Apple Journal

By Mark Nuyens
5 min. read📱 Technology

Apple, the trillion-dollar tech giant, announced a new Journal app this week for their latest version of iOS and has left me wondering, once again, the company's true intentions. I can't help but ask myself if this is a genuine effort to address growing mental health concerns, or is there a more strategic motivation behind this move?

While Apple has developed other health-related apps in the past, like the Health app and Screen Time, I have often questioned their true purpose. Are these apps genuinely designed to help users stay physically and mentally healthy, or do they serve to further entrench users within Apple's ecosystem, making it difficult to switch to another brand without losing valuable, personal data in the process?

The story of the wealthy Belgian business man Eric Wittouck definitely offers an interesting parallel. Wittouck founded a sugar company called Tiense, and soon after a diet business called Weight Watchers. Just as Wittouck capitalized on both creating and solving a problem, Apple sells devices that contribute to screen addiction and mental health issues, and then offers the solution to the problem they helped create in the first place.

Apple's Journal app appears to serve multiple strategic purposes. Firstly, it enhances their reputation by offering health-related applications free of charge, distancing them from the negative image commonly associated with big tech companies these days. Secondly, it essentially shifts the responsibility of device usage onto the user, similar to Screen Time, implying that the solution to feeling bad is not to reduce screen time but to engage with the device even more, this time through a different app.

Thirdly, their Journal app can be seen as another attempt to tie customers to Apple's ecosystem. If users were to choose a journaling app that supports multiple platforms, they would have the freedom to take their data with them. By encouraging users to rely on Apple's proprietary app, they effectively lock them into their ecosystem. This increased connection to Apple's products and services also strengthens customer loyalty.

The use of AI in the Journal app is another point of concern. While Apple has built its reputation on privacy and security, the introduction of AI processing users' personal data raises questions about the future use of this information. How long will it be before Apple realizes the value of this intimate knowledge and potentially exploits it, either directly or indirectly?

While this last scenario may not seem very likely today, it's crucial to remember that even seemingly benevolent tech giants like Apple ultimately prioritize their bottom line and shareholder satisfaction over the interests of their customers. As history has shown with companies like Facebook, initial good intentions can erode when financial pressures mount.

In conclusion, I believe we should remain vigilant and question whether the tools we rely on are truly in our best interests, or if we are simply used as pawns in a larger strategic game. While Apple's health apps may be deemed useful by some, it is important not to overlook that there are alternative methods to enhance our mental and physical well-being that do not necessarily involve phone usage, and in fact, may be quite the opposite.

Thank you for reading!