Apple Reminders is in the process of getting a big overhaul this year. The new version is available now on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, and will arrive on macOS when the Catalina update hits this month. It looks better and adds new features that add useful depth, like the ability to create lists related to action items.
Unfortunately, it might also eat your to-do lists.
Due to a compatibility issue, notes made in the new Reminders app are not compatible with the old version, and vice versa. That means when you add tasks in Reminders on your iPhone running iOS 13 or iPad running iPadOS, those reminders will not show up on your Mac unless you’re using the MacOS Catalina beta. Likewise, the reminders you make on your Mojave Mac will not appear on your updated phone and/or tablet.
Worse still, when you update a phone, tablet, or computer to the new version of Reminders, all of the updates you’ve created using that device will be deleted across all platforms, new and old.
Even if you’ve upgraded, though, there’s still a chance that you could lose your info. The new Reminders app asks you to confirm the update the first time you turn it on. If you’ve made Reminders on your iOS 13 or iPad OS device using a secondary app or process before opening the app, those reminders will get deleted when you open the app and press “upgrade now.”
Windows users are also getting hit especially hard by the change. The new iCloud web app supports the new version of Reminders, but Apple says the iCloud for Windows app “can’t see iCloud Reminders” after the update.
And multiple outlets are reporting that users are having syncing issues across the board. So on top of all that, your Reminders may not work as intended. The general consensus seems to be that some, if not all, of the syncing issues will be fixed once macOS Catalina launches. (According to ZDNet, that may happen this week.) That’s an educated guess, though.
So what do we do about all this? Sadly, there is no fancy fix to get around these growing pains. The best approach, as I see it, is to be cognisant of the fact that you will likely lose some of your reminders as you upgrade your devices and plan accordingly. Take a screenshot or write down your reminder list before updating any of your devices to iOS 13/iPadOS/MacOS Catalina.
If you’ve updated one of your devices, but not the others, you can remake all of your reminders on the device with the new version of the app so you don’t lose anything when you update the others. Once you update your OS, make sure to go into the Reminders app on each device and initiate the upgrade, even if you normally use Siri to make your reminders.