When I found location reminders, I acknowledged they were the future. It's exclusive to portable devices, it takes out the dependency of time, which we're so short of already, and allows us to cut those contexts loose. So I decided to test several location-reminder apps: Checkmark, Nearly and LocationMinder.
Location reminders are great when you must remember to go to point B in your routine when you're moving from A to C. You wouldn't create a "do groceries" reminder near the supermarket if you left home exactly to do that. It's countering the concept of a reminder itself. Neither would you place a reminder near the library telling you to "deliver the books", because it would require you to carry the books all the time to work fine. Location reminders are the closest thing we have to actual reminders and not small tasks. The truth is that these apps aren't widely used due to its high battery cost.
Every app I tested for this review has shown a lot of accuracy when I arrived or left any assigned location, so this won't be a parameter of review, there were other apps discarded due to their imprecision already.
Definitely the prettiest among them all, Nearly splits your screen between the map and the list of nearby reminders. However, its simplicity comes with several problems. When you compose a reminder, all you have is the title and the location, meaning they're all "entrance" reminders, so no "pick the umbrella" reminder for you.
There are many little things that put Nearly off this competition, such as the inability to delete reminders or to move your pins after you point an address. Shortcuts to most used addresses were also missed.
Checkmark is the crowd favorite, but it sins on the excess. Whoever has Due doesn't need another app for timed reminders, its presence on Checkmark exposes a focus detour, if anything. Still, Checkmark is a solid option after you learn to ignore its timed reminders.
Unless you go for a Nearly approach, location reminders allow many parameters which may clutter and harden as you add reminders. Checkmark tackles this subject by dividing the process in two steps. You can't just pick a location for your reminder, it must be added previously. Checkmark incites you to add your common locations before start creating reminders as you open the app.
Every reminder considers arrival or departure, besides an optional delay, so you get enough time to take off your shoes when you get home before your phone starts buzzing. This may sound good for many, but they're still not taking the whole potential of location reminders.
Ever heard about LocationMinder? Easily the worst to stare at among the previous apps, but certainly a beast. As you add a reminder, you can pick a recently used location, grab one from your contacts, search for it or use your actual location. You're not obliged to save an address, LocationMinder welcomes any.
Still, this app holds so many great things, the first one is the possibility to add several reminders within a single location. Let's say you have 2 or 3 things to do when you get home, other apps would require 2 or 3 actions as well, LocationMinder uses only one.
Then comes the main quality of this app: alert options. Beyond the arrival/departure options you find in Checkmark, you can also limit it to weekdays or within a specific time. For example, you want a reminder to take the garbage out when you get home, but the truck is already gone after 8 pm and you won't be home before 6 pm, so you create a proper reminder and won't be nagged by notifications as you get home from the friday night party.
End of the line
I sincerely believe location reminders are the future, as Apple invests on improvements for Maps, it is only a matter of time for them to also improve location reminders apps. The biggest hit is on the battery, with LocationMinder alarm options, it is easier to maintain it since you wouldn't need to turn it on when you're out of the time range specified for your reminder. Overall, I still think these apps demand more attention, but until the development of Maps show results, we'll stick to suck our thumbs and wait.