New Journaling App to Come Preinstalled on iPhones As Part of iOS 17

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Written By Daniel

Avid journal writer and founder of JOURNLING.

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A journaling app similar to the popular app Day One is expected to come preinstalled on all iPhones with the iOS 17 software update. Reports say it has the capacity to automatically track your location data and read data from all other apps. The Wall Street Journal cites internal Apple documents referencing a new journaling app code-named Jurassic.

Day One, the popular journaling app developed by Bloom Built Inc. is being “Sherlocked” – the term that describes a situation when Apple takes the features and functionalities of a popular app and integrates it into its own software.

It’s a very common business move. Amazon does it all the time. They monitor products that sell well on their shopping platform and once analytics indicates that a particular item sells X units, Amazon manufactures its own version of the product and sells it with top billing and Amazon search results.

I see this happen at Whole Foods Market and my local grocery store Publix all the time as well. Each store sells third party products until they can determine that a particular item is consistently popular and profitable, then it manufactures a version of its own. For Whole Foods, this is the 365 Brand. For Publix, it’s GreenWise.

I’ve been testing the Day One journaling app for the past several weeks and the review is coming very soon.

Will Day One survive?

At least for the short term, Day One is safe. This 9+ year old journaling app has 86,000+ ratings and a customer score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. It’s #118 in popularity in the Health and Fitness app category, is available in 25+ languages, and is the recipient of an Apple Editor’s Choice Award.

According to Editor’s Choice:

It’s hard to make the best even better, but the sequel to Day One lives up to expectations – and then some. The app keeps its interface streamlined but adds a wealth of new valuable features. Your journal entries contain all sorts of information – you can geolocate them, add tons of photos to each entry, and even see your day’s fitness activity…

Day One was given the design award in 2014, and it owes much of its growth and success to the attention Apple brought in. That attention lasted for six years, until some time in 2020, when it is thought Apple began design work on its own version.

Mock design of new Apple journal app by Parker Ortolani

Image by Parker Ortolani

What’s in it for Apple?

The question bound to come up is what’s in it for Apple? Why reinvent the wheel? A quick look at Day One’s premium model answers that question. Day One users pay $3.99/mo or $34.99/yr for premium features. So there’s a pretty little subscription model profit at stake.

Apple owns 56-57% of U.S. market share. There are roughly 257 million adults in the United States. If 120 million Americans have iPhones, and 1% of those users sign up for a premium journal features, you’re looking at $41M+ per year additional income.

I’m not suggesting that 1% of all iPhone users would pay for the premium features. But if 120 million Americans have the app auto-installed on their phone within the next year, it’s not hard to imagine.

typing a journal entry into an iPhone

My Take on the News

As an old school pen-and-book journaler, I never looked for a journaling app to replace my day to day act of cathartic writing. So the presence of the Apple journal app likely won’t change all that much for me personally. Like many iPhone and MacBook users, Apple Notes is the place I go to process thoughts, type email drafts, letters, notes from meetings, etc. I never thought of it as a diary, as I don’t intentionally share my feelings or the story of my life. It’s just a series of unrelated but very important notes.

I’ll give the free version of Apple journal a try, just as I have with Day One. It’s not that I don’t see the value in an indexable, searchable journal. But my reasons for not focusing my journal entries on a digital device are:

  1. I don’t want Apple to have a record of my innermost thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
  2. I don’t want any hacker capable of gaining access to my journal.
  3. I don’t want to type that much on my phone – I enjoy writing with a pen so much more.
  4. Like all things third-party, I don’t want Apple ever restricting my access behind a paywall.

I’m not telling anyone else how to approach journaling. To each their own. But for privacy’s sake, I would encourage you to think twice about what you write on any platform that can be both monitored or hacked.

Before you go…

What do you think? Are you excited, concerned, or indifferent to an Apple journal app?

If you use Day One or another smartphone journaling app, drop me a note in the comments, contact form, or on Twitter.