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NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
I've been playing with the Reminders app embedded in iOS5, and unless I'm missing something there's an issue which renders the interesting-sounding location-based reminders (where you can set a reminder based on when you arrive or leave a location rather than a certain time/date) practically useless.

As far as I can see, as soon as you create a location-triggered reminder, Location Services (i.e. A/GPS) is activated and remains permanently active until the task is either completed or deleted. Killing the Reminders app doesn't make any difference, as it always runs in the background as it's an iOS-level app.

In other words, if I set a reminder to buy milk and set it to trigger when I arrive at the supermarket in 3 days time, Location Services will be constantly running between now and then and there's no way I can stop it (except by disabling Location Services which defeats the object). Oh, except that after about 4-5 hours my battery is going to be dead with the massive battery drain caused by Location Services.

When you think about it, I'm not how sure this could ever work without Location Services being permanently active so I don't think this is a beta bug, but surely this makes what sounds a really useful function completely impractical to use?

*Edit*

Just to clarify, when I say Location Service is active, I don't mean just enabled I mean the GPS is actually running
 
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NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
How did u use location for reminders... i cant seem to work it out lol

You need to create a reminder first, then in the list tap on it and select 'Remind Me' then 'At a Location'.

See if your experience matches mine; you can tell if Location Services is active by the arrow that appears to the left of the battery level indicator at the top bar.
 

openendstraight

macrumors regular
May 5, 2010
132
0
La Vegas
I never turn location services off, and I only charge my iPhone 4 while i'm sleeping, what I am saying is, it doesn't kill my battery. But you can go to settings and turn it off for every app except that one if you want.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
I never turn location services off, and I only charge my iPhone 4 while i'm sleeping, what I am saying is, it doesn't kill my battery. But you can go to settings and turn it off for every app except that one if you want.

Yes, I normally only end up charging my iPhone every other night. However, what I'm saying here is that if I want to use location-based reminders, as soon as I set one my battery is only going to last about 4-5 hours.

There's a difference between location services being turned 'on', which means it is available for the apps you allow, and actually being active which is when the GPS is actually at work. When you have a location-based reminder set, it is active all the time.
 

to1986

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
165
1
When you think about it, I'm not how sure this could ever work without Location Services being permanently active so I don't think this is a beta bug, but surely this makes what sounds a really useful function completely impractical to use?

That's a crazily illogical statement. First of all most people don't turn off location services, secondly that's like saying find my iphone is an impractical service. Not at all, these services require location services hence the reason why most people keep them on. I don't see why you would turn it off unless u r very low on battery. the iphones battery life is good enough to have location services on all the time
 

emt1

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2008
1,385
20
Wisconsin
Clearly you're just guessing and have never actually tried it. I have Google Latitude on 24/7 and my battery easily lasts a day.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
That's a crazily illogical statement. First of all most people don't turn off location services, secondly that's like saying find my iphone is an impractical service. Not at all, these services require location services hence the reason why most people keep them on. I don't see why you would turn it off unless u r very low on battery. the iphones battery life is good enough to have location services on all the time

Sorry, I wasn't too clear in my first post, I was talking about Location Services being 'on' AND ACTIVE. When you set a location-triggered reminder it is ACTIVE all the time.
 
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Gatormedic

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2007
12
0
Clearly you're just guessing and have never actually tried it. I have Google Latitude on 24/7 and my battery easily lasts a day.

What the poster is referring to is that the Location Services Icon is always on when you have a Reminder set to a certain location. While Location Services is "always on" it is not always actively looking for your location...only when the little carrot icon shows up next to the battery.

I noticed that the Reminder by Location function does drain my battery...unless it gets fixed (possibly to checking the location once every 5 minutes instead of constantly), i doubt that I'll use the location feature.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
Clearly you're just guessing and have never actually tried it. I have Google Latitude on 24/7 and my battery easily lasts a day.

Why 'clearly'? Because your experience differs from mine? That's why I asked in the first place.

4-5 hours was based on the speed I watched my battery level indicator drop yesterday once I set up a location-triggered reminder - it dropped about 20% in an hour. Tonight I'll leave it running when I go to bed and see what's left in the battery when I get up 8 hours later.
 

xAnthony

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,172
116
Well how would you expect the iPhone to detect when you get to said location? It won't be able to magically find the location when you get there, so the GPS will remain on so it's able to remind you. It's not a problem, it's just how it works.
 

jmack549

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2007
326
0
Latitude also keeps the GPS on at all times, and it barely hurts my battery. It'll be okay.
 

jmack549

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2007
326
0
You need to create a reminder first, then in the list tap on it and select 'Remind Me' then 'At a Location'.

