Apple’s Journal app for iPhone: What it is, how it works, and what makes it interesting

With the iOS 17.2 Beta 1 update, Apple launched its Journal app for iPhone. This new place to write about your day, post a picture of a good memory, or just capture a fun moment, is the most talked-about part of the update. So, what makes it special? Know about it all.

| Updated on: Nov 04 2023, 12:03 IST
Journal app
Know all about the Journal app which has launched for iPhone. (Apple)
Journal app
Know all about the Journal app which has launched for iPhone. (Apple)

The iOS 17.2 beta 1 was released on October 27, and along with it came the highly anticipated Journal app, first teased at the Apple WWDC event. This is the first time Apple has introduced a dedicated first-party journaling app on the iPhone. So, people who used to scribble on third-party apps like Evernote or the Notes app finally have a place where they can write about their day, favorite memories, or a moment they want to remember. The Journal app also allows users to add photos, videos, voice recordings, locations, and much more. So, let us take a look at the Journal app and see what it is all about.

The Journal app

Journalling is gaining popularity these days and for the right reasons. A 2006 study found that writing in a journal can be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy when it comes to reducing the risk of depression in young adults. Numerous studies have also shown that regular journal writing can reduce the frequency of depressive thoughts, and improve overall mental health.

But journalling in a notebook can be cumbersome for many, as it would require maintaining and replenishing the physical journal, and carrying it everywhere you go. That's why digital journaling has become the go-to for many people. And what can be more convenient than keeping a digital journal on your phone, that you carry everywhere?

This is where Apple's Journal app comes in, filling a much-needed void. And with its features, it allows different kinds of users to journal in the medium they are most comfortable in.

Journal app features

While traditionalists can focus on writing journals they way they are used to, those not inclined towards writing can instead post pictures or a video to capture the moments and reflect back upon them later. Others, who prefer to speak instead of writing can also make entries with voice recordings that can be played back. And further, users can also add location tags to attach an entry to a specific location.

But that is just scratching the surface of everything this Journal app can do. Users will also see the option to write theme-based journal entries. These themes can be based on a location you visited, a song you listened to, or photos that you clicked at a special place.

However, even this is not the greatest strength of the Journal app. What makes it stand out among many other such apps is its personalization capabilities. The Journal app comes with personalized suggestions based on what you do on your iPhone the most. It can be a particular location you visit every week, your workout routine, the podcast you listened to last, or your current favorite show on Apple TV+. These recommendations will be generated through on-device machine learning, and you can also select the category from which you prefer the suggestions to appear in the Journal app.

To help users feel inspired to make entries, the app will also give out prompts to make you think and help you write better. The prompts are divided into Recent and Reflections, where the former is based on an activity you did recently, and the latter is a deeper question meant to stir thoughts about yourself.

Apart from this, there are some quality-of-life features as well such as bookmarking entries, easy sharing from other Apple apps, filters, scheduling journal timing, and a lock for the Journal app to keep it secure.

The Journal app will be available to use once the iOS 17.2 stable version is released for the public.

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First Published Date: 04 Nov, 12:00 IST