Apple has released the iOS 17.2 Developer Beta, which includes a new app called Journal. Journal is a secure and private app that lets users capture their thoughts, text, photos, videos, and audio in a digital journal (digital dairy).
How Journal works
Journal uses on-device intelligence to provide suggestions for journal entries based on the user’s activities from their iPhone, such as calls, workouts, travel, and more. Users can choose to add these suggestions to their Journal or create their own entries from scratch.
Journal also integrates with other apps, such as Photos, Safari, or Messages, allowing users to share content directly to Journal. Users can also set up reminders to make journaling a habit and use prompts to inspire them to write about their feelings, goals, memories, gratitude, and more.
Journal privacy and security
Journal is designed with privacy and security in mind. The app can be locked separately using Face ID or Touch ID, preventing unauthorized access to the user’s journal. The Journal is also fully encrypted and inaccessible to even Apple when the phone is backed up to iCloud.
Additionally, suggestions for journal entries are processed on the device and do not become part of the Journal app until the user adds them. This ensures that the user’s data is not sent to Apple or any third-party service.
How Journal supports third-party apps
Apple is also launching a Journal Suggestions API for third-party journal apps to utilize suggestions. This will allow developers to create their own journal apps that can offer suggestions based on the user’s activities and data from their iPhone.
How Journal differs from other apps
Journal is not the first app that allows users to record their life on their iPhone. There are many other journal apps available on the App Store, such as Day One, Momento, or Journey. However, Journal has some unique features and limitations that set it apart from other apps.
One of the main features of Journal is that it offers suggestions based on the user’s activities and data from their iPhone. This makes journaling easier and more fun for users who may not know what to write about or who may forget to journal regularly.
Another feature of Journal is that it prioritizes privacy and security, with the ability to lock it separately using Face ID or Touch ID and encrypt it fully on iCloud. This gives users peace of mind that their journal is safe and private.
However, Journal also has some limitations that may disappoint some users. One of the limitations is that it is currently iPhone-only and does not support iPad or Mac. This means that users cannot access or edit their journal on other devices or sync it across platforms.
Another limitation of Journal is that it is not very searchable, lacking keyword search or transcribed audio recordings. This means that users cannot easily find or review their past entries by topic or content.
A third limitation of Journal is that it does not reflect edits to original photos and videos in associated Journal entries. This means that if a user edits a photo or video after adding it to their Journal, the changes will not show up in their Journal entry.
When will Journal App be available?
Journal is one of the new features that will be included in iOS 17.2, which also brings new features for Apple Music subscribers, such as spatial audio and lossless streaming. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public by the end of the year. If you’re desperate to try it now, you can install the developer beta on your iPhone 15.
Journal was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2023 in June, along with other updates for iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15.