Tech giant addresses user mental health with new app..
Journaling has been shown to improve mental health and physical wellness. For many, the act of journaling provides a place to vent, explore ideas, and reflect on life. With the net benefits of journaling, it only makes sense that app developers would hone in on this need, and that digital journals would be popular in the app store. As they continue to expand their presence in the wellness technology marketplace, Apple Inc. is reported to be developing a journaling software to compete with other popular journaling apps like Day One and Daylio. In a set of documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has outlined that their journaling software (codenamed: “Jurassic”) will include ways for users to track their daily lives, provide insightful writing prompts, and even give users a better understanding of their social habits.
There are some critics of Apple, however, that have taken a “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach and condemned Apple for failing to partner with one of the many already popular journaling apps. This is especially the case after many such companies have reported that Apple reached out to them and then ghosted them at the negotiation table. This practice is not new, however, nor is it even unique to Apple. It is not uncommon for major tech giants to participate in a practice called “Sherlocking”. Sherlocking allows smaller, independent developers to function as a litmus test for the potential of successful apps and ideas. Once larger developers get an idea of what “works”, they develop their own, similar, free version of the app and effectively choke the smaller developers out of the market. While there is no word yet as to if Apple will provide this journaling app as a part of their free, preinstalled base of apps, it seems likely.
With the app likely to appear as a preinstalled program, there have been some questions as to how far integrated this app is with the other functions of the device, and how safe the sensitive information tracked in the journal actually is. That being said, Apple has assured that its commitment to user privacy is stronger than ever before, and especially so when pertaining to an app as sensitive as this. Apple has assured its user base that this app will store most of its collected data in-app and that a majority of the data collected will be destroyed after a set period of time. Apple has boasted the data collection capabilities of this project, saying that the app will very likely include a feature called “All Day People Discovery” which tracks user proximity to others, identifies them and their relation to the user, and then logs how much time they spend together. What other surprises Apple has in store for this app have yet to be announced.
While the development of this mental health app is still in the works, there are many waiting with baited breath to see how project “Jurassic” will stand up to the already beloved journaling apps on the market today. At the forefront of those waiting are the independent journaling app developers; waiting to see what Apple comes up with, and whether or not they will still have a place on the market once the software rolls out.