Your Paper and Pencil, Clear for iPhone

I’m not a big fan of to-do apps in general. Creating to-do apps can serve as a good project for new developers. It’s not surprising that the app market is flooded with to-do apps. The problem with those to-do apps are their target audience. Unlike OmniFocus that is primarily designed for long term goals and large scale project, most of the existing to-do apps fall into the region of “”.

Now we have Clear for iPhone designed by Real Mac Software and Impending. Clear has clearly taken a right approach in designing app for iOS. Clear makes use of all the apparent gesture interaction for managing to-do list. Combining with the colorful interface indicating the priority of tasks and the variation of sound effects+vibration to send feedbacks, Clear turns creating to-do list from boring stuff into pleasant and entertaining experience.

To gain understanding how Clear for iPhone works, watch the preview below, or skip ahead for the rest of review.

Design & Interface

At first glance, people will wonder if this particular app is ported from Windows Phone. Clear uses solid color to indicate the priority of items, saving the need to add priority setting which can be found in The clean design allows the maximum use of space without buttons and icons bring the focus to the items.

Clear for iPhone

One thing to notice from Clear is the lack of “Tapped Button” states. Feedbacks are given either by via hidden text and icon that can be only be seen when gesture is used. When you pull down, you get the fancy flipping a new item telling you to release in order create an item. Swiping right and left show the action button. The smart usage of sound effects and vibration deepen the sense of control, making user inclined to use it over and over.

Some people questioned the solely the use of gesture for managing list like “I can’t pinch in while holding my iPhone with one had”. That’s where tapping coming in. Tapping remains one of iOS mandatory interaction method. Clear doesn’t try to enforce gesture as the only interaction method to manage lists. While people might inclined to think that each interaction need to be done via gesture, the fact that you can add new item by simply tapping empty area and pulling down to access previous view allows user to use Clear with one hand.

Hierarchy of View

First Layer, Configuration. You’ll be presented with tutorial in form to-do list the first attempt you run Clear. Clear itself uses the layer approach to show the top-down hierarchy relationship. At the top of layer you can see the number of list created, change the color theme, view more tips & tricks, follow developers team on Twitter, and configure setting. Tapping one of the list will bring you one level down.

The second layer is made up of lists. There are several ways to create list. The difference between each way is determined by the location you plan to insert list.

  • Inserting list to the top can be done by pulling down the screen until it shows “Release to Create List”.
  • Inserting list in the middle of lists can be done by pinching out between chosen lists (depending on where you want to insert it between).
  • Inserting list at the end of list can be done by tapping empty area (as long your list doesn’t fill the whole screen), or else you need to insert the list between and move it to the bottom of the list.

Swiping right to left deletes list. I made several mistakes on swiping direction at the beginning. To make it easy, just remember the delete icon is on right side. To delete, show the delete icon which eventually leads you swiping right to left.

Clear for iPhone Interaction

Third layer is consisted of last opened tasks which is known as items in Clear. The main interaction remains same as second layer. There are some new actions such as:

  • Mark item as complete by swiping right to left because check mark is located on left side.
  • Clear completed items by pulling up in order to show the “Pull to Clear” command.

To get back to previous view, you can do it by either pinching in or pulling down top of view.

It’s Designed This Way

There is no syncing, tags, or search. The simplicity of Clear is the main reason why this app excel. It works like a paper and pencil where you can bring easily to almost everywhere. It’s designed to be fast, reliable, and simple. That’s the reason why it limits your items to 30 letters.

If you need to remember anything, quickly jot it down. Run the app, view the list, mark it as complete, and clear the completed items.

It’s designed this way to cater simple to-do list which should make creating and completing to-do list simple and fast.

Buy: Clear for iPhone