Task Ave ($2.99) is a new iPhone app that makes use of Apple’s recent background location API to notify you when you approach a venue where you need to grab something or get something done. It’s a good use of the tech, especially for the extremely absent-minded like myself.
The app is incredibly simple, which is a welcome change from other GTD and to-do apps which often seem to have screen upon screen of overly detailed data entry to wade through. Honestly, if my brain required that much assistance, finding a decent to-do app would be the least of my worries. On the other hand, though, you can only assign tasks based on location, and not using dates, so if you’re looking for an app that doubles as an agenda, look elsewhere.
That’s not the point of Task Ave anyway. The point of the app is to help you avoid those instances where you promise to pick up milk on your way home from work, and then show up empty-handed at home to be greeted by an expectant (and subsequently disappointed) partner. Or to remind you that while you’re out in the north end of the city (where you never usually are), you should pick up some of those special croissants that they only seem to make there and nowhere else.
Task Ave is most definitely (pardon the pun) up to the task. The app opens with a Google Map centered on your location, and you can add tasks with the tap of a button. It’ll ask you for what you want to remember, and the location (there’s a searchable index or you can add your own). You can assign multiple items to the same location, and view your list at any time. When you come within a preset distance of the locations where you have tasks pending, Task Ave will notify you via local push notification on devices running iOS 4 or higher.
Being a downtown city-dweller, I find myself wishing Task Ave could be set to be more sensitive (the smallest distance it will let you set for receiving notifications is 500m, and a lot of the places I do most of my standard errands fall within that range), but it’s the best app I’ve found for this sort of thing. There’s also Task Aware, which features a more robust to-do component, but Task Ave’s simplicity and ease-of-use is a huge selling point. I find I won’t use more complicated apps for any length of time unless the functionality it delivers is truly spectacular. Task Ave threads the needle between functionality and usability near-perfectly.
App Appeal is an ongoing series in which we feature new and exciting apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that offer something above and beyond the usual. If you’d like your app to be considered, contact us on Twitter @theappleblog.
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