Clear for iPhone is a brand new todo manager launched last week by Realmac software. Now you may be thinking that anyone launching a todo manager is a bit late to the market. There is a vast amount of choice when it comes to todo managers, from todo.txt through to OmniFocus with Remember the Milk sitting in the middle of the complexity scale. What makes Clear stand out?
First off is the design. It take’s a brand new approach to interface design which is saying something when you consider that app’s have been available on iOS for around four years now. The bold approach taken in Clear, which will undoubtedly be copied by others is that there are no buttons. Anywhere. Everything is controlled via swipe, touch and pinch movements.
Create a top level list and then touch to enter it. Pinch out to add a new todo. Pinch out again to enter another. There are no start dates, due dates, contexts – none of that muck. It’s a simple list. To change priority touch and hold, then move up or down in the list. The colour and order is the priority. Swipe to complete, pinch in to collapse to the top list. Pinch in again and you get some very simple options. Realmac’s video is a great demo of the app.
While the interface looks great a special shout out for the sound as well. When you complete a number of tasks it sounds like you’ve picked up some coins in Super Mario – it’s lovely, like a small reward for completing your tasks. I almost forgot – I love the icon. Stands out clearly from other icons making it easy to find in a crowded screen or folder.
There is no support for iPad or backing up to iCloud but I’ve no doubt given the success of the app (it hit No 1 app in both the US and UK) that we will see a number of features added over time. I don’t expect to see the app gain in complexity though. What makes it so useful is speed of entry and the lack of any extra attributes keeps the interface simple, quick and easy to use.
For £0.69 it’s a bargain if your looking for a (very) simple list/todo manager. It’s also a must buy if your in any way interested in app or UI design. It makes the rather dry subject of todo management almost a delight.