I tried the iPhone’s new Journal app. Here’s what’s good (an…

Apple Journal app on iPhone 15 Pro.
Prakhar Khanna /

Apple’s Journal app in iOS 17 is like a basic notetaking app supercharged with AI. It provides prompts and suggestions based on what you do throughout the day to help you journal your daily entries.

While the app is a basic white screen with a “+” icon, it’s what happens after you tap that icon that sets it apart from Notes or other journaling apps. I’ve been using the app for some time now, and although it’s not perfect, it’s a really interesting start.

Using iOS 17’s Journal App

Journal app for iOS 17.

Once you tap the “+” button, the Journal app offers a list of prompts called Reflections that you can write about. Some reflections I’m looking for right now are, “Write about a time you achieved something special and how it affected you” or “Write about an artistic or other creative activity you enjoyed as a child Was.”

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These are conscious reflections that you can think about and write about. He helped me uncover my thoughts by writing about things I might not have initially thought of writing about. For example, the first – writing about a specific thing that happened to me – was a great way to divert my mind from chaotic thoughts to a more meaningful, feel-good memory. It can definitely help you be mindful and practice gratitude.

Ideas are mixed with suggestions based on what you did throughout the day. It relies on Apple’s “Moments” feature to access your data – like where you’ve been, photos and videos you’ve clicked, your FaceTime calls, etc. Apple lets you choose what data you want to share with the app, so if you don’t say ‘I don’t want it to have access to something,’ it won’t happen. These include Activity, Media, Contacts, Photos, and Important Places.

This data is private and stored on the device (except for journal backups on iCloud, which are not local but encrypted). The company says, “With the ability to lock your Journal using end-to-end encryption and iCloud syncing, your entries stay up to date, and no one can access your Journal except you – not even Apple.” “

There are a lot of promises in the suggestions

Apple Journal app prompt.
apple journal app prompt Prakhar Khanna /

The suggestion is a smart idea, but it needs better execution as it has been hit or miss for me. There are three lines of suggestions between the two images. For me, it has happened many times that these three lines are filled with exactly the same suggestions (photos and videos) between two images. Then, after that second reflection, I see the same suggestions again in the three lines before the third reflection. It clutters the experience. Notably, the app is still in beta, and I hope it will be improved in the stable version.

These suggestions have not been good for me either. I wanted to write about a call I had with someone, but it wasn’t visible on the app. Instead, it involved a call that was unimportant to me. I’m not sure what’s taking this into account, but I feel like I need to train my phone to understand it better, which is not something I’m looking forward to doing. This doesn’t include people you call frequently, which makes sense. But there may be times when you have had a long call with your favorite contact that you want to write about but it won’t appear on the journal suggestions; At least it’s not for me.

But when the suggestions work, they serve as great points to consider at the end of the day. For example, I went to meet my friend after a long time; We didn’t click any photos, but it remembered my location and prompted me to write about it, which is awesome. This helped me remember a memory, think deeply about it, and reflect on it.

The Suggestions API for Moments is also available for other third-party apps. It will be interesting to see how other apps integrate the suggestion API. And I was hoping that if I chose “Show this person less” in Memories, it wouldn’t show that person in suggestions – it hasn’t happened yet, but it didn’t work seamlessly for me until now. Is.

When tapping “New Entry,” you can choose to type your journal entries and select a photo (from the gallery or a new one), add a sound note, and add your location to it. I usually use it when I see a quote or sentence in a book and think about it. For example, I’ll click a picture of the page with the sentence highlighted and then proceed to add my thoughts about it. I find it greatly improves my book reading experience, which can also be done on Notes. But sometimes, I don’t want to type and instead record my thoughts in voice memo format, which can’t be done on Notes.

Apple lets you add push notification reminders if you have a specific time when you would like to be reminded to add a journal entry. I’ve added it for 8pm daily, but it only works sometimes. I don’t get push notifications every day, and as a result, I forget to add an entry. I hope this is a bug that will be fixed in the stable version. While the Journal app displays a splash screen for scheduling when you first open it, you can set up push notification reminders by going to Adjustment , magazine , journaling Schedule,

You can also lock the Journal app with Face ID or a passcode. You also have the option to set the app to require your Face ID or passcode after one, five, or 15 minutes of inactivity.

Journal app is off to a good start

Apple Journal app page on iPhone 15 Pro.
Prakhar Khanna /

The Journal app isn’t as sophisticated as you’d expect from an Apple app, but that’s understandable since it’s still in beta. It’s a smart and worthwhile idea, but it doesn’t exist yet. I hope the suggestions will improve and Reflections will continue its work while bugs are fixed before the full release. Overall, I like the idea of ​​using Moments on my iPhone and presenting them in a way that will help me be mindful of those memories while also providing prompts that will help me be more grateful. .

For now, the Apple Journal app is available on iOS 17.2 beta. It was released with Beta 1 late last month. However, the company has not yet revealed the release date of the app, and the website still says it is “coming later this year.” However, the journal suggestions API is already available for third-party apps like Reflectly and Day One.

Apple’s Journal app may not be a home run just yet, but it’s a promising start — and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

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