GTD and ToDo tools on iPhone – when will one have local alarms?
Well, iOS has been available to developers and also the general public for a good few months now.
At the time the feature list was released, one of the features that excited me, was Local Alarms. After some investigation, I realised that Apple weren’t allowing developers to generate their own system alarms… no, you’d still need to send push notifications for that.
However, what they WOULD do, was allow an application to write or sync events to a calendar. So: you create your “To Do” list in your preferred ToDo application. It would then create calendar appointments in a new calendar for that app, and then those appointments would generate alerts.
But wouldn’t that just completely clutter up your combined calendar view? Well… no.. because Apple tweaked the Calendar display, so that instead of displaying all calendars, or selecting one of them, as in iOS3, in iOS4 you toggle an on/off check for each calendar that will be displayed in the single view you have. So: you just hide the ToDo app’s calendar, and at the nominated time, the alarm will still appear (I’ve just tested this).
(One problem I’ve noticed – if you choose to view the alarm when it comes up, then the hidden calendar will become visible again. I’m not sure I want to go to settings and hide the calendar each time I get an alert.)
However… despite this functionality being introduced, probably precisely for these kind of applications… have you seen one that uses them? As far as I can see, Toodledo still uses Push Notifications. ToDo, MyLifeOrganized (in beta), etc, also seem to omit local notifications.
And that’s annoying – because why should I have to launch an app, to find out I missed an important call I was supposed to remember to make an hour ago?