Doing away with the family grocery list on the wall, the Siri way…
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
One of the many benefits of having teenagers who can drive living in your home (or twenty-somethings in my case) is that you don’t need to do your own grocery shopping anymore. Just send them off with a list and a credit card and they approach the task with vigor—the novelty has not yet worn off. And as long as you are willing to pay for random teenager food that wasn’t on the list (e.g. the pricy pomegranate juice my nephew buys), it’s a pretty good gig.
As I was watching the two of them go over the list today I wondered why we couldn’t use our expensive iDevices to collaborate on the one and only grocery list. I was ready to buy some fancy family shopping list app and began to hunt around.
Then I found out that you can do this for free, with minimal effort, using Reminders and iCloud. Read on for details.
The end result is everything I was hoping for:
- Any one of the four of us can use our iPhone to view or change the grocery list
- Whoever is shopping can check off the items as they are purchased
- We can see in real time (more or less) when another changes the list
- As an added bonus, I can tell Siri to “Please add Italian Seeded Bread to my grocery list” and it happens!
This works through Shared Reminders in iOS.
- Create a Reminders list called Grocery in iCloud
- Share the list with family members using the Shared Reminders feature
Apparently it isn’t so easy as making a list in your iDevice: they haven’t enabled creation of shared lists in iOS yet. You will have to use the OS X version of Reminders on the Mac to create the list.
For more details on creating the reminder list, see Share Reminders from OS X or iCloud.com (osxdaily.com)
Make sure you name the new reminder list Grocery if you want to tell Siri to add stuff to your “Grocery List”
Each family member will get an email from Apple saying that you have shared a reminder list with them. It works kind of like gifting an app to someone. When they click the button in the email, they will be prompted to log in to iCloud in Safari and the magic will happen.
From now on, whenever they tweak the shopping list, the changes will appear on your device in a matter of seconds.
A gentleman named Mark Jaquith posted this cool YouTube video demonstration:
That’s all there is to it!