Two very different Clear versions

I’ve been thinking about this whole situation ever since I got in the beta. You know what it reminds me of? NINTENDO.

We would love to have a new F-Zero; actually we would all love to have the F-Zero GX from GameCube, just up-rezed, and we wouldn’t complain about anything.
We would love a Starfox64 with modern graphics, but the same linear game that it was back then.
Instead, Nintendo tries to re-invent many wheels most of the time, and we can’t say we agree, right?

Where am I getting at? I guess we would love to have the OG Clear just re-written in Swift with some polish, same menus, same colors, same fonts, same speed, same gestures, same everything, while the team is actually trying their best to make a new beast. And I applaud them for their excitement and efforts! But is that what we really want? :thinking:

Now, please don’t take this the wrong way, but: when you have abandoned an app for a decade, but that app is still functional despite the numerous changes the host OSes have gone through, then this app gets a life of its own while you are away. People that still use OG Clear for the last 10+ years have established usage scenarios and habits that aren’t debatable for change. Plus, it was indeed your app that made them addicted to this UI/UX. They use this app for 10+ years. They ARE used to using it, the way it still looks today. Plain and simple as that. Thus, your (the developers’) work is harder than just relaunching an app.

I really really wish the best for the team and for the launch. I’m just worried for the regressions the new app introduces and the strong feelings it may trigger for some of us Day One OG Clear users.

With all my respect to the team,


I think we’ll be able to hit most of these up.

Undo removal was accidental, it got tied up in feature flags with us experimenting with it as an action you could assign to any of the personalizable gestures. (Internal experiment going on.) We will restore it in the next TestFlight build.

I have to admit I have been testing/designing on a Max mainly (though a member of the team is on a mini!) but we are going to take another look at especially small/tiny settings on padding and maybe add another interval or two there.

Muscle memory will adapt, but yeah I’m very curious about first impressions upgrading like this and it’s helpful those of you who are sharing reports. We have blindspots we’ve developed over the years using the new version to patch up for the big day and the rest of the userbase updating into it.

Keep it coming all, not sure if I can respond to everyone today but will be reading everything.


I’m not entirely closed to that option but our personality is, let’s focus on our goal scenario of sticking with single SKU but trying to sand off all the rough corners and improve the transition experience for people updating as much as we can, and see where we can get it.

And I realize your comparison to Nintendo was not meant entirely as a compliment in this case, but to be honest… I love Nintendo and as a fan accept their occasional flubs for their inspired wins. I think a lot of you would agree that compared to all the other to do apps out there, Clear has always been more Nintendo Wii or Switch than Xbox/Playstation/PC gaming.

Sure Nintendo doesn’t have up-rezzed F-Zero GX (awesome btw) or a more straightforward sweet modern Star Fox. But in exchange we have Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild/Tears of the Kingdom, Animal Crossing exploding, Splatoon, Pokémon Go that happened, etc. I’m very happy as a Nintendo fan myself right now, feels like a golden era and a result of them focusing on the right things overall this past decade or so.


Cannot overemphasize how important it is to maintain previous functionality and syncing across apple phone and iPad.

Last thing i would want to see is a lot of new “features” getting in the way of such a classically pure, beautiful app. I’d be happy to pay $50 a year to assure it just continues to work the way it has in the past, the app is that valuable to me.


I agree with much that is said here. I would urge the the devs to concentrate on providing the core functionality that the original app had, before adding anything peripheral that is just a gimmick.

The success of the original app, and the reason so many people loved it, was its simplicity.

It would be a real shame to lose that, especially given that there’s no way to avoid the ‘upgrade’ if they are overwriting the original.


In our defense, the original never launched with sync or reminders either. What it did launch with was vibrant colors, satisfying sound effects, quotes, etc. in addition to the core gestures. The new version covers that core original 1.0 functionality, which was probably responsible for about 75% of the app’s lifetimes sales.

Btw I’m not saying this to dismiss your basic point, which is to make sure we don’t ruin the simplicity. (Totally agreed.) More to remind that Clear is unique in that many of these gimmicks or more aesthetic features, I would argue, was always a part of its core functionality as well, in a way they aren’t for any other todo app.

I will get more into the simplicity request/worry in next week’s email but in short – most of the new things we are adding will be tucked away in Personalize menu. (Also the reason we are prioritizing some of these things is because they are not a year+ long development project like syncing is, and they are features that further lean into Clear’s unique angle vs. catching up with expected features to match the competition. I believe if we want to excite the world again with Clear as a tiny indie team, we really have to lean into our unique strengths and perspective to make maximum impact on relaunch.)

