Original Clear's animations and list titles were superior

First of all, thanks for all your work updating the Clear app! It’s been a smooth transition for me (did not lose any data) and I appreciate getting back some of the legacy themes I unlocked (though I really miss the Temple Run and Letterpress themes!). Love the new haptics and the general polish of Clear 2.0.

However, as a long time user (Clear has been on my home screen since 2013), there are a few things which really bug me. They bug me enough that I wish you guys had released Clear 2.0 as a separate app, so that I could continue using the original Clear.

  1. Animations

The new zooming animations are way better than they were in the betas, but they don’t give the same crisp feeling of the original Clear.

Part of it is the speed of the animation (I think it could be faster), but part of it is that it lacks the feeling of lists “snapping” into place.

In the original Clear, the folding animations gave the feeling that lists were snapping into place. It gave the feeling of fast and precise movements, like futuristic origami. It felt tactile, like I was actually manipulating the little panels and making them fold, slide, expand and collapse (when pinching in/out). Moving between lists now feels sluggish.

I find myself using the invisible button a lot now. Don’t get me wrong, I think the button’s a fantastic feature, especially since iPhone screens are all so big now! But I also find that I’m using the invisible button because I no longer find joy in Clear’s gestures. Hope you guys can address this in some way in the future!

  1. List Titles

The list titles really need to look different from the list items. Right now, the list title just looks like the top item in the list.

In the original Clear app, it was visually clear what the title of the list is. The title was centred, in smaller font (making it space efficient) and on a black background. The black background along the top also made the notch/Dynamic Island beautifully “disappear”. See attached screenshot from The Verge’s coverage of Clear 2.0.

And can we please have the status bar back? I.e. the time, cell signal, wifi signal, and battery icons at the top? We had it in the original Clear (as you can also see in the screenshot). It’s incredibly annoying to have to exit the app just to check the time or figure out if my cell signal has dropped.

Those are my main gripes with Clear 2.0. But overall very happy that this app is back in a big way (even though I think it has lost some of its character along the way). Thanks guys.

1 Like

I think you’re probably onto something there about the ‘snapping into place’ part. It’s not that it doesn’t, but it’s definitely springier and less literally snappy. Will see if we can improve that.

(And yes, frankly for the back gesture I want most people using the back button, for the practicality. It simply requires way less effort than pinching shut or pulling down, which isn’t consistent when you’re scrolled down a list etc. too.)

The status bar, we did spent a little time during beta looking at bringing it back but it feels quite dated to cut off the top of the screen with the black these days. Realize this part is subjective and you appreciate that vs. me, but I feel post notch anything that tries to hide it does feel kind of of the past… and also transparent mode is very messy when you’re scrolling content under it.

I will think on that one some more though and maybe we can take another look after the launch dust settles prototyping wise etc. I totally get that especially when you’re setting up a reminder, the lack of a clock up there is a bit obnoxious. (It’s just that also, I set a reminder maybe 0.5% of the time I spend using Clear.)

And this example is certainly one of the stronger arguments for having some settings. Of course you probably understand why we do try to fight against settings in general given the rest of the app and what it goes for, but will probably compromise somewhat there over time as we did with the original release and its updates. (It didn’t start with the status bar or any list title at all for example and also didn’t let you type past a single line of text! 1.0 was very very opinionated.)

Thanks for replying!

Yes, I would say Clear 2.0 feels too springy. Especially when the new themes all fill the entire screen with colour. It feels like bouncing around a room made of colourful jello (picture that scene in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1). The stretchy text when adding new list items (“Add thought!”) and clearing items (“Pull to clear!”) also add to the jello feeling. It’s cute. I can see how it appeals to some people… but yea, I dislike it with a passion :confused:

I hadn’t thought of how scrolling would work if the top part of the screen is black. I can’t remember how it looked liked in old Clear, but my guess is that it didn’t involve any transparency.

I would be so happy if you guys could release a theme that looks identical to the original Clear: heat map colours only, no transparency, no stretchy font or zooming, top part of screen is black with centred list title, crisp origami animations. That’s it. I would pay $10 for that. I just want the original Clear back. And if you guys can release that as some sort of “super” theme that reskins the whole interface, that would be a dream.

To be honest, I never use reminders in Clear either. Tried it once when you guys first released it in the original Clear, turned it off and never looked back. But even then, I still want to see the time :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Yeah fair enough on checking the time lol.

This actually gets me kind of excited to look at our list opening/close animations soonish. Got some more important issues like a handful of data/migration fuckups to look into first but yeah I do think there’s room for meaningful ‘snappiness’ improvement with some subtle tuning.

Text stretching, in my defense I find it an elegant visual feedback to the paired gestures involved. But it’s like, conceptually elegant and to many people, that doesn’t make up for the visual perceived sloppiness/jello/whatever so I guess it is kind of flawed. So it’s one I also agree is likely tuned too exuberantly right now, or perhaps should be reconsidered entirely.

Because you do like a lot in the new Clear outside some major gripes, I’m curious if any of the new visuals grow on you over the next few days. Reason is, it is an extreme situation for an app you love/use a lot to not change for ten years and then overnight change this much. And that amount of change by itself I believe is like, mildly traumatic lol.

There are a lot of really great new color themes that go full edge to edge color that a lot of beta testers initially were like ‘this is too much’ and then totally fell in love with over time etc. So that might not be you, but I am curious. Keep me posted.

2 Likes

Yep, definitely prioritise those guys with data loss issues. I saw your comments on how it is only affecting a minority of users, but you guys now have around 10k-15k people on Clear 2.0, making it a not insignificant number of users. All the best with that!

I really liked the little animation for clearing items in original Clear. Instead of the “Pull to clear!” text stretching, there was some text and a little arrow icon that animated downwards into a box icon. I loved how that little white animated icon looked against the black background, and how the animation tracked with my gesture. I would deliberately slow my gesture down to see see the animation in slow motion. Yea, I’m weird that way. Lol.

And so to answer your question, yes: the new Clear has been mildly traumatic. I immediately paused app updates on my wife’s phone when I realised that there’s going to be no way of going back to the original Clear. Will play around with the original Clear on her phone for a bit; not quite ready to say goodbye yet.

Will keep you posted. Happy 2024 btw!

1 Like

You too, and yeah I have a feeling the more time you spend with the new version the more the old version will feel noticeably ‘dated’ when you return to it. But I would love to hear if anything’s adjusted for you with that time or not after let’s say a week or so.

1 Like

Oh and regarding the new colour themes, I’m a heatmap guy. Love collecting all the themes and icons, but heatmap all the way since 2013. Best colour scheme and icon. Period :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

2 Likes

I agree about the list snapping animation. I have “reduce motion” enabled in my iOS settings. Perhaps you could check that setting and use a snappier animation like in the old version if that’s enabled. Keep the new animation if not. The new one isn’t just too slow, it’s nauseating to me

Letterpress was a really great theme… It was also my default.

1 Like