Clear 2.2 (List Library + some things, out now)

Definitely glad to see this, I wonder if it would make sense to included some kind of loading icon for those themes when they appear in the shop, as they can initially show up as black before loading in and it’s not immediately clear the app is downloading the theme in the background.

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Yeah we’ll try to clean up these seams. Mostly happy to see the one-time migration side went pretty smoothly it seems!

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General question re the order and timeline of features, which I see being referenced time and again: any chance of you opening up the actual roadmap/task list/Jira (or whatever you’re using), so we can actually look at it?

Definitely some arguments against it, chief among them the potential for extra discussion on what you should and shouldn’t prioritize. And maybe the level of insight should be managed, like if we’re talking Jira visibility should max be at the story level, anything below that granularity is probably just giving away too many details. Could maybe be gated behind a certain forum level as well, if there’s a decent integration that would let you do that (so people would have to at least show a modicum of interest in the wellbeing of Clear before getting a peek behind the curtain). But I would really love that level of transparency, it’d be an inspiration.


I am pretty wary of sharing that because it is so in flux! But I am interested in sharing some stuff (especially problems we’re still working on that you all may have some ideas for) as we go.

I do think the roadmap will settle a bit more as we go. One thing I’ll say is if a current larger project for Clear we are looking into turns into something we are gunning for, we can probably share more incremental progress and roadmap plans on that one.

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Makes sense! Sharing stuff like that is a tricky one. I’ve been part of projects where we opened up things partially and internally, but to more management level people (as opposed to just dev teams), and even that is a bit of a stressful situation where you need to tread lightly. So fully understand!

At the same time I really admire open-source projects where issues etc are fully open for everyone, which is the kind of thinking I was getting at.

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Yeah though Clear is not open source it’s felt good being more open and personal in general as indies, and with many of you very invested in its future. (Glad we held the beta project email updates and wider testing etc, which we should link in the app sometime.)

Was just reminiscing with a friend about how life changing the open source app Adium was for me as a kid, I was the fanboy pestering the dev on AIM everyday :grin: It’s tabbed interface with status indicators was the first app design idea that kind of made my brain explode.

But yeah I’m sure we’ll keep experimenting there with a more open kitchen.


The idea of the list library is nice but everyone’s needs are just so specific that no template can ever be useful for me. As for fun… well, if I needed some inspiration, I can imagine a better place to go for it rather than having it hard-coded into the app, making it cluttered with dozens of lists I have no use for. I’m all for inspirational stuff, but user should be able to clear unwanted content to be able to stay on top of things, instead of being forced to scroll through more and more stuff picked for him by somebody else.

This was supposed to be a lightweight app, do I remember it right? No creep, no silly features and stuff?

I’d very much prefer the possibility to create my own templates, store them in a List Library and whenever I completely clear my e.g. packing list, I would not need to store its copy in the archive or elsewhere in order to be able to copy it back before my next travel. Because unfortunately, when I sort my list according to where the things are going to be exactly and create nice headings for these “sublists” (like large compartment vs hand-held bag vs cosmetic bag etc) and then clear them as I pack them, I naturally lose my original order, including the headings, etc… so even if I did not clear the list but merely crossed the items out, I would not be able to reuse it any more… So it would be so much easier if I could go to my list library and simply swipe my template to have it inserted as a new list again. I was hoping that the List Library is going to solve exactly this issue, but I find out that I merely ended up with something extra in the app that I cannot even remove… bam.

I love simplicity above all, I prefer when apps are rather narrow in use and as modern tools, when they are perfectly shaped for the work they are supposed to do rather then being a growing pile of features that are there only for “fun”. Don’t get me wrong. Beautiful graphics, fine-tuned little details, COLORS - these all are super important to people who love looking at or using beutiful things. This app seemed like it was going to be exactly that…

At the beginning, I was truly excited… I trusted the promis that there won’t be any feature creep… Sadly, this is far from reality. First thing that struck me odd was the presence of the quotes, I am not sure what they have to do with lists, but ok, I thought, I can switch them off and live with the dead item in my settings… no big deal, I was still happy about the themes I earned as rewards… Then came the reminders. That was harder to ignore because they often get triggered accidentally and frankly, if I need a reminder for something, there are way much better tools for that. This was the first truly annoying feature that started the simplicity destruction for me.

