KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 — Apple's new Journal app is a simple one that lets you, well, journal.

I've used a fair amount of Journal apps including the popular Day One and Moleskine's digital notebooks but like I do with stationery, I collect the apps but am not always motivated to use them.

Why would Apple launch Journal when there are already plenty of journaling/diary apps? It's certainly not a replacement as its featureset is fairly bare.

No fancy covers or layouts here, opening Journal gives you just a “+” button and you're then left to add your posts with the option of just plain text or addition of media such as photos, voice notes or even locations.


Stuck on inspiration? The app also prompts you, suggesting you write about specific memories or media that inspired you as well as other suggestions.

I'm used to Apple's Photos app randomly generating suggested albums, memories and slideshows but I'm not quite as used to the “smart” prompts for journaling that even includes “helpful” suggestions to write about that trip I made to a mall.

Still, it's a fairly versatile use of the app. Instead of a diary, you could use it to record cafe trips or travel experiences though therein lies one limitation of the app ― that you can't neatly put them into folders or categories, or even have more than one Journal at a time.


At best you can view entries by “entries” or “photos”. Still, at least you won't have to pay extra for encryption or added security.

Handing your phone to a family member to play mobile games won't mean allowing them access to your Journal as it will require security authentication to access. Unless of course it's your identical twin who will (probably) be able to pass a FaceID check but that's a whole other story.

Is it worth the download? It's free, easy to use and locked down to your phone so if you're not someone who needs custom covers and other tweaks you get from physical or journaling apps then it's a simple, fuss-free journal app.

However if you like all the bells and whistles that come with journals, you can consider DayOne or the cross-platform app Diarium.

To try the new Journal app you should be on the latest version of iOS, iOS 17.2 and it is available on any phone that supports it.