As promised last week, Realmac Software, Impending, and Helftone have released Clear for Mac today. Clear for iPhone made quite an impression at its release (I loved it and use it almost every day) with its fluid, gesture-driven interface and it’s been a regular in the Top 200 Paid Productivity iPhone apps since. The new Mac version offers synchronization with its iOS counterpart via iCloud and I’ve found over the past week that it manages to keep the spirit of the iPhone version’s button-free interface alive on the Mac.
Clear is, at heart, a simple lists app. You can create lists for items you need to buy or do or anything your little heart desires. There are no alarm options or sub-levels to break list items down into multiple parts. It’s meant to be straightforward and effortless to use so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you want a tasks or lists app that lets you customize every last thing six ways from Sunday.
When you first open Clear for Mac, you’ll get a short and very helpful tutorial that walks you through how to create lists, add to and modify them, and navigate through the app. After this, using Clear for Mac will feel very familiar if you’ve already used the iPhone version with a few minor changes to accommodate and even work around the mouse-driven interface of a computer compared to the iPhone’s touchscreen. For example, you can just start typing to create a new list or add a new item to an existing list and to create a new item in between other existing items in a list, you can just hover and click in between them to insert the new item in that spot.
Here’s a video overview I recorded of Clear for Mac in action:
You couldn’t tell in the video, but navigating through Clear is easy with a mouse and keyboard but really shines with a trackpad on a laptop or if you have a Magic Trackpad or even a Magic Mouse for your desktop Mac. The swiping and pinching gestures these devices allow you to use are what keep the spirit of the iPhone version of Clear alive on the Mac. It’s not exactly the same but it’s still enjoyable and unique compared to most desktop apps where pointing and clicking rules the day.
Like the iPhone version, there are several color themes to choose from. In the iPhone version, you can unlock bonus themes by installing and using other selected apps (Tweetbot, Temple Run, and others) or doing certain things (using Clear for 7 days straight or between 12:00 am and 3:00am) and these bonus themes sync over to the Mac version accordingly. Clear for Mac also has the same cute sound effects as the iPhone version though you can elect to turn them off if you want.
I’ve been using Clear for Mac for about a week now and the only issue I’ve found is that it’s a little too easy to create lists and new items or navigate to lists I don’t mean to when using a mouse. I often scroll up or down too far, which will prompt the creation of a new list when I’m in the Lists view or a new item when I’m within a list. Other than this, Clear for Mac is just as functional and almost as fun to use as the iPhone version. The iCloud synchronization between the Mac and iPhone versions has worked very quickly and reliably in the short time it’s been available (the iPhone version was just updated yesterday to add iCloud synchronization in time for today’s Mac version release) though it’s not all unicorns and sunshine for everyone and Realmac has posted a troubleshooting support page if you’re seeing slow syncs.
Clear for Mac hit the Mac App Store last night and it’s on sale at a special introductory price of $6.99 through
Monday, November 12 Sunday, November 11. After this it will go up to its regular price of $14.99 so mash that Buy Now button below before the price goes up. It’s a worthy purchase, particularly if you already have Clear for iPhone.