Clear X (under development)

I’ve been afraid of announcing or teasing the work that’s been going on here because there is still a lot of work left to do… But I do want to share some of our plans and progress here in the forums. Will refrain from tweeting or project email update about this for now until things are a little more cooked.

Since the rush of new Clear public beta, its launch, fixing things, then pushing some fun updates, we’ve finally had some time to sit down and breathe a bit and consider more deeply what we want to do with our updates this year.

Near Ready

  • Binary size reduction, accomplished a couple updates ago
  • Daily iCloud backups/restore system should be out this month
  • Clear for Apple Watch is in the quiver

Under Development & Internal Testing

  • Syncing with iPad
  • Syncing with Clear Web, accessible on Mac
  • Collaborative listing
  • Simple accounts to cover these

We are also considering some cuts and reworking to make Clear’s core minimalism feel stark, and reduce the surface area some as a smaller team while we are expanding elsewhere. Especially as an introductory experience for people new to the app. Things such as:

Simplification

  • Make rewards all secret? (Hide the rewards list)
  • For now revert list personalization to drag and drop
  • Kill List Library for now, with some plans to bring back later with Clear Web
  • Move Shop into Personalize
  • Simple How To list with linked video demos
  • Onboarding improvements

With this pass on distilling Clear’s minimalism, we are also experimenting with a reworked navigation system and some other tweaks (eyeing reminders) that we hope will cut some redundant gestures, de-clutter the core of the app and make Clear’s overall silhouette feel even more elegant.

It’s a lot, so I think we will figure out some release plan that puts out some pieces as we go, to give them some wider testing time and avoid the stress of a more giant monolithic release and update.

But we are calling it Clear X, and I am excited about how it’s shaping up.

I know, it’s a little soon after the last giant update :sweat_smile: But I think this will be more of a crowdpleaser in the end, and really set the app up well for the future.

I will try to update semi regularly in this thread as we go, and of course further along we will post asking for some help testing and such.

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I’d personally much prefer to see rewards kept in the app, if it’s too much to include them at the top level, could they be moved under Personalize like you are suggesting for the shop? Especially given the feedback already received about the prior random drop system, I just don’t see how making all rewards secrets would be an improvement.

If you want to have rewards without making it obvious how to earn them, I really think the best option is to include them in the existing rewards area, but have “???” or some similar text where it would normal explain how to earn that one.

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With them being made secret, when you unlock something the popup would explain why you unlocked, so it shouldn’t feel quite as random as the random loot.

I think most of the things on that part of the list, it’s not that I think they are bad ideas or don’t fit Clear at all, but that in hindsight I think they were rushed out too early for Clear’s standards and could use some more time in the oven to fit in more elegantly, or we figure out some way to unfold some more pro things as you go and such. (But that could use some time to really consider options too.)

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In Clear 1.x we weren’t privy to how to get the unlocks. I think 2.x has taught us how to find them - sooo - for CLRx why not obscure it again and allow those who want to share “how” to do it on a forum instead of upfront on the app.
.imho. thats all.

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I do think there will be some of the good kind of ‘wondering’ and some delight unlocked by these being more unexpected and mysterious like this again. And when we add some new secret ones :smiley:

But yeah with the visible Rewards list, I feel especially for first timers it is really distracting and fighting or diluting the stark minimal side of Clear. Really want people to feel the minimalism through and through before it starts to unfold some and whatnot. So hoping making them secret felt like a decent way to diffuse that while keeping the mechanic and collectibles for all.

Mixed feelings, i like the idea of getting secret rewards that im not expecting til they appear with a flash. but being honest without the list of rewards i probably wouldnt be using the app still. it would have been very easy to try the app, not really get into to it and bin it. but the rewards made me really use the app as a game in the early days, which kept me using it and now i wouldnt want to be without it.

a mix of both would be my vote.

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i really think the decision to hold back the apple watch app is a big mistake, its quite annoying tbh. i dont think you should role out major things in test flight unless the intention is to release in a fairly timely manner, and we were given the impression that it was just round the corner. now there are lots of users im sure in the same position where, i want it on my watch, but i want access to the shop. yes i could flick between versions but thats not a proper solution especially since it seems we are talking weeks not days. pretty much the only thing that has annoyed me in the whole clear release.

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In general I think there’s an issue with delaying or changing aspects of the app with the intent of future releases in mind.

Everything from delaying the Watch app launch because of a distant update, to even in this topic, discussing removing the List Library now because it will eventually be included again in Clear X—there’s a recurring problem with Clear 2 of features, bonuses, functions, and so on being taken away, put off, discussed, teased at, and it’s always “when we have XYZ update” or “when we’re done working on ABC.”

(Two other recent examples are the literally 3 separate reasons that have been given for why we can’t have the much-desired Private Beach theme right now, and all the other fonts installed in the app that you can’t unlock currently, but this is honestly just standard with genuinely anything for the app. If a feature exists, it could be delayed, hidden, or taken away for the sake of a future update.)

I understand being a small team, so you can’t magically have everything finished and ready now now now, but I don’t understand why the situation can’t either be one of two things—either don’t discuss/tease/prerelease as much stuff because the reality may be significantly delayed for the sake of a future, someday update; Or don’t put off/remove quite so many features and functions so quickly just for the sake of the fact that you would rather they be part of a larger update.

