In addition to improvements to Messages, Phone, and FaceTime, a revamped lock screen, and new accessibility features, iOS 17 brings a new app to be fully integrated into iPhones: Journal.
You can check here to see if your iPhone will be compatible with iOS 17.
What is Journal?
Journal allows iPhone users to log their daily activities, thoughts, and feelings into one app. Journal is Apple's initiative to use digital devices to maintain one's mental and physical health.
Journal's main allure is that it offers suggestions to the user to help them get started journaling, especially with an emphasis on expressing gratitude, according to Apple. Journal's suggestions encourage users to reflect on their day when the app detects that one specific day differs from most days.
Journal entries are on-device protected, end-to-end encrypted, and can be locked by the user to ensure privacy.
How is Journal different from Notes?
Many people use Notes on their iPhones to jot down their thoughts and feelings. And for particularly sensitive Notes, users can lock their Notes and only allow them to be unlocked with Face or Touch ID.
But Journal is different because it isn't only about writing down one's feelings. Journal is fully integrated into iPhone, meaning the app can access an iPhone's location and apps like Photos and Music.
Because Journal for iPhone can access iPhone features that other third-party journaling apps cannot, Journal can analyze what a typical day looks like for the user by harnessing location data to determine how much time the user spends at home.
With that information, Journal suggests journaling topics based on the user's day, especially if the app detects the user had a day out of the ordinary. If you visit a new place, Journal can analyze the photos you took or the music you listened to and offer prompts to help you reflect on your experience.
Users can share and collaborate on Notes, but Notes cannot interact with other pre-loaded iPhone apps like Journal. Journal acts like a personal diary, while Notes act as a notepad for less sensitive and personalized thoughts.
When will Journal be available?
Typically, Apple announces the next generation of iOS at WWDC in the summer, makes it available to its subscription-based Apple Developer Program, and then releases it to its Apple Beta Software Program to finally be released to the public sometime in September.
You could preview Journal if you sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. By signing up, you can download the latest version of iOS early while it's still in public beta testing. It's free to sign up, and you can report bugs and feedback to Apple to help make the software more enjoyable before public release.
Before downloading iOS 17 beta, back up everything on your device. Sometimes when iOS software is in beta, apps don't work correctly, and there could be security issues. If iOS 17 beta gives you too much trouble, you can always downgrade to the previous iOS version.