Hey all, so this week we’ve been diving into widgets. I had been sharing some thoughts/teasers on twitter, let me catch you up here:
From late last week, mockup explorations in Figma. iOS widgets now support basic tap events and interactivity that way. Looked at visible checkboxes but felt anti-Clear. Considering invisible tappable margin to check off (if we can get to this interactive layer side in our first pass for 2.1)
Monday morning, hello world.
Please remember, there is a lot of work ahead to finish this! This makes it look deceptively close to done already. But very satisfying to quickly have some basic pieces up and running.
Maybe square checkboxes would be a better fit?
No visible checkboxes! Just tap along the left margin. (That’s the idea we like right now.)
Can’t wait to try out the widgets!! looks clean without the checkboxes and shows more of the text… I like that each widget can have a separate theme user can choose from those unlocked in main app. (judging from first image in post)
I am not a widget guy but those look good!
I love the gestures and the feeling of the app. I love open it and pinching around between menus!
This is kind of cool, you can set up widgets on your Mac now that source/pull its data from your phone Clear. No editing of these lists but it does mirror them from your phone. (And can separately set these up with their own colors or widgets on Mac vs. ones you set up on phone.)
Today the widgets were hooked up to real data and basic theme support. You can set the basics of each widget when you flip them around like this:
Theme option will default to what your list is set to, but you can also change independently for the widgets to match your wallpaper etc.
Very fun so far here with an internal build on my phone.
It’s very cool, I’m looking forward to it.
Widgets are a great fit for Clear, like colorful building blocks to play and build with.
Today we got in a toggle for info density. So each widget has a default or you can also select more rows option. Small widget: 4 or 5 rows. Wide widget: 4 or 5 rows. Big widget, 7 or 10 rows.
We won’t be shipping the ‘checking off’ functionality to start, it requires more extra work than we expected so planning to layer it on later vs. slow down this initial release.
I will probably post a TestFlight link tomorrow to recruit some of you to test it ahead of next week’s planned release rollout. Note that this build will have the shop disabled because in the testing sandbox environment all shop purchases are free
The widgets feel pretty shippable. But frankly the way they refresh data and such… it’s a bit of a black box where iOS decides when things can refresh. So it would help to have a bunch of you playing around with them for a few days and verify it’s a solid enough experience to ship to everyone else.
If it’s any comfort, iOS widgets refreshing is a pain for other apps too. I have one that shows my bank account balance, for instance, and I can’t trust that to be accurate to the minute at all. I only really trust it if it’s been a couple hours since last use of my card, then it’s most likely updated. The window might be smaller though, I haven’t thoroughly tested that.
It does seem that opening the corresponding app will update the widget immediately, which is nice.
I’m expecting there will be an iOS update for this, maybe soon.
Yeah we seem to have it refreshing pretty well if you say check something off in Clear then exit, the widgets seem to update relatively snappily. But it’s just some internal testing so far so I’m curious with more eyes on it.
Submitted the TestFlight build, I’ll post a link here when it’s approved either later tonight or tomorrow for anyone who’s interested in testing them early. (Shop turned off in it, so probably best if you’re curious about the widgets + not a frequent shopper.)
We added a toggle for default or ‘more’ rows, so these are the options per widget type:
Really like the look of this! I never got on the beta train, so: how does the whole TestFlight thing work? Is there a page with some info on how I activate it, setup etc?
You can install TestFlight app from the App Store. Then when I post a link it will let you update to this beta update over your Clear. (And after beta testing and 2.1 is out you can update back to that from App Store.)
TestFlight is approved. Please give this a try if you’re interested in widgets and let me know how it goes. Shop is disabled for this beta:
The ‘useless themes and cosmetic junk’ are now actually raising enough funds to actively develop updates for this app, for the first time in almost 8 years. And without requiring you to subscribe, or view ads, or other ways most apps secure recurring revenue. So, it’s actually providing value to you too, even if you don’t care for them.
The people who are enjoying it, I feel very good about this. We put so much work into designing Clear as a kind of pristine sandbox/gorgeous blank canvas for you all, so it feels satisfying opening up this side to let people design and transform how Clear looks and make it even more beautiful to their tastes.
$5 upfront had not been working since like… year 1 or 2 of Clear.
But the totally optional cosmetics shop has basically brought the business back to life.
Also we spent the vast majority of development rebuilding the entire foundation for the app, its ancient codebase among them, which is why we will be able to deliver features like the redone widgets much more nimbly and quickly moving forward.
Finally I guess this is worth saying too. Knocking out features one after another is not the priority on this project, it’s actually dangerous in that feature creep would ruin the app. We have to be careful, and more selective, slower, and in general R&D more. That’s the tradeoff on something like Clear. We are trying to hit the right sweet spot of less is more.
This iceberg goes quite deep under the water!
I enjoy the personalization myself, in Clear and other apps or games that offer it well. That’s why Clear 1.x also had the secret themes you could collect. (My very first project as a kid was actually running a Mac theme customization community website!)
It’s OK if it’s not for you, we never expected the majority of our current base to be actively into collecting them, personalizing, the shop etc.
But take a step back and please edit your comment, the one I would say veers into some name calling… everyone here wants a great future for Clear, and Clear has always been different things to different people and contains some multitudes. (The most minimalist app to someone, the most colorful app to another, etc.) Clear does not win by pitting groups of you against each other, we win by bringing you all together and making something that is even more awesome to all of you who adore it.
I deleted your post that insults others. That crosses a line for this forum.
Believe it or not we do have some ideas and plans to eventually let you archive and hide almost anything in the app. (Including Rewards, or settings you don’t use etc.) But this is a nontrivial project so it’s planned further out.
If you have useful feedback in the future I welcome you to post it, because as you can see we’re genuinely curious on how to improve the product and shared feedback is not going into the abyss. But… post it constructively!
Just want to chime in and say I disagree with you, vehemently, on pretty much every. single. point.
I much prefer getting every feature for free, with optional cosmetic IAP’s, than paying for features. Aside from that, I’ll just +1 everything said by others.
(Not saying this to start something or be rude or anything, just wanted to add a counterpoint. It is of course perfectly okay to disagree with one another, which it’s clear that we do (no pun intended).)
Can’t wait to test this! Woop🥳