Either situation would work better for different reasons, but currently anyone on the forum is jerked along while simultaneously anyone off the forum is left completely in the dark about literally everything, and it’s always for the sake an update that is at Some point in the future. It’s inconsistent and unreliable and frustrating, and not a good way to build a customer base and retain loyalty from your users.

Again, I understand being a small team and only being able to complete certain things on a certain schedule. That’s entirely reasonable. It’s more the current approach in teasing or including features only to put them off, take them away, hide them, etc. for the sake of future updates and releases. Future updates and releases are all well and good, but what about using the app in the present?

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The way I would describe it is for the past year, Clear was in a pressure cooker. It got it out, finally to the world, but it also doesn’t feel sustainable moving forward or the best way to cook with Clear because of the kind of purity levels we’re reaching for.

This summer we are shifted into slow cooker mode. I wonder if the issues you raised are spiking up because of this transition. The goal is slower, but higher quality and consistency in what we ship for it, which feels right for this app and should ultimately result in less twists and turns and such moving forward.

It’s challenging trying to thread the needle with project updates and communication. I like being open and transparent and sharing development as we go, but that does come with more kitchen chaos so to speak. Clear being different from other apps means less models to reference, more experimentation required, which all makes its development much more difficult to predict and time.

For now I was thinking keep Clear X updates for now here for the people who are really curious, and mail about it when it’s more fully ready to the email list etc. But yeah still trying to figure this sweet spot out.

For people ‘in the dark’ I think I would mostly want them to know sync is in the works if they are missing it, otherwise I think today’s Clear is a pretty great experience.

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I would like to insert my five kopecks in defense of the developers and the Clear team. Having experience with the beta version since 2018, I can say that tremendous work has been done, as it was then, and what it is now. Yes, everyone wants here and now, but friends, let’s be a little patient. That’s why we are here so that the developers can slightly open the curtain on what they are working on, and what they have to focus on at this stage. And it’s not that they’re teasing us with it. As Phill mentioned earlier here on the forum, Clear will be in its best shape by the end of the year, so let’s wait for it, and let’s not be so categorical.

@alx_ras But that’s not what was being said at all. No one was saying to deliver what’s being currently worked on right now (genuinely, it’s a tiny team, it makes sense that you can’t have a bunch of shiny new features cooked up overnight). It’s the stuff that already exists within the app or like 98% finished but isn’t accessible, or might be made inaccessible—which is the case for several features.

The point was specifically not to focus on how Clear might possibly be down the line or at the end of the year, because that’s just an amorphous what-if. Rather the point was not to keep teasing or taking away features for the sake of updates that don’t exist yet. Like e.g. the Watch app that was literally about to ship before it’s like wait, let’s table that for a future update. Features that exist like the List Library but wait, let’s talk about removing it to then bring back again for a future update. Themes, icons, fonts that have been ready and usable since beta but wait, let’s set those aside for a future update.

Being impatient for future releases isn’t the concern, and nor is it to rush the Clear team or besmirch the hard work that’s already been done. It’s like I personally think Clear for Web sounds super cool, but I’m not in any hurry (beyond just thinking it would be useful to have) right now because obviously it’s still in development. It’s the stuff that’s out of development and has been out of development for a while where it’s like wait, why is this being put off for an update Again? :sweat_smile:

Yes, I perfectly understand what you mean. Yes, there are certain things already in the application that are still hidden, apparently there are reasons for that, apparently it’s not time for them yet.

Just throwing it out there that several of these rewards I never in a million years would have completed without the reference list telling me to do so. So I would hate for a sweet unlock to be hidden behind a task I don’t know exists and will never naturally do.

Also, I have always meant to compliment this, but the reward description and item pairings were extremely cleverly done, and I think add a certain something.

Moving the Shop into Personalize just punishes you guys, as that is your only revenue source and less people are going to wander into it as a result. I never considered that to be in the way. You have the menu level, take advantage.

Lastly, I’m not sure what drag and drop means specifically for PLP, but I thought the way y’all had it in the beta was perfect.

All the other stuff sounds great. iCloud sync will be huge. After all this time I’m still just happy that Clear got a refresh and will be the last app I delete off my phone for a long time yet.

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I do apologize about the things we are considering cutting, or teasing Watch and then delaying it. In no way am I trying to pretend like this was all part of a good plan in hindsight! More admitting mistake there and trying to improve it moving forward. Really hope this is a relatively one time moment as we shift to slower gear and raise standards to ship, and the kind of thing we avoid more in the future.

List Library is getting caught in that in hindsight, and Watch we had some worries of pushing it immediately. (We may want to rework parts of its infrastructure with the syncing being built for example and avoid a data migration, and bundling the promotional push into a single bigger release which gets more bang for the buck is a big deal to us too with limited resources.)

And in general, want to make sure the bigger and deeper changes we are making are truly sound, so will need some help on feedback and testing, will post on that here as we go.

sharing how to unlock on forums reminds me of how back in the 90s, we would trade cheats and combo moves from Genesis games in school yards lol… Fatalities in Mortal Kombat for example… lol 1 kid discovered it then the whole school was privy… I like the idea of secret unlocks discovered in forums.

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