According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to reveal a new personal journaling app at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. This app will come pre-installed on all iPhones running iOS 17 and will offer deep integration with a user’s phone, including location services, contacts, and more.
The information provided by WSJ regarding the upcoming personal journaling app from Apple is based on an analysis of internal documents related to the product. The app, code-named “Jurassic,” is expected to be marketed as a mental health tool, with Apple citing research that suggests regular journaling can have a positive impact on depression and anxiety.
The aim of the app is to promote mental health, as research has shown that regular journaling can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The app will be able to analyze user data to determine what a typical day looks like, including workout routines, location, and more, and make recommendations to the user on what they might want to journal about, particularly when it detects behavior outside of the user’s normal routine.
One interesting feature of the app is the “All Day People Discovery” function, which tracks the user’s proximity to others and distinguishes between work colleagues and friends. This deep integration with other pre-installed apps and user data could make it challenging for other journaling options on the iPhone to compete.
The WSJ report includes quotes from Paul Mayne, the founder of the popular third-party iPhone journaling app Day One, which was acquired by Automatic in 2021. Mayne suggests that the app’s integration with user data could be both a benefit and a drawback, as some users may be hesitant to use an app that accesses and analyzes their personal information.
Overall, the new personal journaling app from Apple has the potential to be a significant addition to the iPhone’s native app lineup, particularly for users who are looking for a mental health tool that can help them cope with the stresses of daily life.
iOS 17’s Journaling App May Hurt Third-Party Devs
Paul Mayne, the founder of the third-party journaling app Day One, shares the same concern as many other app developers who have had their ideas replicated by Apple. They express frustration when Apple releases its own competing apps, which often include features that the original apps introduced to the ecosystem, as well as additional functionality that only Apple can provide due to the privacy and security policies and APIs of the iPhone.
In other words, the app will mostly use locally stored user tracking data, which may not be retained for more than a few weeks in some cases. This approach reflects Apple’s commitment to pro-privacy policies, which also serve the company in two key ways: differentiation from competitors like Google and Meta in marketing and public relations, and limiting third-party app access to user data. This app’s focus on mental health, with the ability to recommend journaling topics based on user behavior, is a unique offering in the crowded iPhone app ecosystem, which may make it difficult for third-party journaling apps to compete.
When Apple competes with third-party apps by introducing its own app, it can potentially have more access to user data to power its features compared to those third-party developers. This puts third-party developers at a disadvantage when trying to compete with Apple’s pre-installed apps on the iPhone.
It is currently unclear whether Apple plans to charge for Jurassic, as the documents seen by the Journal’s reporters did not provide information about pricing. However, based on Apple’s previous business practices, it is unlikely that the app will be offered as a premium download or supported by ads. Apple has charged users recurring subscription fees for some of its features and services in the past, so it is possible that Jurassic may also have a subscription model.
Regardless of the pricing model, it is clear that Apple is taking user privacy and security seriously with the design of Jurassic. The app will use data stored locally on each user’s iPhone, and most or all of the user tracking data will not be retained for more than a few weeks. This approach aligns with Apple’s commitment to pro-privacy policies and messaging, which not only benefit its customers but also help differentiate the company from its competitors in marketing and public relations.
The keynote event for the unveiling of iOS 17 is scheduled to take place on June 5th during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2023. Developers and tech enthusiasts alike will be eagerly anticipating the keynote to see what new innovations and improvements Apple has in store for iOS 17. Apple is also expected to launch the long awaited AR/VR headset aka Reality Pro headset at the keynote.