Apple Reminders vs Google Tasks

Pricing & Supported OS

Both Apple Reminders and Google Tasks are get-things-done apps for managing your to-dos. Both apps are available on iPadOS, iOS, macOS and online (web-versions you can access on PCs). Google Tasks is also available on Android, which Apple Reminders is not. Apple Reminders is free and all platforms, and so is the Google Tasks (for the mobile versions). Google offers a PC version premium for $3.30/month.  This comparison focuses on the iPad versions of these apps.

AppApple RemindersGoogle Tasks
PriceFreeFree
Premium for $3.30/month
Size8.7 MB58.9MB
DeveloperAppleGoogle
Type of appGTD, To-doGTD, To-do
Supported OSiPadOS, iOS, watchOS, macOS, web appiPadOS, iOS, watchOS, Android, macOS, web app
Comparing pricing in Things 3 and Apple Reminders

Orientation & Navigation

Both apps are minimalist apps, they have one screen which works as your homepage and working space. Apple Reminders has a more intuitive organisation. Its works space divides into two columns. It has a sidebar for navigating through the app and your reminders appear on the bigger column. You can see everything in the app at once.

In Google Tasks, you can only view one list at a time. This is something that will work great for minimalists. If you don’t like too much information on one page, you might prefer Google Tasks’ approach. You can access all the lists in your app on the three-bar icon (bottom left corner). Both user interface options work for different people, it depends on your preferences.

As far as lists are concerned though, Apple Reminders is better. You can group your lists and the app has smart lists for Today, Scheduled, Flagged, All and Assigned to-dos. Google Task does group your lists, neither does it have smart lists. 

Smart listsApple RemindersGoogle Tasks
Inbox
Today
Scheduled
Anytime
Someday
Logbook
Flagged
Assigned to me
All
Smart lists: Apple Reminders vs Google Tasks

Creating Lists

Creating a list in Google Tasks is very simple; just name it and you’re done. If you’re rushing somewhere, this is great. In Apple Reminders, after naming your new list you can pick a colour and an icon/emoji for it. 

In both apps, you can choose to see your completed tasks. They are ticked off and struck out in Google Tasks, which we believe is the way to mark completed tasks. In Apple Reminders, the filled circle and dimmed to-dos don’t do justice for your completed task. It’s a good thing you can hide the completed tasks in Apple Reminders because they are difficult to differentiate from incomplete ones.

You can do more with your lists in Apple Reminders than you can in Google Tasks. You can collaborate on them. Collaboration is a big part of our workflow in 2021. It comes with the ability to assign to-dos to different people and makes planning more efficient. You can also select multiple tasks for editing.

Google Tasks has an option to Delete all completed tasks with one tap. In Apple Reminders, you have to select the completed tasks, which are not very difficult to differentiate from incomplete ones. You risk deleting the wrong tasks. After you’ve selected them,  you can of course delete them. This is a cumbersome process for a digital workflow. Both apps don’t have a recycle bin, so if you accidentally delete the wrong task in Apple Reminders, you’ve lost it forever. Let’s hope Apple can make deleting completed tasks easier in the app. 

List Apple RemindersGoogle Tasks
Creating a new list★★★★★★★
Hide completed tasks
Completed tasksDimmed & filled-circle Ticked & struck out
Collaborate
Edit multiple tasks
Start date
Tags
Deadline
Repeat
Duplicate
Recycle bin
Lists: Apple Reminders vs Google Tasks

Creating To-dos

Google Tasks has fewer options. You can name your task, add details which are notes, set your date & time and decide if it’s going to repeat. Simple and straightforward. In Apple Reminders, you can add the date & time for your to-do, choose a location for it, flag it and add images to it. The information icon has more options to add message-based to-dos, URLs and notes. Your to-dos can also have priorities (low, medium & high).

URLs

 In Google Tasks you can add a URL to your notes, even though it has no special place for URLs, which allows you to add multiple URLs to your to-do. Let’s hope in the future they can arrange them in a list, instead of the prose view we currently have in the app. A list of URLs looks better as a list. Apple Reminders, which has a special slot for URL, limits you to one URL per task.

No Start Date

Both apps use deadline dates, meaning the date you set is the date you are supposed to complete or do your to-do. You don’t have a start date to alert you about when you have to start your project.

Subtasks

Both apps support Subtasks. In Apple Reminders your subtasks are simple to-dos, without any details to them. In Google Tasks, you can only add subtasks to non-repeating to-dos. You can then add details to your subtasks including deadlines, which is something you can’t do in Apple Reminders. In Apple Reminders, you can add simple subtasks even for repeating to-dos. You just have to decide which is more important for you, detailed subtasks or repeating sub-tasked do-tos.

Calendar Integration

Google Tasks integrates with Google Calendar. You can create to-dos in Google Calendar and see them in Google Tasks and you can view the to-dos you create in Google Tasks in Google Calendar. Integration between task managing and calendar apps is crucial to get a complete sense of your plans. 

Unfortunately, Apple Reminders and Apple Calendar don’t integrate at all. They are separate apps that don’t communicate whatsoever. Let’s hope in the future we’ll be able to get this communication from Apple. In the meantime, we have to rely on apps like Agenda and ZoomNotes to see both our calendar events and reminders. 

You can create your to-dos from different apps with Apple Reminders. On the iPad version of Google Tasks, you don’t have this feature. Even on the PC version of Google Tasks, this feature is limited to work within Google apps only. In both apps, you can’t export your to-dos to other apps.

Creating to-dosApple RemindersGoogle Tasks
Start date
Deadline
Notes
Subtasks on repeating to-dos
Subtasks with notes & deadlines
Add images
Add URLOne per taskMultiple per task, for non-repeating tasks
Add tags3 priority tags
Flag tasks
Location-based reminders
Messaging-based reminders
Create to-do in other appsApple Notes
App Store
Messages
Agenda

ZoomNotes
Not on the iPad
Create to-dos via email
Integrate with CalendarYes, Google Calendar
Creating to-dos: Apple Reminders vs Google Calendar

Organisation

Apple Reminders has two levels of organisation: Groups and Lists. Groups contain lists and lists contain your to-dos. Google Tasks only has lists. Both apps are not very good with project management but great with personal task managing. 

Searching

In Apple Reminders you can search through your tasks. The app displays your results according to your lists. It’s a simple searching engine, which we are grateful for, against Google Tasks which doesn’t even have the option to search through your tasks. Both apps don’t have any settings for you to customise. 

Which App Should You Get?

Apple Reminders and Google Tasks are both very simple apps. Your preference depends on the ecosystem you prefer; Apple or Google. Though very simple with fewer features, the integration of Google Tasks with Google Calendar completes the app. If you’re already in the Google ecosystem, it is worth using.

However, on the iPad Apple Reminders (though a stand-alone app) works better. It offers you the ability to create apps and add more items to your reminders. Apple Reminders clearly has more features to offer than Google Tasks and it is therefore our choice for a free and minimalist task-managing app for the iPad. 

Any thoughts? Do tell, do tell!