Apple debuts Journal app with iOS 17.2 beta

Oct 27, 2023

Apple has begun seeding iOS 17.2 beta to developers and users in the testing program. The update introduces the much-awaited Journal app.

In case you missed it, Apple revealed the Journal app at the WWDC 2023 event, when it announced iOS 17. However, the app was not part of the operating system when it was released last month.

Apple readies Journal app for iOS 17.2

The Cupertino company has finally brought the app as part of the iOS 17.2 beta update. Apple's Journal app has been designed to help users keep an eye on their mental health and well-being. It will display prompts to focus on gratitude, kindness, purpose, etc.

Apple says that the app will display journaling suggestions based on how you use your iPhone. These suggestions are powered by on-device intelligence, aka machine learning. Users will be able to tailor the suggestions according to their preferences. Users can write in the journal to record their daily experiences like a real diary, but the app offers a richer experience as it lets you add photos, videos, audio recordings, places to your entries. The Journal app will also suggest moments from your activity such as workouts, vacations, group outings, photos and media, etc., to give you an idea about something to write about.

Apple readies Journal app for iOS 17.2

Apple says that the entries in the Journal app are protected with your iPhone's passcode, FaceID, and Touch ID. This will prevent other users from accessing your journal. The data is synced securely with iCloud. Even the suggestions that the app displays are private, and the only data that is shared with the app is the one that you select.

While that sounds impressive, early reports from users who have tested the app say that the current state of the Journal app offers a very bare-bones experience, and that it doesn't support tags (by people, places, food, etc.). This is quite surprising as even the Notes app has tags which allow you to organize your documents quite easily. That said, you can bookmark entries in the Journal app, to find them quickly.

What is even more odd is that Journal appears to be exclusive to iPhone for now, it is not available on iPadOS yet. And Apple has not mentioned whether it will bring the app to macOS. This is rather strange, because one of the key features in iPadOS 17 was the inclusion of the Health app (previously exclusive to iOS), and Apple had specifically highlighted the importance of tracking one's health across multiple devices. So why is the Journal app only available on iOS? 9to5Mac reports that there is some leftover code that suggests Apple is working on the app for the other two platforms, but it is unlikely to be available on either one next month.

The Journal app has already been listed on the App Store, and the compatibility section on the pages says that it requires iOS 17.2 or later. Speaking of which, iOS 17.2 will be released at the end of November. Since it is a completely free-to-use app, Journal could have a big impact on third-party apps like DayOne that charge users a monthly subscription fee.

Apple debuts Journal app with iOS 17.2 beta
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Apple debuts Journal app with iOS 17.2 beta
Apple has launched the Journal app as part of iOS 17.2 beta.
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