At this point, I need to mention the pricing… ok, optional and I really liked the app when it launched, so I happily supported its development. But I agree with other users here that $3.38 for a different color is a bit too much for almost anyone outside the US no matter the story behind it, and with where it is going, I don’t think I will ever feel like giving this amount again just for a different shade or picture on the background… because I no longer feel I would be supporting anything useful any more. (My initial support was sevenfold just to illustrate my optimism at the beginning). If the app stopped with the simple lists and color customization, it would be all one would need.

Okay, nobody forces me to pay, true, initially it did not cross my mind to bring it up till… well till more things piled up and disappointment took over. Sad, sad thing that the app is becoming more and more awkward to work with, more complicated, more cluttered, stuff I cannot remove or customize myself piles up…

I start to regret I ever supported this, it is not going the direction originally claimed, features that get in the way do creep in, I feel like I made a very bad judgement here, overall feelings? Disappointment. It doesn’t make me happy any more :frowning:

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Couple quicker/specific notes:

• Quotes have always been in starting with 1.0, but as you noted you can now entirely turn them off if you find them annoying or unnecessary.

• Agreed about list library and making your own, that’s vaguely planned for ‘List Library 2.0’. Being able to archive ones you don’t have interest in is also a good idea. With ideas like List Library we will be putting out a starting version and iterating on it based on feedback and use. Quite willing to just cut and take back something that doesn’t work or needs more time to cook though, as beta testers will probably attest.

• Reminders I’m not very happy with the current placement/trigger either. My plan is to eventually move it to swiping only while editing an item, but kind of preparing for that final move for it. But it’s worth noting, lots of people use them regularly, and I do consider it an improvement over 1.x that you don’t have ‘add a reminder’ pestering you every time you add an item, and we do not need this to be a separate setting

• At some point in the future you should be able to archive most of these things you don’t care for, including home level features you don’t use. This will be a project in our roadmap, and is one reason I have felt more relaxed about trying things ahead of it. (Because I have some confidence that eventually, with ‘archive anything/everything’ + gesture personalization, you will be able to make Clear significantly more focused and minimal than was ever possible with 1.x.)

• Frankly the pace of development and new things post 2.0 launch will be slowing down. We’ve been in intense ‘scouting’ mode for the past 3 months, but I feel the rest of the year will be more deliberate, kind of like the first 3 months were about running around and uncovering the map, and now we plan our route through and start the trek.

More zooming out:

I think the 2.0 direction could be boiled down to - still fiercely protective about keeping the core interactions simple, and more minimal listing core of the app intact. But a little more relaxed about the collectible/personalization side, as long as it does not complicate that core.

The philosophy behind 1.0’s minimalism was kind of about preventing/discouraging people from overdesigning their information. For example I feel that if you set up elaborately nested structures for your lists, it ends up being a brittle and complicated structure to dismantle later as your needs change, and this becomes very expensive and a tax to your ongoing listing. Lot of extra cognitive overhead. Eventually you just ditch the app.

Cosmetic/aesthetic personalization on the other hand, feels much more contained and frankly without those kinds of stakes (you can’t really ruin your Clear experience by over designing its cosmetics, and if you don’t care for them you can basically ignore), so I just feel more relaxed exploring this side and trying things.

THAT SAID, this is like, the main tricky needle for us to thread with Clear, evolving it in the right ways and further distilling it vs. diluting what makes it special. I do not want to fuck this up or underestimate it etc. So I appreciate you all keeping check on this side, calling out possible blindspots, and frankly having some worry and concern about this.

Let me know if you have any further thoughts on this, especially a little bit zoomed out, with some of this context. (I would also be very curious how you feel let’s say another 3 months in.)