Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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Clear is a new to-do list manager that is designed to be both simple and elegant. Users simply add items to lists like writing them down on a piece of paper. They can then be deleted or marked as complete as necessary. There aren’t necessarily any advanced options with list items: they are what they are, one-line entries in a virtual list, to be managed at the user’s convenience. It’s an app that can be best described as basic.
The beauty of Clear is that it is designed to be attuned to the iPhone and iPod touch. The interface is a perfect visual fit, and it looks crisp and clean on the Retina Display. The interface brilliantly either uses simple one or two finger gestures to operate the app. For example, it’s easy to add an item to a list between two items by pinching them apart, or to go back up a level by pulling down far enough where it prompts that it will go back. For all the gestures Clear contains, thankfully anything that can be done usually has some kind of indicator that the gesture the user is attempting will have some effect, so accidentally deleting a list is difficult. This app does what it does well.
The problem with Clear is that what it does is all it does. Users who prefer to-do lists with timers, alerts, and synchronization features will find Clear’s simplicity just simply lacking. It’s basically like writing down items on a piece of paper and then crossing them off when done, just provided in a digitally convenient and elegant way. What this means is that Clear isn’t going to be the perfect fit for everyone.
Clear also offers easy ways to follow the developers, culling account information from iOS5’s bult-in Twitter account functionality, but by offering a theme for following someone, it just winds up feeling kind of spammy. As well, it feels like some other method for renaming lists should have been used; tapping on the name of a list to edit the name instead of opening it up feels like the interface’s Achilles heel.
Clear will have its appeal to users who just want something simple and easy to use, and that’s fine. For that purpose, Clear is great, and likely what it was meant to be: a simple task list manager. But those who want more will find Clear lacking, and its interface teasing that surely, a powerful task list app that is also beautiful could surely exist as well?