Clear and Paper

In my last post I talked a bit about how I was disappointed by Sparrow for iOS because I had seen the same interactions in other apps. Now I want to point out two apps that really wow’d me, Clear and Paper.

Clear might not tackle as ambitious a problem as email, but what’s great about this list manager are all the little bits of joy it rewards users with using sound and movement. Clear really packed their app chock full of new gestures and ways to interact with iOS tables (lists). Each gesture has a direct, functional outcome, and the apps rewards users by using delightful sounds. The sounds remind me a lot of playing Super Mario World as a little kid.

Paper, which was released this past week also impresses me because it’s unlike any sketching or painting app on the App Store. Having a responsive ink system, and the perfect balance of tools and colors make it the most accessible art app I’ve ever used. Even trying to categorize Paper is difficult; it’s hard to say if Paper is for sketching, creating outlines, or for painting. Paper really does it all.

Paper really impresses once you get to the canvas. Compared to other drawing apps, Paper’s gestures feel very organic and natural. There’s never any fussing around with the app or any need to learn complex tools, brushes or swatches. Using gestures for control also lets Paper use the entire screen as a canvas.

What also makes Paper so special are all the awesome sketches users have been making with the app and sharing since it was released. Paper’s developers, Fifty Three, have a blog where they showcase some of those sketches. I haven’t seen this done with any other app.


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