • EpicFacepalm

    One of the reasons why iOS sucks without App Store and jailbreak community. At least some of the developers were smart enough to implement this simple thing, with a cheap price. If this app can make this with restricted rights, API’s and with a sandbox, I wonder that whether Apple devs were real high or too lazy or too amateur…

    I have an iPhone and an iPad but it doesnt mean that I should have been a brainwashed Apple user. Steve jobs was not God lol!

    • EpicFacepalm

      Haters gonna hate

    • haha your post was nonsense^^

      Yes the Reminders App might not be very good but iOS sucks without AppStore? Dude… The Appstore is iOS. When you buy a iPhone you just get the most important things and everything else is the AppStores job. Apps like this show me why I love my iPhone and my iPad the way I do 🙂

      • true so apple need to open up more APIs so that the app store apps can integrate better… or make a new app section called system tweaks and give those developers special access to improve the system like jailbreaking

      • EpicFacepalm

        See? Without the Appstore, without Cydia, without 3rd party devs it simply sucks. Your sentense just agrees my comment. Even Windows’ system applications don’t suck like iOS. We have gained the ability to create albums without iTunes with iOS “5”. That’s a huge fail for Apple. Even my old Nokias can do them. That’s why we jailbreak it. To make it less suck, because there isn’t a better one for now.

    • yes steve jobs was a god… to apple

  • Okay i have an idea.. since apple is now facing competition from it sown app makers in the pap store they need to offer deeper 3rd party app integration into the phone so that great apps like this one can blend more seamlessly with the OS so that the end user feels like

  • This promo vid is hilarious.

  • Alexander Dohms

    That promo video alone was enough for me to get it, Hilarious!!!!

  • So basically it won’t work with Siri…

  • Appletiser

    the only thing that promo reminded me (no pun intended) of was the crappy adverts they devise on The Apprentice.

  • Oscar Corrales

    Don’t even bother getting this one if you live in Mexico, the app is useless. I can’t even add places because the app crashes when using my current location and if I try to look for an address I get a Googlelocalobjectdomain error 500.

  • Neil Popson

    You cannot set a reminder that that is both time and location based. E.g. “Leaving home before 8am”. The developer has chosen to completely separate “When” alerts from “Where” alerts and put them under different tabs. Maybe in the future he can add a third tab for “When and Where”, and allow us to put in a time frame for a location based alert.

    • Just create both reminders. But what i’m disappointed with is the lack of continous reminders. which is there in IOS stock app.

      • Neil Popson

        I’m referring to a location-based alert that will only go off in a certain time frame (“When AND Where”), not an alert that is “When OR Where”.

        For example. If you’re working late it would be nice to set an alert for, say, “At work after 6pm”, to remind you to call home.

        As it stands this “god send” doesn’t really add much functionality beyond what Reminders already does.

  • What about sharing lists? The best feature of Reminders for my household is that we can have iCloud-sync’d shopping lists, so anyone can add items to the list, and anyone can pick up everything we need when they go shopping.

    That trumps better geofencing for our needs.

  • This is another of one of those great apps that remind me how great the appstore is, yes there’s cydia but not all these great games and utilities are available in cydia which the appstore has
    Reminds Me How The F**k People Lived With A AppStore-less Device Like The iPhone 2G Which Still Doesn’t Have The AppStore After 5 Years!

  • I need more integration or else I would jump ship. It looks amazing, but without being able to use siri and without busycal integration another reminders app will just fragment my productivity workflow even more. This is a perfect example of a superior product being mitigated by Apple restrictions.


    I just wanted to let you know that I downloaded this App after Christian’s article about Checkmark.


  • Location Alerts (productivity) for iPhone, schedules future text and calls based on the location.