Clear iPad & Mac Taken Off Sale

It’s a shame that one of the things that makes Clear on iPhone great, the gestures, is the thing that makes it hard to just do a barebones Catalyst port for Mac. And I know your style, if you do something, you want to do it right.

Back when I used the first version of Clear, I didn’t use the MacOS version because I was happy with this cute thing that stayed on my phone. However since moving on to Apple Reminders, Drafts, Tot, and Notion (at various times) for lists and notes, I’ve become dependent on things being cross-platform for my workflows. Unfortunately what this means is that I’d hesitate to incorporate Clear again until that’s an option.

As I said, I’m not a Clear for Mac user, and to be honest I stopped using the Clear beta late last year, so this isn’t out of self-interest: I think you should reconsider having the New Clear replace the old one in the App Store. Renaming the old Clear to “Clear Legacy” (for example) and delisting it from the App Store would maintain both the cross-platform functionality as well as timed reminders and the other features that aren’t making it into 2.0. I don’t think that this would detract from the PR of launching Clear 2, as it’s a format that other indie devs have pulled off successfully.

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Removing Clear from Mac will kill the power-use of the app!
First let met state that I have used Clear right from the start and that I have paid-for versions of the app for iPhone and also iPad and Mac. There are some bugs in Clear, most notably iCloud sync that can have at random issues although that seems to have become rare the last few months. Other than that it is probably the app that is powerful in its simplicity and my general advice for the new Clear would be to keep things more or less the way they are, provided minor bugs are dealt with. Clear is truly amazing and something I use constantly. The fact that it will no longer be available for Mac however is not trivial and this implies I will not be able to use it for work and other productivity related matters as these are typically centred around a computer, not an iPhone. I check and lightly edit lists on the phone but the power use happens on a computer. I fear this simple but strong “productivity app” will deteriorate in a toy app for listing “movies you want to see if ever you have the time” and other things that are really not relevant for productivity. Will the original Clear versions for iPhone/iPad/Mac remain available as a legacy app for a while so that at least I can keep using those? I fear the search for another professional listing app will inevitable for me unless there is an outlook on a follow-up for Clear on Mac on relatively short notice. Looking from the forum I think many of the loyal Clear users will be hit in the same way. So I would say, “if it works, don’t fix it” - I don’t see how a new version of a car having only three wheels could be a genuine improvement over the original four-wheel car…

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Ok, well, I am using this beta version on my iPad Mini right now. I don’t have the Beta version on my iPhone. It seems to be working fine, and I have to say I was really looking forward to using it on both devices, because the previous version exchanged information back and forth effortlessly. So now I am wondering what the advantage is for me to upgrade. I don’t see any advantages, but maybe there are some that are not readily apparent — can you as the developer point some out to me? Also, is it easy to download the beta app to my iPhone after already downloading it to my iPad? How do I do that?

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I’m very curious how people are able to still use iCloud sync on Legacy Clear. Mine stopped working a couple of years ago. Is there something you did?

I’d love to keep using Mac and iPad versions, and it’s my hope that they can be brought back at some point. However, folks need to understand that for developers it takes work to keep these things up-to-date, even if you’re not adding features. iPadOS and MacOS are constantly changing, and for a small team like Clear, even “keeping it as it is” involves a lot of work.

Anyway, enjoying the beta, and glad to see it is being actively worked on once again!

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Reading your post and the posts of some other people in these forums inspired me to create the following post:

Very similarly to how you did it on your iPad.
Download TestFlight on your phone, open it, and sign into iCloud. You won’t need a new invite or the link, because TestFlight betas are shared across your iCloud account, kind of like apps you bought in the App Store. You should see it there in a list (along with any other app betas you’re in, if you are), with an Install button.

I agree with your main point though. Looking at the “What’s New” list (What's New in the New Clear ✨), there’s many more omitted features than new functional ones.
I understand why this is, though: the app has been essentially rewritten from scratch to support Apple’s new frameworks and platform. Which is a good thing in the long run! But until those core functionalities are there in the new one, I think the old should be kept around.

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No, there was nothing special I did. I was describing the way worked many years ago, and I didn’t make that part clear at all. Sorry about that. Right now I use Clear only on my iPad.

That being said, I don’t understand why the new Clear can’t work across any Apple devices. There are many apps that do, so what’s the problem? For example, I use an app that I think is called lists, and it works for me on my iPad, my iPhone, and my wife’s iPhone.

So I just really don’t understand why we are bothering with all of this, if we’re not going to be able to use the app across many devices. Is this supposed to be a big step forward? How is that True?

Not only that, but I suspect that there will be a subscription required to keep the app working overtime. I think I could accept that, albeit reluctantly, if the app worked across devices. Otherwise, my interest in the new version of Clear is waning.

If I could summarize our situation – we are a genuinely tiny, guerrilla indie team, but very passionate about rebuilding the app for the next ten years.

Being so tiny we have to both be pretty brutal about picking our main targets, while also really leaning into our strengths and the more unique personality and perspective of Clear initially to maximize our impact and ship something that excites the world again. The kind of features other developers can’t do for their apps because their apps have the same perspective like all the other to do apps, but for us and our app being Clear, happens to slot in quite easily and naturally.

