Impending’s “Clear” List App Relaunched for iOS

Way back in 2012, a much simpler time, a team of developers at Impending released a to-do list app called Clear, which had a delightfully and addictively simple-to-use interface. There were no buttons, no complicated filing structures, no tagging elements… only touch gestures like swiping and pinching (and typing, of course) and that signature “heat map” color gradient.


It was almost magical.

Unfortunately, the app was mostly abandoned after a few years, with only sporadic updates and an increasingly broken sync protocol based on outdated code.

Then in May 2023, the app’s co-creator Phill Ryu sent out an email newsletter inviting people to test a brand-new beta version of Clear!

Thank you, truly and from the bottom of our hearts, for your interest in Clear’s future and love for our little listing app. We’re still shocked we’re writing our first newsletter email to over ten thousand of you!

We’re feeling fired up right now to ship something deserving. Something that only further distills and expands on our app’s charmingly simple and joyful take on listing.

The new Clear must excite you for it to have any chance at all in today’s App Store, and while we have some work ahead of us to wrap it up for release, we’re shooting for something love worthy… swoon worthy even. It has to confidently re-secure its place on your iPhone’s home screen for the next decade to come.

I eagerly followed along with the beta’s development as updates dropped over the next several months, up until about a week ago when the new version was officially released on the iOS App Store.


With Clear 2 I feel like I’ve gone back in time, in the best way. Just about everything I loved about the original app is here — minus cloud sync for the time being, which I’m okay with since I mainly interact with it on iPhone alone — and I’m having a great time making simple lists like the old days.


Left: “Luminova” theme

Right: “Heatmap” theme

As always, Clear is ideal for to-dos, grocery lists, and random things you want to keep track of. It’s not a productivity app per se, just an easy way to jot down thoughts and tasks, then mark them off as needed (or don’t).

Longtime users will notice how much more customizable the app is now, with a ton of new color palettes, icons, and sound packs to play around with, some of which were automatically unlocked for early adopters and the rest of which will come from the in-app shop, where each theme will run you $3.


Left: “Tasty Taffy” theme

Right: “Cotton Candy” theme

These paid themes are how the app now intends to support its existence. There’s no monthly subscription, no app download fee…in fact, Clear is now free for everyone to use, with the cosmetics being optional purchases you can make to help the devs keep going. ☄️☑️