Clear App Purchases

Is the existing Clear app just going to update to Clear 2 when you publish it eventually or is it going to be a new app, not related to the existing one? And is it going to be a paid app like Clear 1 or free?

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Hey, thanks for joining!

So first of all take the following as our current plans and thinking, still working out the details.

We’re preparing to update over the existing app. We’re figuring out the specifics of the upgrade model but currently leaning on a subscription meant for daily/hardcore users (likely with discount for legacy users), and something along the lines of an occasional reminder on Clear to consider the upgrade. And definitely going to go ‘free to try’ for new users.

I’m pretty sure the specter of subscription doesn’t really excite anyone, but it is honestly important to the future of Clear and we’re going to try to keep you all onboard even if you don’t feel ready to subscribe. Personally if we gate anything to subscription, I would like it just to be some cool exclusive cosmetics/themes – gating features doesn’t feel right for Clear.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to strike a decent balance here, while understanding it’s a tricky one to please everyone.

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Would it be an idea to give potential upgraders a longer trial of Clear 2 or a bigger discount based on wether or not they own one or more of the Sound Packs?

That way you might bring in money even before Clear 2 is ready to go live!

If they end up not going down subscription road they still get a “refreshed” experience of Clear legacy in terms of new sounds and they’ve gotten a good taste of the full experience of Clear 2 and stick around…

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TBH if anything I would prefer shutting down sales of Clear Mac and soundsets in it because we can’t guarantee their immediate return for new Clear.

I don’t want to make promises we can’t keep, so consider this a tentative plan! But we have been discussing ‘free to try forever’ for legacy customers upgrading. Like a gentle reminder here or there to consider membership but all the new features available and such.

On one hand we will really need to count on our daily users who get the most value from Clear (and have over the past years, some over a decade!) to come through on signing up to help rebuild this business to a sustainable level, and we hope to deliver real value there with a huge leap forward in the daily Clear experience and future roadmap.

But it’s critical to me that we don’t lose our most loyal users and evangelists through this transition. You all are our greatest possible allies on this quest to reboot Clear, and we simply will not be able to get there without your support and love, and spreading the word.

Plus while I’m really happy about how well the original design stands up, part of the huge push here is to make an update worthy of the many years of no active development, and with our return, really restore excitement and faith in the future of the app for our core base. So that’s why we are leaning towards being as generous as we can with some kind of forever mode vs. average apps pivoting to subscription.


Hi. Would you consider a payment once in every full moon for your loyal customers who want a new fully overhauled version? Or the other alternative is to pay a once off lifetime payment if possible? I’ve been using Clear for 10 years and feel sick in the stomach at the thought of it going to subscription - like every other app these days. I understand the reasons why devs go to subs, but I think subscriptions have destroyed the App Store experience for many IMO. I hardly bother going on it anymore. I’ve got enough bills to pay without renting software. I’ve deleted all the apps I paid for that went that way. However, I remember Paper by WeTransfer ‘grandfathered’ their existing customers who originally paid for their pro tools, etc when they went to subscription. So many didn’t and caused a lot of resentment going by the angry reviews. Anyway, just a thought,


I would love a lifetime payment + in-app purchases for new themes, icons and other stuff.


We are going the more Paper route. I think the apps that pivot to subscription and make most of their base mad, are mostly offering their past customers a choice between ‘subscribe, or get out’, and it’s a cruel set of choices to offer.

The way we are thinking of it is, we need to rebuild a sustainable business with the people who get the most ongoing value out of Clear in their lives.

So the people who subscribe should be the ones getting the most ongoing value from the app (hardcore daily listers and fans), and it should be for bonus goodies and because they want to treat themselves and support the app. Not because they feel coerced or forced into it. Otherwise you can use Clear for free with a reminder here or there to consider membership.

It being free to use would also make it a lot easier to potentially convince friends to try it out and give it a chance, and spread, which feels important for Clear as well. (Word of mouth and making it easier for it to spread in the natural way.)

Maybe I am being naive, but we are tiny enough where I’m hoping the niche who love the app so much they are actually excited to subscribe to support it and score some bonus cosmetics etc, can add up meaningfully in this way.


I like the idea of a one-off lifetime payment, I did this with pCloud, and glad I did. However, I think it’s good you’re looking at apps like Paper which really considered their base, before going to subscription. Fantastical didn’t, and copped a massive backlash from the initial loyal customers - going by the reviews. Resentment is never a good thing to create IMO. I’m my time, I’ve seen three small businesses fold within six months due to the owners suddenly p*#%ing off their loyal customers.

Btw: I know you get asked this every day of the week, but is there any chance of me joining the beta group? It’s kinda difficult to add to the discussion when I can’t see or test the app itself.

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Yeah I mean very possible I’m naive but I feel like the most precious thing Clear has going for it is how it is actually lovable as an app for its base, in a deeper way than almost any other app. I am hoping we can excite that love for Clear instead of curdling it.

We’ve been setting up a second beta SKU so we can unlock another 10,000 TestFlight slots. Tuesday’s mailing should finally end the ridiculous shortage!


As for going the subscription route, I understand why this is necessary for developers to do. But as was mentioned by someone else, if every app and everything demands a subscription then I have to be very excited by a new app to even give it a look, when, to use it requires taking on another subscription.

I would suggest that you look at the subscription model that the Agenda app developers use. It seems fair and I go along with it because it’s a great app and I want to keep supporting them.

You pay for a version and you get all updates and new features within a time period which become yours to continue to use after your time expires. To get updated new features, that come along after your version expires, you must subscribe again. Their subscription price is a bit higher than other apps but they have a forum where users talk about new features, that the developers work on developing. So they are responsive and the app gets better and better and I don’t want to run away because of the subscription price. It’s quite a community.


That does sound great for Agenda. I will note with Clear’s minimal simple side a model that sustains by continuously adding new features would probably not be the best fit. But… we do have fun collectibles haha. So maybe there is something there?

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: TestFlight #6: Share List Copies/Links