A Wall Street Journal article claims that Apple intends to introduce a personal writing app at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. All iPhones running iOS 17 will come with the app preloaded, and it will be tightly integrated with the user’s phone’s contacts, location services, and other features.
The Wall Street Journal based its report on an analysis of project-related internal Apple materials. Apple plans to sell the program, currently under development under the codename “Jurassic,” as a mental health aid, citing research showing that regular journaling helps lessen depressive and anxious symptoms.
As part of its efforts in the market for mental and physical health technology, Apple is creating an iPhone app that will allow users to assemble their daily activities, according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal. The program will compete in a market of so-called journaling apps, including Day One, which allow users to keep track of and log their thoughts and activities. The company’s expanding focus in mental health is shown by the latest Apple product.
With access to your contacts, location, exercises, and more, Jurassic (the name will undoubtedly be changed before launch) will be able to look at data stored locally on your phone to establish what a normal day looks like. When the app notices behavior that deviates from the expected course of events, it will suggest topics for users to journal about. Even more features include “All Day People Discovery,” which separates friends from coworkers based on the user’s proximity to them.
Other journaling choices on the iPhone may find it challenging to compete with the app due to its level of interaction with other preinstalled apps and user data. The popular third-party iPhone journaling software Day One, which was purchased by Auttomatic in 2021, was founded by Paul Mayne, who is quoted in the WSJ article.
Mayne articulates the dissatisfaction of several app developers who have been let down by Apple’s introduction of internal competitors to the apps they have introduced to the ecosystem, frequently stealing features those apps innovated and introducing functionality that only Apple can provide in accordance with the iPhone’s privacy and security policies and APIs.
According to Apple’s documentation for Jurassic, which is careful to place user privacy and security at the center of the design, the majority or all of the user-tracking data the app uses will remain locally on each user’s iPhone and, at least in some circumstances, will not be retained for longer than a few weeks.
Apple’s privacy-focused policies and rhetoric appear altruistic since the company has already made money while pushing pro-privacy measures. However, the rules give Apple benefits that go beyond content users: they make the company stand out from competitors like Google and Meta in the fight for public opinion in marketing and public relations, and they stop third-party apps from having as much access to user data as Apple does.
When Apple wants to replace or compete with a third-party program, it might occasionally have more access to user data to power features than those third-party developers.
Whether Apple will charge for the software was not stated in the materials that the Journal’s reporters saw.