Probably most importantly, I want to emphasize that the plan of exploring personalization thoroughly for Clear also includes a world where you may be able to make Clear simpler than it ever was before, for your tastes and needs. That ultimate destination gives me a good amount of conviction we are exploring the right new dimension with personalization for new Clear.


Hey Claire, to be honest it will probably take a couple years to build back to sync with this next generation Clear. The current syncing codebase which is ancient, totally out of compliance with current ‘building codes’ and beyond efficiently fixing back up, was on a ticking timer to just stop working entirely.

This new syncing will be more robust and built to last if we can make it through this transition.

I know this all might sound kind of insane, but I swear for a small indie team, building a robust cloud syncing solution that people with lists for ten years are relying on… it’s a gigantic, year or two long lift with a huge amount of baggage moving forward to maintain multiple platform clients etc. In hindsight, taking this on too early with the original version was probably the biggest single decision that kind of stalled out its original momentum and we really do not want to repeat this again. (Biting it off before we’re ready.)

Thanks for the explanation, improves my minimal understanding of what it’s all about.

Plain vanilla working iPhone app will be good if I must eventually leave original Clear behind.
Some way to back up would be excellent.

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Agreed, will be looking into some simple backup option.

Btw for others, we’re thinking of taking a look at supporting ‘legacy’ themes sooner than later that will be exclusive for people updating into new Clear and help some ease the transition.

Here’s a quick preview of how the ‘Classic Heatmap’ theme might look, with app icon:


Whoa, looks fantastic! How would that work? If you have legacy Clear on your Phone it will appear?

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When the new Clear is released it will be updating over the current Clear. And anyone with past list info there etc. would unlock this set.

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Looks good-- could the text size be adjusted though? That’s huge for the new iPhone displays

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What about those with both? I really enjoyed unlocking all the themes and icons on the TestFlight clear but don’t really use the old clear anymore. I downloaded it back in 2012 though and still have it but I use the TestFlight one for everything now.

Finally! Wow the colors look wonderful! The only thing many of us fear is still the gigantic padding. Yes, yes, I know you are working on it, though :blush:

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Next beta will reduce size and padding on the “lists” and “root” (god we need a good name for that level) levels of the app. We’ll be doing some more text adjustment passes too in the future. Huge feels less necessary than perhaps one more smaller option.


New beta is out now and includes further adjustments for text scaling/padding at Lists and Clear levels of the app. I think this should help quite a bit.

So much better! The overall display feels like smaller screens were considered as well. Weird to think of a 6.1" screen as small… but yeah, this is a huge improvement.

“A couple years” for sync to return is really disheartening, to be frank, and I think it’ll mean I’ll have to give up using Clear.

I’ve been an off-and-on Clear user since it launched. I’ve been on the mailing list for this new Clear for years as well - have had the Test Flight app installed, including years of “renewing 90 day expiration” builds :slightly_smiling_face:

As your velocity and email updates have picked up, I’ve been trying more and more to push my daily workflows to the new Clear and just can’t do it without the macOS companion. As others have stated in Clear iPad & Mac Taken Off Sale, without the macOS app, the new Clear will just be a toy/fun shopping lists app for me (which I’m greatly saddened by).

I’ve still got the old Clear macOS + iOS apps installed and have been using both more actively than new Clear. Is there some way you can re-publish the old iOS app as a new app? I’m wary that old Clear will die in favor of new Clear with iOS auto-updates and I’ll be forced to abandon Clear entirely without syncing :disappointed: I’d be happy to keep using old Clear until you’re able to build syncing.

I might be alone, but I’d happily pay for Clear (even as subscription) if it meant you could hire on more staff to build syncing and macOS back out. :crossed_fingers: Apple’s hard work like iPhone and iPad apps on Apple silicon Macs - Apple Developer will make this easier for you.

Well, I don’t want to raise any hopes but we are quietly scouting out current syncing solutions lately to evaluate if it’s simpler today than when we last attempted a few years ago. We really want this for the app too, so I do hope it turns out to be something we could handle sooner. (Though certainly not for initial new Clear launch.)

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I made my keep-legacy-Clear “pitch” in the Legacy Clear section, then found many more similar posts from other users. I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t first find an existing post and reply to it, but its heartening to see that many others share these feelings and that the Developers seem to be fully aware of this.

Now lets hope this advice is taken to heart . . . . .