Home Tech The World Doesn’t Need More Journal Apps

The World Doesn’t Need More Journal Apps

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The World Doesn’t Need More Journal Apps

You also don’t get any help selecting these photos. The company doesn’t use AI to recall or revive memories, like almost every other photo app does. “There’s a big difference between passive memories and actively capturing the moments that matter to you,” Retro founder Nathan Sharp said in an email.

Retro’s team consists of six former Instagrammers, and their original intention was to create a better Instagram, a place where you can share photos and comments with people you really care about. The Magazines feature extends this by allowing you to share that content with a larger group of people.

For example, if you are a parent, you can create a diary for each of your children. You can post photos in that diary and share them with grandparents. You can then share public links to that magazine via Instagram or Facebook. People you’re not friends with on Retro will see your diaries as curated photo albums.

“We wanted to emphasize the ongoing use case,” Sharp said. “This isn’t just a photo dump. This helps you build something that your future self can look back on.”

Shine’s use case is similar. It is aimed at people from multiple generations with different phones who want to collect photos on similar themes or events. (Even the seemingly old-fashioned color choice and app design seem like a conscious throwback to the past.) Let’s say you’re attending a baby shower. You can create an album for that baby shower and add photos via two separate modes. In Magic mode, Shine’s AI selects photos for you, or you can add photos manually. Then you can share that album with anyone you want, and they can add photos too.

As we discussed in our review of the feature, Apple’s Journal app also regularly asks you to write about your day. You can schedule reminders and enable prompts. You can paste photos, locations and voice memos. This feature is obviously only available on iPhones; plus, it’s not noticeably different from a few other, older apps that also offer journaling services (WIRED has a few other suggestions here). Apple is presenting the feature as part of its new suite of mental health services.

Paper trail

How to do you create or share memories? Like most people, I share my photos haphazardly: in photo batches sent to group chats in various messaging apps, in shared Google Photos folders, in Instagram posts, or occasionally in Story or Facebook Reel. It would be great if everyone I know could use the same app. Unfortunately, every person in my life also has other people in their lives, so I suspect this will end the same way as when everyone tried to force everyone else to use Slack, or Discord, or WhatsApp. I half-heartedly texted Retro invites to a few friends, but only got a disinterested “What is this?” in answer.

Sharp also suggested creating a private journal with my husband, but with a 6 and 9 year old, unfortunately we are too busy making memories to thoroughly document them (my husband also hates social media) . I scrolled back through our text messages looking for possible photos, but I really need to call in an AI to help me decide which of our constant back-and-forth of “Where are you guys?” gone?”, and “Did you get garlic bread?” moments are worth remembering.

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