by Jim Lynch

Day One 2: Journal app users unhappy with pricing and sync options

Feb 10, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsiOSMacOS

Some users of the popular journaling app on Reddit are not happy with Day One 2, and are looking for alternatives for OS X and iOS

Day One 2 is the new version of the most popular iOS and OS X journaling app. It’s been out for a little while now and Day One users have had a chance to discover its new features as well as the lack of iCloud and DropBox syncing, and some of them are not happy with Day One 2.

Day One users pulled no punches while expressing their feelings about Day One 2 in a thread in the Apple subreddit:

Johnnydangr: ”It eliminated iCloud sync so you will need to use their service for syncing.”

BertBrecht: ”…this update rubbed me the wrong way. It feels like they are moving from an independent app to a “service” or “platform” (Android, web client, subscription, premium). Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s just not the type of product I enjoy. I have seen enough products go to crap that way. Priorities and business goals shift etc.

Considering that this app (now service) holds some of my most important data, I’m not sure I’m in it for the long haul with Day One. ”

Uguuuu: ”…this whole subscription thing is pissing me off. The Mac app is $40 (it’s on sale right now, but the sale ends soon). The iOS app is $10. At that price point, I should not have to pay for a subscription. I should at least be given the option to use my existing iCloud or Dropbox storage, which I’m already paying for anyway.

And the worst thing is, there are no other apps for Mac/iOS that come even close to Day One. Momento is great but there’s no Mac version. Journey is awesome but there’s no iOS app. I’m basically stuck with Day One. Sigh.”

Create_destroy: ”That’s why I’m not upgrading and instead, moving to another app.”

Derperlurker: ”I have a lot of love for Day One and the new apps have some desirable features, plus theres more on the way but removing iCloud and dropbox syncing cools my enthusiasm.”

Confusiondrive: ”For what it’s worth, I’ve used the original Day One app on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone for about two and half years and I absolutely refuse to pay for this app. They added some features yes, but they also “updated” certain features out of the original apps specially so they could use those features as reasons to buy the new app.

If you want to add features to a new version to entice upgrades, that’s cool. I get that development costs money. But to remove features and then add those to the new version, I cannot support a company that does that. It feels like they bait-and-switched me, so I’m searching for another way of keeping a journal.

Also, their little “Day One Sync” service went down on launch day and has issues since. They removed well known and popular cloud platform options to push their own that seems to work much less reliably.”

Truongtr: ”I read on the terms of service of that company, it states that they have full right to use our personal information including entries and stuff as their assets and they can sell it in need. Too bad.”

Imadegawa: ”Also been using it for years. Love the original. Refunded this bullshit “update”, and now I’m looking for new journaling app. Even though they claim they’ll still support the original with bug fixes, I just don’t trust that. Not with the way they’re handling this, and certainly not with something as important as a journal.

Honestly, I’m thinking of moving back to my old system of plain text. I’ve been burnt with several app updates recently (53’s Paper comes to mind). Relying too much on any particular app just seems like a bad idea at this point.”

Wdc331: ”I am really conflicted about the direction of this app. I have used Day One for many years (on both my iPhone and Mac). Have well over 1,000 entries. I used iCloud sync for a time, and when that started to have lots of issues last year, switched to Dropbox sync, which was laggy but generally worked OK. When DayOne sync was released, I was hesitant to use it, but the Dropbox sync started acting weird again so I gave it a try. I was pleased, but have nagging concerns about data security. I did upgrade to DO2 and love it (lots of nice features, works better for the type of journaling I like to do), but these concerns regarding data security (current lack of encryption, promises of encryption in the next update) are still there.

The problem is, I don’t know enough about data security to discern any sort of truth – is what DayOne says accurate (that our data via their sync service is just as secure as it is in Dropbox, and that when they start offering encryption in 2.1 it will be THE most secure option)? Or are the concerns raised in this thread accurate? I just don’t know.

The company’s direction definitely rubs me the wrong way. I think it was pretty stupid to drop syncing services that people were clearly happy with. I also don’t think they have communicated things effectively to customers. But I am conflicted because I love the app.

I would love for any IT/data security experts to weigh in on this issue. I feel like a lot of the complaints I’ve seen are coming from a place of perception rather than fact.”

Elcid: ”The data is probably secure – as it’s stored on Amazon’s servers – so there’s a very, very small probability that a 3rd party will have access to your data.

However the lack of encryption means that the developer can read your entries. It’s stored in plain text.”

More at Reddit

As you can tell from the comments I included above, some folks who were devoted Day One users are not happy with Day One 2. But it’s not just the folks in the Apple subreddit. If you take a few moments to look through reviews in the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store, you will see similar complaints from other users.

Some users who have posted reviews don’t seem to care about using Day One Sync, and they clearly like Day One 2 since the lack of iCloud or DropBox sync just doesn’t seem to bother them. But many others take a completely different view of Day One 2, and have refused to use it.

As I write this post, Day One 2 has a 3.5 star rating in the Mac App Store, and a 3 star rating in the iOS App Store. That’s a bit lower than the first version of Day One, which I remember getting an average 4.5 star rating for quite a long time. So the changes in Day One 2 have taken a bit of a toll on its popularity.

I’m taking a pass on Day One 2

Like some other users, I’m taking a pass on Day One 2. I’m not comfortable with journal data being held on the developer’s servers. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but I will only use iCloud sync since I have more trust in Apple than I do in anybody else. And Day One Sync also apparently lacks two-factor authentication, which is something that DropBox and iCloud both offer.

Another issue that came up with some users is the pricing of Day One 2. I personally don’t have a problem with the price of Day One 2 at all. Sometimes apps are worth paying for if they serve an important purpose in your life. But I can understand why some others might balk at paying a certain price for an app. Pricing, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

For now I’m in something of a holding pattern with Day One Classic. I’ll stick with it until the Day One developers discontinue support or until I find a better alternative. Right now though it’s damn near impossible to find a really good journaling app that is available for OS X and also for iOS. Day One filled a small but very useful niche, and replacing it is not going to be easy.

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