Syncing happens to be a feature that seems deceptively simple, but at least from our past experience, can be a year+ long project to get like… 98% there in reliability. But it could take another year to stamp out the next 1% of edge cases, and so forth. (If you’ve ever run into strange syncing issues with Apple’s own services you’ve probably wondered why this is happening with a trillion dollar company in charge.) Unfortunately the current Clear syncing code is ancient and in that ~95% reliability zone which does not make it an efficient ‘fixer upper’. So when we attempted to write a new sync from scratch… it turned out to be a prohibitively costly project for a team of our size and the current state of Clear’s business where it needs a reboot to have a chance to survive and thrive in the future.

To be honest when I look back, if I have a single regret about Clear 1.x’s roadmap, it was pursuing sync and clients on Mac/iPad way too early. It was a huge amount of baggage for an also then very tiny, indie guerilla team, and quickly enough burned us all out, before we were able to get the business to a sustainable kind of place to support that kind of longterm ramp up on development costs.

Oh and there was also always a side I think you know and appreciate to Clear of feature minimalism, and keeping you totally focused on your lists. So there is a side of the new Clear resetting back to an even simpler place (to regroup and rebuild on cleaner foundations) that is also healthy I think for its design longterm. Think Casino Royale for Bond after the Brosnan years.

That said… we now have a foundation we dug deep underground, to support what we want to build over the years above ground, and it’s going to move FAST compared to the stasis you’re all used to over most of the past decade for Clear (iPhone) updates.

I also believe we have a good new angle to support layering on some more opt-in functionality just for those who want it. (A set of personalizable gestures you can set up.) So this will be a good way to accommodate some Clear 1.x features cut for now and bring them back in a way that doesn’t clutter the app for those who don’t care for them. (Like sorting a list, or sending list via email, etc.)

That’s a lot to say we are going to focus our effort on the ‘90%’ of our user base and trying to make the experience as exciting and robust as possible to start, and then should hopefully be in a great place to start filling in support for various very important more specific requests etc.

Sorry this turned out so long! It’s a complicated situation even to try to summarize :sweat_smile:

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Thank you @phillryu for this clarifying summary! We much appreciate everything you and your team do for all of us who love, use and rely on Clear!

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Hey Phill, on a slightly unrelated note; when I open The New Clear: coming soon, in the Legacy app, is that The Car Guys I hear in the background?

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It is! I find it nostalgic personally, it might seem very random to others haha.

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:heart_hands: Much appreciate how much you all care! Community is already helping catch a lot of blindspots and sparking and contributing fun ideas. Very motivating for us.

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It made me oddly happy. I haven’t heard that show in years and almost thought it was all in my head.

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I see a world with hand gestures. Better start working on the Apple Vision version! :sweat_smile::v:t3:

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Hello, I am a long time owner of Clear - I have both the iPad and iPhone versions purchased, but no longer own an iPhone. I did not know that there ever was a version made for the Mac and my Macbook Air is the primary method that I use for all my work.

Is there any way that the Mac version can still be purchased or accessed for those who did not purchase it before it was off the store? I have had so much trouble finding a good, useful, practical tool for to-do lists in this day and age (which is crazy considering you’d think there’d be more developers out there working on this.)

Your app is literally the only one that I find useful and accessible - where I am actually making progress in my goals.

Please let me know if there is any way that I could still pay for and access the old app - (even if there’s no syncing and no guarantee of future support!)

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Honestly I don’t think there is… we took it off sale from the Mac App Store and afaik the only way we could allow a sale like that is to put it back for sale officially. Sorry to disappoint there, but we of course do hope to make our way back to Mac someday.

Very disappointed to discover that Mac will no longer be supported. I love clear and have used it for years, but unfortunately I need a solution that syncs across mac and iphone. I am constantly jumping back and forth between devices depending upon what I am doing, where I am, etc. Sadly I will be moving on to another solution, but I hope I can come back someday if you choose to revisit the Mac option. Totally get that what you are doing may be necessary given your small team and resources of course. So definitely not complaining here. Just mourning the loss of my favorite productivity tool. Best of luck with everything, and thanks for many years of a great product.

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i’ve had the Clear Todos app on my iOS devices for a few years… love it.

was looking to see if there was a version for mac i could sync up as well… seems there is, but i’m unable to get it.

only link i’ve found that seems to lead that way ends up with a message from app store saying its not available in my area (Canada).

reached out to Realmac and they redirected me over here.

is there ANY way i can get Clear for mac in Canada?

I believe the Mac and iPad apps were pulled from the virtual shelves earlier this year because they’re Old Clear, and New Clear won’t sync with them when it launches. (Old Clear itself stopped syncing properly a while ago as well, at least on my end.) The new app is slated to be iPhone-only at launch, to eventually be joined by new iPad and Mac companion apps.

I used the sync functionality in Old Clear a good deal, so I look forward to it coming back. It’s great for those times I come up with a list while using my computer, but I expect to check most of the items off while using my phone. Handy when my phone is charging in another room, too—I don’t need to go fetch it or interrupt what I’m doing on another device to access my lists.

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Here’s more around the announcement: Clear iPad & Mac Taken Off Sale