Why does Apple not combine Calendar and Reminders into one app?

I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t just make one app for Calendar and Reminders. Calendar could serve well for reminders, so I just don’t understand why the Reminders app exists. Am I missing something? :thinking:


It used to. Back in the iCal days it had to-do’s. As to Apple’s reasoning for splitting them up, I couldn’t say.


They’re different things entirely to me. Calendars list places I need to be, whereas Reminders are lists of things I need to do. One is location based and one is task based.

For example, would I want my shopping list in the calendar? Having it all in one place would make the application hard to use, or would be two entirely different sections for simplicity, at which point it might as well be two apps that are simple are obvious.


Yeah, I’m with Chris. I don’t want tasks clogging up my calendar. I understand that it works for some people, so I’m by no means saying it’s wrong, just that it isn’t for everyone.


Calendar entries and reminders can be very similar — “pick up the kid at 4pm” for example could go on either — but you cannot “mark off” a calendar entry nor show a time period on a reminder.

However many popular task or calendar apps will combine the two on one screen for you if that’s useful.

Personally, I think they could be combined, but by going to a superset of both.

One is a checklist and one is a calendar. What features would exist in both in an integrated way to warrant them being in one app?

To the original posters question, Apple needs to serve the mass market, and it does that best by having apps that solve single problems - email, calendar, reminders, music.

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My thinking on this is not fully formed, but the concept is “things” which have descriptions/titles which may have one, some, or all of the following:

  • State (not just to do/done, e.g. to do, doing, done)
  • Time period (flexible to actual times or whole days or multiples thereof
  • Importance
  • Be shared amongst users (not invited, shared)
  • Categories

Much of this concept was formed about 20 years ago to address the needs I had with my technical support team at the time. I even had a name for it… Team of Consciousness.

Here’s one key example I recall from that time. We’d get an email saying “The auditors will be here next week.” This implied (and in some cases the email would explicitly state) certain behaviours we had to be sure to exhibit.

  • Before the auditors arrived (most likely Monday, but not always as they may have been waylaid at another location) it was “to do”. Once they left, at a time not known until it happened, it was “done”.
  • The (pre-announced) time period was generally a week but that could change.
  • It was of high importance — failing an audit was expensive.
  • All users in the team needed to have this on their radar.
  • It was not really part of our work, but something at a business level.

It could arguably fit on a calendar, but it would have to be a shared calendar, which can be troublesome even in today’s systems, and that wouldn’t answer “are they here yet?” nor “have they gone?” Yes, someone could edit the appointment to reflect this, but that’s a hack in my view. By simply adding state, the variability of time is covered.

A variation on that would be a new company policy that would take getting used to. It would be introduced at a time, and needed to be kept on people’s radar until it was deemed “learned.” So that has no time limit and no state. It just needs to be in everyone’s face until we decide it can go. Again, you can achieve this with either a task list or a calendar, but this also raises one other issue with these being separate entities — I would like everything I need to be aware of to be in one place. This is reflected in the number of apps that combine these two data sets.

There were other situations I cannot recall, but the key features were that not everything had a real time limit, not everything needed state, and some needed neither or both.

“Go to the grocery store” belongs in a calendar, so you’d think that would include your shopping list.

Why not have one app with two sections? One section for the calendar and the other section for reminders. It certainly wouldn’t be as bloated as iTunes. iTunes combines much more stuff.

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iTunes is dead. :wink:

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It isn’t dead on macOS or iOS. :wink:
Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 10.08.31 AM

iTunes Store ≠ iTunes


But “iTunes” is still in the name. :stuck_out_tongue:

The continued use of the iTunes branding in Apple’s downloadable music store doesn’t really have any bearing on combining reminders and calendaring.


If you look at the backend, both Calendar and Reminders use the same database, so it’s pretty easy to combine them as one application whether or not it makes logical sense to the user.
See iCalendar in Wikipedia


This is the case for Fantasical, calendar and reminders in one app.

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BusyCal combines Calendar & Reminders but I never used it that way.

One of my favorite ways of using Reminders has been to hide the sidebar and place it next to Mail.app. As I review my Inbox I drag emails that need followup into my Task list then archive the message. My Inbox is clear and I have a reminder that links back to the original message. I prefer separate apps.


I don’t think calendar items are “location based” per se (though they may be for you).
Many of them can be done from (m)any place.

Simple: An task that I have to do can often be transformed into a calendar entry, by merely adding time and duration.

To-do: Go shopping.
Calendar: Go shopping -> tomorrow at 16:00 for duration of one hour.

The authors of the CalDAV standard, which is used to sync calendar items, wisely included to-do items as well. So both Reminders and Calendars are synced through the same standard and server.


Thanks - all makes sense! I still think Apple is better served having two apps so customers know exactly what each of them does.

Whilst there are reasons for them being together, I feel there are more benefits to them being seperate as stock apps (3rd party apps can and do combine them).

Just from what I’ve read in this thread I think it’s pretty obvious that Apple has done just the opposite.

In what way @jec0047?