Clear, a gesture-based task manager iOS app, launched on the AppStore last night. RealMac Software developed the application in conjunction with Milen and Impending. How the developers worked that out isn’t really important though. Clear was made with utmost simplicity in mind and is focused solely on the tasks themselves. The entire interface is a stripped down heat-map styled set of horizontal bars. Swipe down to create new tasks, swipe left or right to delete items or mark as completed. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the app, and in ten hours since launch, it has soared to the number one position on the AppStore’s top paid chart. Bottom line: It’s drop-dead simple for task management and entry. Oh, and the sound effects are awesome.
It took a minute to accustom myself to using gestures (pinches, pulls, swipes, and taps) to control the buttonless interface. While single-touch control is great, I’m unimpressed with Clear’s multi-touch implementations (spread to create, pinch to collapse). For a bit, I thought Clear couldn’t be used with one finger and vented about it on Twitter. Phill Ryu, one of Clear’s designers, promptly responded to inform me all functionality could be preserved with one finger and it’s definitely better that way.
@blakegraham you can! to navigate up levels try pulling down a list past adding a new item
— Phill Ryu (@phillryu) February 15, 2012
For now, I like what I see but am sure of looming faults. I’ve never committed to a task management app on my phone because they are notoriously complicated to configure or difficult to schedule with. I’ve tried Things, Evernote, Orchestra, Siri with Reminders, voice memos, the notes app, etc., and I hate them all. Instead, I have a Field Notes book to keep my schedule, ideas, and stray thoughts in. I won’t get rid of that any time soon, but I will give Clear a trial run this week. Expect a full review soon.