Clear for iOS Review: Stroke of Genius- Who knew a to-do list could be so Sexy!
|Publisher(s):||Realmac Software Limited|
|Release Date:||February 16, 2012 (updated)|
It usually only takes a few seconds to get a feel for an app once you launch it for the first time. For the apps that undeniably contain that “it” factor, they get moved to the front page of your iPhone for use on a regular basis—while others might be vanquished to some folder where they’ll be forgotten until eventual deletion… All that to say, it only takes a few seconds exploring Realmac’s Clear iPhone app before realizing that we’re dealing with a neatly-packaged stroke of genius here. From it’s supremely innovative user interface that’s free of any button tapping to its slick animations and vivid colors, this app is a total hit in a category that doesn’t see many standout titles.
Trust me, I never expected to get this excited about an app that falls squarely in the category of productivity and “to-do lists.” But as soon as you start learning Clear’s gesture-based controls, it’s really hard not to love what you’re working with… When you launch the app for the first time, you’ll be ushered into a quick tutorial session that uses its own interface to teach you the basic gestures you need to know in order to get to work creating shopping lists, personal to-do lists, reading lists, notes, etc. We’ve all written lists before—that’s not where the hook sets in; instead, Clear gets it so right when it comes to modifying items and switching through the apps tiered layout.
Remember: no buttons. That means that adding an item to a list can be accomplished by pulling down or pinching open anywhere on the list. To delete or clear an item, swipe right or left. Want to go back a step and view all your lists at a glance? Pinch closed on the screen to see your list collapse on itself as the app pulls up another tier… Along with these basic functions, you’ll occasionally discover another layer to the gesture controls, which is always a nice surprise when you’re in the middle of a mundane task like listing out the day’s chores.
While the developers “clear”ly wanted to keep Clear stripped down to the bare essentials, those who like to customize should rest assured that the app comes with several different theme and sound options. In addition, the menu provides you with some tips and tricks that will make sure you’re getting the most out of Clear.
So there you have it, a 5-star to-do list app that should pretty much shut the book on further entries in the genre… But is that all we have here? Many have been quick to point out that the gesture-based controls that make this app work could be put to all kinds of uses in really any other type of application out there. Once you try Clear and see how slick and painless it is, it’s hard not to wonder what else is going on in the Realmac studios. Is Clear the end result of the wonderful user interface they’ve developed? I imagine it’s not. These elegant gestures and thoughtful hierarchies could even become a natural part of future smart phone operating systems, if we’ve got anything to say about it.
To quote the developers on their own app—”We became obsessed with how to simplify our lives without adding clutter… Our solution is Clear.” And what a great solution it is. We’ll be very interested in seeing what Realmac Software Limited has for us next. Let’s hope they’re thinking bigger than to-do lists.
Our Score: 5 Out of 5
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