Monday, February 15, 2016

Day One Journal

Update II (2/15/2016).-- I got a response from the company if they plan to add iCloud sync with version 2 of the app. They don't, meaning it's their cloud or nothing. I would now only recommend the app with reservations, don't trust them. It's a good app, and probably the best for what it does, but relying solely on their system is not just their gamble, it's yours too.

It's the old adage, buyer beware. I plan to use version 2 along side version 1 even though it's not supported. So far they run in parallel as mirror images of each other. What I add or edit in one I put in the other, so I can have a backup and test their sync and cloud service, but I'm not holding my breath they won't charge at some time in the future, since they're a business and the users are their revenue source.

Update (2/11/2016).-- After trying to find a replacement app, which was unsuccessful along with the fact I couldn't import the history of entries from Day One into any new app, I bought the new app, which is both the OS-X and IOS versions.

I created the account to use their cloud server and am running them in parallel. The old and new versions of the app are designed to be separate apps on the Mac and IOS devices so they don't interfer with each other, the old one uses Apple's iCloud and the new one Bloom Built's server.

The apps require separate entries into the database, but it's just cut and paste one to the other. I don't use the new features with the new app, I use it as a daily journal for my walking trips. I also don't use the location tool in the IOS app so I don't get the weather. There's better apps for that and their choice of weather sources isn't that good.

Anyway, I had to backtrack on saying I wouldn't buy it. I'm angry at Apple they don't allow app companies to offer discounts on upgrades but only allow full prices for old and new customers, which explains why some apps developers replace their apps on the App Store than update them.

I'lll stand by the view the company will introduce a subscription for the sync and service sometime in the future, possibly later this year when the introduce the premium service they announced which will be a subscription. I'll decide to keep the app or not when the do that.

Original Post.-- I've walked 5-6 days a week, most weeks that is, since September 2012. Since then I have used Day One journal app for Mac OS-X and IOS with iCloud sync, dropbox also available with version 1 of this app, which with its simplicity and iCloud sync was why it was a great buy.

I have over 600 entries with it logging every day I walk with the mileage, weather and notes. It's worked great for what I want with very few glitches over the years but always fixable from the backup on the Mac, the devices, or with iCloud. You can also export all the entries in PDF or text format as a backup.

Recently the company, Bloom Built LLC, released version 2.0 of Day One journal for OS-X and IOS for $20, a 50% discount for awhile. The Apple App store doesn't allow charges for upgrades so many companies have reverted to complete new versions, removing the old version, so they can charge for the app.

Well, it didn't take long for users to discover that while the new version has rave reviews, it has one major underlying flaw. The company dropped iCloud and Dropbox sync. In place they have their own exclusive, proprietary sync with their servers through user accounts, free for the time being.

This opened a storm of bad ratings on the Apple App store and iTunes App store, outnumbering the favorable reviews by a significant margin. I haven't upgraded yet, as I'm researching replacement apps for both the Mac and iPhone.

While I like the app, and wouldn't mind paying the $20 for the OS-X app and $5 for the IOS app, I'm not going to buy it for now. The company states they went to their exclusive sync for a better service offering more and better features in the future, like encryption.

I can't see adding their sync to my accounts because I don't know if, but expect, they will charge a subscription in the future for the service with the apps and the sync through their servers. Every company which has gone this route does this at some point, it's the revenue stream the put into the business plan.

Which is why I doubt Day One will add iCloud and Dropbox sync into version 2 until they lose more customers than they gain, meaning more people won't buy the apps than will because they know the bill comes later with the subscription. A nice app can but lost with bad management decisions, and this is one excellent example.

They want the subscription revenue, and this is the way to go, but it comes at a price. Good as the app is, and questionable why Apple endorsed it as an "Editors' Choice", it's not worth relying on the company to service and secure your private journal.

In short for now, DO NOT BUY IT, until you know the future costs.

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