February 24, 2012
Gesture-based to-do list app Clear has been downloaded more than 350,000 times, according to a report in the Guardian. This might not seem like a monumental feat, but when you consider that Clear has been available in the App Store for a mere nine days, that download mark cannot be easily shrugged off. "The launch day was massive," says Nik Fletcher, product manager of Clear co-creator Realmac Software, "and by Wednesday last week it was number one on App Stores around the world. It's been an incredible response." Given that the iPhone-only app is currently sold at an introductory price of $0.99, and that Apple is entitled to a proprietary 30% share, Clear has generated around $250,000 in revenue. That already impressive number can only increase as the app gains more positive feedback from both users and app reviewers like us here at AppAdvice. Fletcher adds that an update is in the works, although what that update exactly has in store is not yet revealed. I'm hoping it will at least include support for syncing via iCloud, so that to-do lists can be safely backed up and retrieved from another supported iOS device, which at the moment can only be either an iPhone or an iPod touch. Another bit of good news is that Realmac Software, together with Impending and Milen Dzhumerov, is planning on developing iPad and Mac versions of the app. In the weeks leading to its Feb. 14 launch, Clear enjoyed a level of hype that was arguably unprecedented for a simple task management app. Indeed, it was its distinct simplicity, more than its being a basic task manager, that earned for itself considerable pre-release recognition (and also "inspired" a shameless ripoff app). Clear has no UI chrome to speak of, no navigation buttons and function switches whatsoever. What it has going for it, what attracted customers toward purchasing it, is a unique set of gesture-driven controls, ranging from taps to swipes to pinches. Clearly, a little innovation can go a long way.