Day One further sets itself apart from Apple's Journal app by adding a new Shared Journals feature on iPhone and iPad

Day One on Mac
(Image credit: Automattic)

Following the addition of Apple's Journal app in iOS 17.2 some had wondered whether the demand for third-party journaling apps would start to wane. But that doesn't seem to have been the case thanks in part to the way app developers have continued to add new features the likes of which the Journal app can't quite compete with. At least, not yet.

Apple's Journal app is a relatively barebones effort right now and while that could change in the future, its biggest benefit right now is the Journaling Suggestions API that allows other apps to offer ideas for new journal entries based on music someone listened to, where they went, photos they took, and more. One of the apps that jumped on the Journaling Suggestions API is Day One, a stalwart of the App Store. And now it's added a big new feature that could be even more important.

That new feature is Shared Journals and it does exactly what it might sound like it does. When enabled, the feature allows people to share their journals with friends and family with everything protected by end-to-end encryption.

Share and share alike

In a blog post announcing Shared Journals, Day One's developers detailed that shared and private journals are always kept separate so there is no commingling of entries, something that could be vital to ensuring the right entries are shared. " No entry in a private journal will ever be shareable, only entries created in a Shared Journal," the blog post explains.

The post also confirms that each shared journal can be shared with up to 30 members, including the owner. That certainly sounds like plenty even for the largest of families.

Most interesting is the addition of comments and reactions, a feature that will allow people to "leave comments and reactions on Shared Journal entries, adding an additional layer of interactivity to shared stories and experiences." That's something that turns each shared journal entry into something communicative and allows people to share their own thoughts. The example given in Day One's promotional video for Shared Journals shows a family sharing media and entries as their child grows and then leaving comments to discuss milestones and that's a great example of how shared journals could be a huge boon for Day One users.

There are, however, a couple of catches. Those who want to make use of Day One will need to be using the latest version of the app on the iPhone and iPad, while the web version of Day One also supports Shared Journals. There's no mention of the iPad app right now, however, and we have to assume that will change in the future.

The biggest catch for some people will no doubt be the requirement for a Day One Premium account. Such an account comes with a free one-month trial and costs $34.99 per year. The Day One Premium account does include additional features beyond Shared Journals however including unlimited journals, multiple-device syncing, an Instagram importer, and more. You'll also get a 25% discount on printing books created from your journals, too.

If you already have Day One installed on your iPhone or iPad you can update to the latest version now while those who are starting afresh can download the app for free from the App Store.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Annie_M
    I've been using Apple's Journal App, and am enjoying it. I've always wanted to journal, but never have gotten around to it or managed to journal regularly. Having an app on my phone is convenient. It's my opinion that most journals are meant to be private. I can't see myself sharing mine, but if someone wants to share their journal with others, so be it. And for those who want to share journals, Day One might be perfect for them. I on the other hand am quite satisfied with Apple's Journal app.