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Apple’s Journal App Might Just Drink Day One’s Milkshake

Apple has a new app inside iOS 17.2. It’s called Journal and as the name suggests, it is all about journaling. But what does this mean for popular apps like Day One and Diarium? Let’s unpack the news and find out…



TL;DR 📝

  • Apple’s Journal App in iOS 17.2: Free, integrated, syncs across devices, and packed with features.
  • Day One App: Offers unique features but at a cost of $34.99/year.
  • Apple’s new app might challenge the market position of established journaling apps like Day One.
  • For serious journaling enthusiasts, the comprehensive features of Day One might still hold appeal.
  • The future of third-party journaling apps is uncertain with Apple’s entry into the space.

For as long as I can remember, there has been a quietly thriving app niche in the App Store. Headed by the ultra-popular Day One app, the journaling section of the App Store might not be massive. But for the big players – like Day One – it is fairly lucrative. 

But with the release of iOS 17.2 and its native journaling app, Journal, this quiet little corner of the App Store might just have been scorched to death. 

“We are excited to bring the benefits of journaling to more people,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Journal makes it easy to preserve rich and powerful memories, and practice gratitude by intelligently curating information that is personal to the user, right from their iPhone. And we’re making it possible for other journaling apps to offer the same personalized suggestions while maintaining the highest level of privacy.”

Apple

Apple’s Journal app is free, it’s built directly into iOS 17.2, and it syncs across devices. And if that wasn’t enough to whet your digital whistle, it comes packed with all the features you’d want and expect from a journaling app. 

Apple’s Journal App Features 

Apple’s Journal App Might Just Drink Day One's MilkshakePin
  • 🤳 Journal offers a unique feature to help users write journal entries with ease, allowing the inclusion of pictures, videos, and other content, stored locally and on iCloud.
  • 🤔 The app provides Reflections or prompts, giving users ideas to write about, based on personal experiences and daily activities.
  • 🔐 Apple emphasizes strong privacy and security in Journal, with end-to-end encryption and on-device processing for journaling suggestions.
  • ✍️ Writing in Journal is user-friendly, offering a straightforward interface for creating entries, including suggested Reflections and personal moments.
  • 🛎️ Users can set reminders to maintain a regular journaling schedule, ensuring consistent use of the app.

Which begs the question: why would you pay for an app like Day One anymore? If you can get something for free and it does all the same stuff as something you used to pay for, surely you’d be a mug to continue paying for it? 

Apple’s Journal App vs Day One App

Most people simply wouldn’t which effectively scuppers any potential future growth for these third-party iPhone journaling apps. 

Or does it? Perhaps Journal by Apple isn’t quite as feature-rich as Day One or many of the other third-party journaling apps currently available inside the App Store. 

I tested out a bunch of journaling apps a couple of years ago for KYM’s Best Journaling / Diary iPhone Apps round-up. I tested a bunch of them and Day One was the best, the most comprehensive, and the most well designed of the lot. 

Day One Features

Apple’s Journal App Might Just Drink Day One's MilkshakePin

It is also packed with useful features, stuff you might not get inside Journal. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the cool stuff Day One does (inside its paid-for tier): 

  • 📘 Simple, beautiful design with unlimited text entries and powerful formatting options.
  • 🛡️ High privacy and security with end-to-end encryption, passcode, and biometric security.
  • 🌐 Accessible on multiple platforms, including iPhone, Android, Mac, and web (beta).
  • 📸 Enhanced memory preservation with unlimited photo and video entries, plus Instagram Importer.
  • ✍️ Flexible entry options including handwritten notes, voice transcription, and audio recordings.
  • 🔄 Seamless syncing across devices and easy entry via email, browser extensions, and Apple Watch.
  • 🔍 Efficient organization and retrieval with tags, favorites, search filters, and a map view.
  • 📅 Encourages consistent journaling with calendar view, reminders, and community engagement.
  • 🤖 Integration with IFTTT applets and Shortcuts for automated data import and journaling ease.
  • 📚 Options for printing high-quality books of journal entries.

Is Day One better than Apple’s Journal app? It certainly has more features baked into it, and some them – IFTTT support and the ability to print high-quality books of your entries – are not just unique but really rather useful. 

Day One even does a free version too, but it lacks nearly all of the cool functionality and useful features that you get in the paid version. How much is the paid version of Day One? It costs $34.99 per year. 

Day One is platform agnostic too which means you can use on iPhone, on Android, on your PC, or you Mac. Whereas with Journal by Apple, like most things in Apple’s world, you’ll be limited to using Journal inside the balmy climes of Apple’s walled-garden. 

For the serious journaling enthusiast, who, for whatever reason, doesn’t use an actual, physical journal, apps like Day One will almost certainly continue to flourish, providing they can keep one-upping Apple’s Journal app which, at the moment, Day One in particular does with ease. 

Apple’s Journal App Might Just Drink Day One's MilkshakePin

The problem for apps like Day One, 5 Minute Journal, and Diarium is that most people that want to try their hand at journaling will almost certainly try it first inside Apple’s Journal app. 

And if they decide they like it and stick with it for a month or two, why would they want to switch to another platform? 

Journaling isn’t like the productivity tools niche, where new tools appear all the time with the promise of 10X’ing your workflows with new AI-powered voodoo. 

It’s the exact opposite: it is just a place to jot down your thoughts. It doesn’t require fancy bells and whistles. Hell, I know a couple of pro writers that do ALL their planning and plotting inside Apple’s Notes app! 

Do you journal? Would you switch from a paid app to Apple’s Journal? Let us know in the comments section below…

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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Sniff
2 months ago

While Apple’s Journal may indeed steal away new users, the lack of an import feature means it’s pretty much a no go for anyone who’s been keeping a journal for a while.

Neil
1 month ago

If I could import all my data from Day One I would use the free Apple Journal. I have almost 10 years worth of entries. Until then it’s a non starter.

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