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Clear for iOS: unique gesture-based task management (hands-on video)

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Hands-on impressions of Realmac Software's Clear task management app for iPhone, which features a unique gesture-based interface.


Realmac Software released its Clear task management app into the iOS App Store today, for $0.99. The category wasn't exactly gasping out for another entry, but Clear sets itself apart with a unique user interface that's almost entirely controlled by gestures. Swipe one way to complete a task, swipe another to insert one, pinch your list open to make way for a new item — it's abstract, but incredibly intuitive. The gestures aren't necessarily consistent with one another, with (for example) pinch-in and pinch-out being linked to separate actions, but I thought they all made sense in context. The UI is beautiful, without a hint of the standard iOS design language that is starting to get a little too familiar, and the app even features some great sound design, with satisfying clicks and whooshes punctuating your every move.

It won't be for everyone, though. I can't fault Clear's interface for what it does, but there's no getting away from its limitations as a standalone app. You're completely out of luck with syncing options, meaning that the only tasks you'll be managing in Clear are ones that you've manually entered into the app yourself. Each task is limited to being a simple string of 28 characters (with no date or time parameters), so there wouldn't be an easy way to integrate the information provided by Calendar or Reminders syncing anyway. As such, the app's not going to be all that effective for power users. Still, I could see Clear being useful for people without a lot on their plate, and at $0.99 it's worth checking out for the UI innovations alone.

Of course, an interface like this is better shown off than told about, so check out the video below to see it in action.