iPhone Hints: Adding locations to Calendar events

Update: Sooooo, as the first commenter below points out, yes, you can apparently just put the address of the location in the Notes field, and Calendar is smart enough to turn it into a tappable link that launches the Maps application. While that does render the below hint mostly pointless, it also makes it even more ridiculous that the event location field doesn't recognize addresses. —DM

I could say that there’s nothing I like more than helping someone in need, but, well, video games and television weigh pretty heavily on my time too. However, when reader Robert A. e-mailed us for help finding a solution to his iPhone dilemma, I couldn’t resist the challenge.

Robert summed up his problem as such:

I have an appointment at Hotel A. I enter the hotel into my Contact program along with its address. I use the Calendar program to set the appt with a reminder. When the reminder comes up, I’m in need of then bringing up the map with directions to that appt. The problem is that I now have to open the Contacts program, search for the contact, click on his address, have it go to the Maps program and show me the red pin. Click on the blue arrow to take me back to the Contact page where I can now click on Directions To Here only to be taken back to the Maps program and tell it yes, I want to be routed from my Current Location and I now finally have directions to my appt.

There has to be an easier way to do this.

We’ve long lamented that the Location field in the iPhone’s Calendar app isn't particularly useful. I still hope that Apple some day remedies this fact, along with fixing Calendar's other shortcomings (it’s one of the reasons we called improved PIM features a must-have for the future iPhone). In the meantime, there is a workaround, but you’ll need your Mac (or PC) handy.

Let’s say I have to take my car in to the dealer tomorrow (which it just so happens I do). I’ll go to Google Maps on my Mac and look up the dealer’s address. When I click on the marker for the place I want to go, a bubble pops up with the address and a few additional options. Choosing the Send option allows you to e-mail the link to yourself.

If you have access to your calendar right there on your Mac, you don't even have to send the e-mail: just copy the URL from the e-mail form, go into iCal, and paste the link into the Note field for the related event. If you only have access to your calendar on your iPhone, then you can send yourself the e-mail and copy and paste the URL from Mail into the event’s Note field in the iPhone’s Calendar app.

Either way, when the reminder for your event comes up, you’ll be able to tap the map URL in the Notes field and be taken right to the location in the iPhone’s Maps application.

Admittedly, the iPhone falls short here—you really should be able to attach a location to an event. But until Apple decides to add that functionality (which, as always, will be in its own sweet time), hopefully this will help simplify the process of remembering where to go when you've got someplace you need to be.

Remember, if you have a hint—or a problem that you think could be addressed by a hint—don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail at iphone@macworld.com with the subject line “iPhone Hint.”

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