When Clear for iPhone launched 18 months ago, it introduced an unparalleled degree of simplicity in getting things done using an iPhone. The app's bare bones mentality might rub some people the wrong way, but there's no doubt that Clear, with its vibrant color palette, chromeless interface, and intuitive gestures, has been highly influential on app design since it launched. Today, Clear is finally coming to iPad as part of a brand new version of the app for iOS 7 that works on both iPhone and iPad, and replaces the previous version of Clear. It's on sale now for an introductory price of $2.99.
Clear on iPad has all the features of its smaller sibling, including iCloud support for syncing tasks, emailing lists, and twee chime sounds when you complete tasks, but is laid out a bit differently to better take advantage of the iPad's larger screen. Lists are on the left, and list items are on the right. The app includes a few iPad-exclusive features, like the ability to drag to-do items from one list to another, and the ability to swipe down on a list with two fingers to peek inside at its contents. Edge swiping to move between lists, a feature that developer Realmac introduced on iPhone, is much more useful on iPad. There are also some nice iOS 7 tweaks, including text that resizes as you change your system font, and headers to show you what list you're viewing on an iPhone.
"'I could build Clear in a weekend,' you say, but you can only copy the end result"
Developers still struggle with the notion of charging for updates in a marketplace that has conditioned users to expect them for free, and the latest version of Clear is no different: it's $2.99 even if you already own the current one, which has been supported and updated free of charge for the last 18 months. The latest version was the work of just one Realmac developer over the last seven months, in concert with the company's designers. It's not just a matter of "porting" the app to iPad, which some users probably wouldn't mind, but product manager Nik Fletcher notes that it wouldn't be Realmac's style. "It's a whole process: we build it, give it to designers, and work on it again," he says. "Judging a product by its end results is what users do. 'I could build Clear in a weekend,' you say, but you can only copy the end result." Either way, thanks to some useful new gestures and seamless syncing with Clear for iPhone and Mac, Realmac's productivity suite is now complete.