See if your experience matches mine; you can tell if Location Services is active by the arrow that appears to the left of the battery level indicator at the top bar.

This is strange, when I click 'Remind Me', I don't have 'At a Location'. Only 'On a Day'.
 

macking104

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2003
337
12
California, USA
Other posts mention that there are battery issues with ios5 dev beta1.

If you think its a bug, submit a bug report to Apple. You should be familiar with that process-- you are a developer. Ranting on a website won't get action.
 

The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,901
588
London, UK
It's hard to see how this can do anything but cause massive battery drain sadly :-( Unless a geo-database of cell towers was included to tell the phone when to bother checking...

Phazer
 

openendstraight

macrumors regular
May 5, 2010
132
0
La Vegas
Yes, I normally only end up charging my iPhone every other night. However, what I'm saying here is that if I want to use location-based reminders, as soon as I set one my battery is only going to last about 4-5 hours.

There's a difference between location services being turned 'on', which means it is available for the apps you allow, and actually being active which is when the GPS is actually at work. When you have a location-based reminder set, it is active all the time.

I have a goecaching app that always has location services running, and my battery is fine.
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,304
15
There's a difference between the GPS chip being on and the phone actively tracking its location in real time (which means that it is listening to the GPS chip and pulling data off of the towers to mark its location).

active location tracking will definitely drain the battery faster than normal.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
Well how would you expect the iPhone to detect when you get to said location? It won't be able to magically find the location when you get there, so the GPS will remain on so it's able to remind you. It's not a problem, it's just how it works.

I know! That's exactly what I said in my original post - I understand how it works. I'm just trying to make the point that although this sounds like a great feature, the fact that using it will (in my own experience) massively reduce the battery life means that for many people it won't actually be practical to use.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
...If you think its a bug, submit a bug report to Apple. You should be familiar with that process-- you are a developer. Ranting on a website won't get action.

Why should a developer necessarily be familiar with filing a bug report? Developer != Beta Tester. Sure, developers do have access to beta releases, but to test their products for compatibility not to go bug-hunting. However, for the record, I am familiar with the process, thanks.

But the point is I don't think this is a bug, I think this is the way the app is meant to work. I was making the observation (not sure why you would call it a rant) on what I saw as a weakness wondering if other people were having the same experience as me. I don't regularly run any GPS-using apps so I've no idea what impact they have on battery life, so it's useful to hear other people's experiences of them for comparison with this app.

Not ranting, not expecting action by Apple, just discussing my findings as people tend to do on forums. Most of the dismissive responses seem to be from people who don't actually have iOS5; the posters who do seem to be able to run Reminders appear to agree that the app is a battery drainer, though whether it's worse than any other always-on GPS service I don't know.
 

danderton

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2010
72
0
Uk
You need to create a reminder first, then in the list tap on it and select 'Remind Me' then 'At a Location'.

See if your experience matches mine; you can tell if Location Services is active by the arrow that appears to the left of the battery level indicator at the top bar.

Right something odd here. I can't see reminders by location what's so ever the only function I see is date and time. This is odd. Any hance you can post a screen shot. I wonder if something odd with my phone. Can't see reminders n settings either. It's an iPhone 4 too. Ummm....

Edit

Found had to set to exchange account to work. As for location services it's doesn't seem to be always on. I guess it just pings every now and again to see your locations
 
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NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
Right something odd here. I can't see reminders by location what's so ever the only function I see is date and time. This is odd. Any hance you can post a screen shot. I wonder if something odd with my phone. Can't see reminders n settings either. It's an iPhone 4 too. Ummm....

Edit

Found had to set to exchange account to work. As for location services it's doesn't seem to be always on. I guess it just pings every now and again to see your locations

I took the screen shots for you anyway so may as well post them for anyone else who can't find it. Note in the third one how Location Services has now become active.
 

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jmack549

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2007
326
0
Right something odd here. I can't see reminders by location what's so ever the only function I see is date and time. This is odd. Any hance you can post a screen shot. I wonder if something odd with my phone. Can't see reminders n settings either. It's an iPhone 4 too. Ummm....

Edit

Found had to set to exchange account to work. As for location services it's doesn't seem to be always on. I guess it just pings every now and again to see your locations

How do you make sure your tasks are being setup on your Exchange account?
 

NightFox

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 10, 2005
2,692
2,899
Shropshire, UK
... As for location services it's doesn't seem to be always on. I guess it just pings every now and again to see your locations

Interesting... what makes you think that? My location services icon is permanently on, is yours not on all of the time?
 
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