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iCloud: Calendar Events, Reminders, To Dos, and Tasks behavior differs by application

Learn more about how iCloud Reminders and Calendar Events behave differently between applications that display them.

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The way iCloud Reminders and Calendar Events behave differently between applications that display them. Similarly, the names used for iCloud Reminders vary in some iCloud Calendar applications.

Although all devices and computers using iCloud Calendars and Reminders share the same data, different applications have different capabilities and features that may be reflected in how they handle and display iCloud Calendars and Reminders. 

Behavior differences between clients

Reminders in iOS 5 and later

  • Reminders are accessed though a dedicated app in iOS 5 and later called Reminders.
  • Reminders for iOS 5 and later supports both time-based and location-based reminders. (Make sure you have Location Services turned on to use location-based reminders. Learn more about Location Services for iOS 5 and iOS 6.) 
  • You can assign a priority to your reminders (Low, Medium, or High) as well. "None" is the default setting. 
  • To set up a time-based or location-based reminder or to set a priority, click the arrow to the right of the reminder.
  • Location-based reminders notify you when you leave from or arrive at a specific location. Learn more about Reminders for iOS
  • To set a repeating reminder, select Remind Me or Remind Me On a Day and select a day and time. Then set the repeat frequency.
  • You can also create time-based or location-based reminders with Siri by telling Siri to remind you to do something on a specific date or at a place. For example: "Siri, remind me to get groceries when I leave work," or "Siri, remind me to pay my power bill next Tuesday".
  • Location-based alerts for your friends who are using Find My Friends are set using that application and not Reminders. For assistance, see "Set up a location-based alert or send an immediate notification" in Find My Friends Help.
  • Reminders for iOS 5 and later supports shared reminders lists. You cannot create shared reminders in iOS, however, you can add new reminders, mark reminders completed, and edit reminders in a list that someone shared with you. You can create shared reminders in Reminders for OS X Mountain Lion and at iCloud.com. To use shared reminders, you must have an iCloud account.  

    Reminders in iOS 5

Reminders in OS X Mountain Lion

  • Access Reminders through the Reminders app in OS X Mountain Lion.
  • Reminders for OS X Mountain Lion supports both time-based and location-based alerts Reminders. (Make you have Location Services turned on to use location-based reminders.)
  • You can assign a priority to your reminders (Low, Medium, or High) as well. "None" is the default setting. 
  • To set up a time-based or location-based reminder or to set a priority, click the information icon to the right of the reminder.
  • Location-based reminders notify you when you leave from or arrive at a specific location. Learn more about setting reminders in OS X Mountain Lion.
  • To set a repeating reminder, select Remind Me On a Day and select a day and time. Then set the repeat frequency.
  • Reminders for OS X Mountain Lion supports shared reminders lists. Click the broadcast icon next to the list name, and add the email addresses of the people you wish to share with. Everyone sharing a list can add, update, or delete reminders in the list. You can only share reminders lists with people who have an iCloud account.  

Reminders in OS X Lion

  • You access Reminders though iCal in OS X Lion. iCal supports time-based reminders.
  • To view Reminders in iCal, choose Show Reminders from the View menu. 
  • You can sort Reminders by Due Date, Priority, Title (alphabetically), Calendar (Reminder list name), or Manually. From the View menu choose Sort Reminders By and select your sorting option. Note that since iCal is the only application that supports this feature, it is not synced across all of your devices. 
  • iCal does not support repeating reminders. You cannot create, edit, or mark as complete repeating reminders that were created in iOS 5 and later, OS X Mountain Lion, iCloud.com, or Outlook in iCal.
  • iCal does not support shared reminders. You cannot share reminders
  • Location-based alerts are not available via OS X Lion; they are available only in Reminders on iOS 5 or later and on OS X Mountain Lion.
  • You can assign a priority to your reminders (Low, Medium, or High) as well. "None" is the default setting. To assign a priority, double-click the reminder to open it, select a priority, then click Close. You can also click the 3-bars icon to the right of the reminder title and choose a priority from the drop-down list.  
  • Reminders in iCal for OS X Lion supports shared reminders lists. You cannot create shared reminders in iCal, however, you can add new reminders, mark reminders completed, and edit reminders in a list that someone shared with you. You can create shared reminders in Reminders for OS X Mountain Lion and at iCloud.com.  To use shared reminders, you must have an iCloud account.  

    Reminders in OS X Lion

Reminders at iCloud.com

  • You can access Reminders through icloud.com/reminders.
  • Location-based alerts are not available via icloud.com/reminders; they are only available in Reminders on iOS 5 or later and OS X Mountain Lion.
  • icloud.com/reminders supports time-based Reminders. 
  • You can assign a priority to your reminders (Low, Medium, or High) as well. "None" is the default setting.
  • To set up a due date, a repeat frequency or a priority, click Details. 
  • To set a repeating reminder, select On a Day and select a day and time. Then set the repeat frequency.
  • Reminders on iCloud.com supports shared reminders lists. Click the broadcast icon next to the list name, and add the email addresses of the people you wish to share with. Everyone sharing a list can add, update, or delete reminders in the list. You can only share reminders lists with people who have an iCloud account.  

Reminders in Microsoft Outlook

  • As noted here, iCloud Reminders are referred to as Tasks in Outlook. 
  • Outlook Tasks and Calendar Events support alarms and alerts.
    • In Outlook, alarms and alerts are actually referred to as "reminders." In Outlook, when you see the text "reminder," it is referring to an alert or alarm that can be set for an Event or iCloud Reminder.
    • Likewise, when you see the text "Task" in Outlook, it is referring to iCloud Reminders. For more information on how Outlook labels iCloud reminders, see this article.
  • Outlook supports repeating Events and Reminders. However, repeating Reminders are not supported by some other clients such as iCal in OS X Lion.
  • You can assign a "High" priority to your reminders by clicking the exclamation mark icon in the toolbar. "Normal" is the default setting.  

    Reminders in Outlook

Calendars in Microsoft Outlook

  • Outlook labels alerts as "reminders". Outlook reminders (alerts) can be set for Calendar Events and Tasks (Reminders).
  • When adding a reminder (alert) to an Outlook Calendar Event stored in the iCloud collection, Outlook will provide an alert reading: "The reminder for "eventName" will not appear because the item is in a folder that doesn't support reminders. Is this OK?"
    • This alert can be disregarded; simply click OK. Your reminder (alert) will still be preserved and it will remain active under the Task (Reminder) or Event. Outlook is unable to store alert data in the iCloud Calendar collection, however the iCloud Add-in and iCloud Control Panel will store the reminder (alert) in your iCloud data set so you can use it. With the help of the iCloud Add-in, iCloud is still able to receive alert-based updates to you Calendar & Reminders and you will still be notified by the reminder when using Outlook. Simply put, the alert effectively functions as a false positive alert message.

      Outlook alert

Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks in Microsoft Outlook 2010

  • iCloud is unable to interact with Microsoft Outlook 2010 if Outlook was installed as a "Click to Run" installation. iCloud requires a full version of Microsoft Office and Outlook 2010 be installed locally on the hard drive of the computer you use with iCloud in order to use Contacts or Calendars. For more information, see this Microsoft Support Article.
  • When using iCloud Control Panel 2.0 and later, iCloud Calendar event descriptions in Outlook 2010 do not support text formatting (bold, italics, or underline), HTML, images, or attachments. The contextual (right-click) menu has also been disabled.
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Last Modified: Jan 23, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jan 23, 2013
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