At the recent WWDC, Apple introduced the iOS 17 Journal app, drawing interest but not released with the official iOS 17 or iPhone 15. The app finally emerged in iOS 17.2 beta 1, providing a peek into its features.
Journaling is linked to mental health benefits, including stress reduction and aiding in managing anxiety and depression. Apple’s Journal app simplifies the process, encouraging users to note down thoughts and memories while offering writing prompts to inspire daily entries.
Here’s a breakdown of what the Journal app offers and how it functions. Note that my review is based on iOS 17.2 beta 1, so there might be changes in the final version.
Understanding the Journal App
Journal allows users to write entries and insert multimedia content like images and videos. Entries are stored locally on the iPhone, with an option for iCloud backups. The app offers prompts, called Reflections, providing topic ideas for entries. Additionally, it can access data to suggest writing material based on user activities, although users can control what data the app accesses.
Apple emphasizes security, claiming end-to-end encryption between the device and iCloud. Data remains on the user’s iPhone. The app offers privacy features, such as requiring FaceID or passcode after a period of inactivity.
Writing an Entry in Journal
Creating an entry is simple. Users can access recent entries or start a new one by tapping the plus sign. The app suggests reflections or moments from the day to write about. Users can also start an entry without suggestions, typing thoughts or adding content like photos or voice notes. Editing and updating entries are easy tasks.
Setting Reminders for Journaling
The app allows users to set reminders for journaling. The Schedule feature in Settings enables users to schedule reminders, although this feature might have some notification bugs in the beta version.
Availability and Future Plans
Apple’s Journal app is expected to launch later this year, potentially with the release of iOS 17.2. While no official release date has been announced, Journal was part of the iOS 17.2 beta, indicating its inclusion in the public update. Furthermore, Apple introduced the Journals Suggestion API for third-party journaling apps.
The Journal app promises to bring the benefits of journaling to the fingertips of iPhone users and may provide an avenue for developers to integrate these features into their apps through the API.