I just sent out a new TestFlight build for testers. This build introduces a new experimental “go back” gesture we’ve been playing with here, and disables the pull down to go back gesture for testing.
You can think of it as an invisible back button right above your home bar. (The bar you drag to close or switch apps on iOS.) The idea is, this gesture piggy backs on the home bar’s functionality of exiting apps, and allows for reliable quick thumb/tap access wherever you are in your lists or Clear.
When you tap this ‘button’ you’ll see a semi circle overlay flash, to give you some visual feedback on the action and reinforce the tap target area:
If you’re very used to pull down to go back, we’re curious on both initial impressions and how it feels after a week or so with it. (There’s a lot of muscle memory for classic gestures for many of our testers, some of whom who have been using Clear a particular way for over a decade.)
And of course if anyone here is newer to Clear, interested in your impressions as well.
Please share feedback on this idea below!
I knew exactly what I was supposed to do, yet I still swiped down when I was done
Update: After typing this I went back into Clear, changed the theme, and swiped down… 3x before I realized it wasn’t working. I’m not kidding I don’t think it will be hard to get used to though. And, in fact, I think I prefer the tap.
Haha yeah the muscle memory is strong. It took me about a week to entirely stop reaching for it. But I’m glad to hear you do like the tap so far despite that! Keep us posted later on after some time with it.
I’m also more than a few faulty swipes in. I already I know I much prefer the tap.
Oh I honestly tried tapping at the top of the screen in multiple places multiple times. Then I scrolled all the way down and clicked on an empty space (then it triggered because it was close to the home bar). Since we are usually creating stuff at the top it feels unintuitive to have to go all the way down to go back. Maybe tapping at the very top also allows to go back?
You don’t have to scroll down to hit it! Try tapping above home bar no matter where you are in Clear and it should work
I was tapping up top at first as well.
The new approach makes sense. Like others, I tried tapping the top initially - I never knew the bit at the bottom was called the home bar. I also kept occasionally swiping down even after I’d worked out how the new way functioned. Muscle memory is hard to shift! It’s a lot less effort to tap rather than swipe though. Are there other opportunities to replace swipes with taps I wonder…?
I like it! While I’ve used Clear (old and new versions) forever I found the tap to be inuitive (even though yes, I still found myself swiping some dohh).
The tap is simple and clean and unlike other gestures in the app which I think is a good idea. It also frees up the old swipe gesture for new functionality.
I have to say, I don’t like this at all. I agree with the other user that it’s not very intuitive. It doesn’t fit with the other actions used in Clear and hope that you’ll reconsider this change.
So, I’m trying to love the new tap above bar to navigate back. However, invariably I’m tapping too far away from the bottom bar and end up starting a new task, which I have to then negate by tapping away from it and try again. At least I can pinch to go back, which feels a lot more natural. I don’t have the muscle memory buildup either, because I haven’t used Clear daily in years. Boy… this review sounds negative, which it’s not meant to be! I guess if there’s a real reason to get used to this tap feature I’ll have to be fine with it. Just not seeing the payoff for doing this?
Just an added thought - is this something that could be an option that could be toggled in settings?
Count me in too, I like it! I find it intuitive and only took me a short while to get used to it once I realised where the home bar actually was (doh).
It seems to make perfect sense, the only slight issue perhaps is when you use it with a full screen of entries it is possible to mistakenly open the bottom note into edit mode but this only happened twice and must have been a slightly inaccurate tap on my behalf as I can’t get it to happen now. If you tap in the region outlined in your screenshot above then it works perfectly.
Thank you all for your feedback so far on this one! It’s great many of you like it quickly but let me address a couple of the people worried here.
@Stacyg don’t panic at least quite yet, I AM curious if it might grow on you because it truly has a convenient edge over pull down in some ways and scenarios. But if you still hate it after a week and there’s others who agree we’ll be taking it quite seriously.
@joeb funny you ask, but we have another internal experiment going on right now that may just set up for this:
So if this interaction ends up being loved by like 80% but absolutely despised by 20%, it could actually be an optional gesture. We shall see!
A final thought here – was just imagining this morning dragging an item there over the semicircle for a second or so, to then spring-load pop back to be able to drop them off in another list. This gesture’s benefits might not be fully explored yet
It works for me, despite muscle memory. Your “final thought” looks good!
Great. And one more final final thought.
I am slow. I was wondering why some of you were tapping the top of the screen but I get it now, even Apple as far as I know never officially named that bar at the bottom?!
I think if we ship this as default we would probably do something like, you see the semi circle / we pop up an explanation of it. And then maybe after the first few times you tap it it fades away. (And just appears when you actually tap on it as visual feedback afterwards.)
I like this new experimental “go back” gesture/area a lot! Maybe the area can also be used as a “tap & hold” to “undo” or “clear items!” (so swiping up or down is only being used to add items on top or below other items)?
Your idea to drag an item (maybe a list as well, to do a quick archive?) on the area is great.
I’m using an iPhone SE 2020, so no Home Bar for me, but it still works as described so far.
Tap and hold option for it could be quite good as an alternate personalizable gesture. We’ll look into that!
I wonder if this could be improved by giving the home indicator at bit of an emphasis since nobody ever thinks of the indicator as a UI to interact with. Maybe Clear can reinforce that subtly.
I made this on my iPhone so it’s not great, but you get the idea I’m trying to describe
Would be cool to think of it like the dynamic island except for the home indicator, tapping it maybe expands the pill or something, and a press and hold could do something. And the dragging of list items to it might feel more intuitive this way. Just random thoughts, couldn’t help myself
Loving the new Clear!