The AI ​​diary has been recommended many times by the App Store. Why is it so useful?

If you wanted to record your life in one way, would you choose a handwritten diary, a diary app with pictures and texts, or would you choose to write notes on your phone, Weibo, or Moments?

In fact, you can do anything. The most difficult thing is to stick to the habit of writing. If you keep a serious diary, it’s easy to just spend three days fishing and two days drying nets. You can just record the countless moments and scatter them all over the place and then forget about them.

A diary app called "Xinguang" proposes a very new idea: humans only need to record, while AI has many things to consider.

Xinguang currently only has an iOS version, and the Android version is still under development. It has been recommended many times by the App Store, selected as the best of the month, editor's favorite, and even appeared at the opening of Apple's WWDC this year.

How is this diary app combined with AI useful?

Instead of writing a digital diary, let AI listen to your thoughts.

For a life recording app to keep people using it, it must first be simple, or “stress-free recording.”

Open your mind and you will see the page "Today". The straightforward name reminds us to write whatever comes to our mind and don’t let it slip away.

Two or three sentences randomly typed in the blank space are a record. If you don’t want to type, long press the orange line to make it wave, and you can also type by voice.

Each record is arranged in chronological order. If you want to record it in more detail, you can also take photos, record videos, upload photos and videos, quote music, books, links, etc.

You may think, isn’t this just posting in WeChat Moments? It just changed its appearance and was only visible to myself.

It can be said that, but Xinguang also has a more unique place – AI friends will come to comment, which plays a warm-up role. It might be text, it might be voice, but it doesn't happen every time.

The personalities and identities of AI friends can be selected and set. Some are concise, some are optimistic and humorous, some like to send emojis… It just depends on whose temperament you are more compatible with.

In this way, we won’t feel like we’re entertaining ourselves, asking ourselves questions, and we won’t have the embarrassment of silently deleting it after posting it on WeChat Moments, but no one cares about it.

Every week, AI friends will also write to you, starting from your records and saying something meaningful. When you open the letter and wait for the content to be loaded line by line, the sound of typing sounds, and you can feel the care of this cyber pen pal.

Merely recording life is not enough. Every moment is like a footprint, all with the same value. When accumulated, a trace of personal existence is formed.

The question is, how to connect them?

To this end, Xinguang provides a variety of summary and analysis functions to sort out some potentially illogical text into relatively clear results.

After completing a record, AI will guess your overall mood that day, represented by "red, yellow and green" similar to a traffic light, with green tending to be happy and red tending to be sad.

Then, for a few days or longer, the AI ​​will automatically summarize what happened in a month, a week, or a day.

You can see how many days you have been recording and how many words you have written. Then from this week, you can see what the keywords are, what the most frequently mentioned tags are, what the mood index is, what the weather was like when recording…

You can see from my keywords that I care about the sense of completion of my work, and I often record on rainy days. It has rained frequently in Guangzhou in recent months, and my heart changed to a literary expression, "raindrops are falling in the clouds", which elegantly echoes reality.

In terms of sorting and summarizing records, Xinguang also has many such subtle and touching designs, such as using cute emoji to mark the places you have walked, but my personal favorites are "high-frequency words" and "mood trends".

High-frequency vocabulary is the sea of ​​words in everyone's life. It doesn't matter if you just send a paragraph of text. Only by reading the bound volume can you find out what the recent speeches have in common that you were not aware of.

The mood trends are also very interesting. They correspond to specific events of peaks and troughs, reminding me to take good care of my body, engage in appropriate emotional consumption, and the best way to get rid of the mood is to travel.

From the perspective of AI, you can calmly observe why you are happy, why you are sad, and how to adjust. It is as if you have obtained a small emotional self-help guide.

Recording is a habit that requires long-term persistence, and Xinguang allows us to write down our thoughts. At the same time, through AI, the whole process becomes a sense of companionship and positive feedback, and valuable information is extracted and organized.

All of the above, combined with the bright orange UI interface, the overall user experience is even a bit addictive.

Are you writing a diary, or is the diary reading you?

It’s 2024, why use a new journaling product? In other words, what is the essential difference between a diary app that introduces AI and traditional diary products?

I have used diary apps such as Day One before, but gave up after a few days because it tests one's will and patience and requires a passion for recording life itself.

▲ Picture from: Day One

It can be said that a traditional diary app is more like a solemn personal file. Although weather, location and other information are automatically added, there are still a lot of blanks waiting to be filled. Manual labeling, adding photos, organizing information, typesetting…

Xinguang appears to be more "automated". For example, you don't need to label it yourself. AI helps you classify it into 15 categories such as "Food", "Work" and "Study", and it can also be adjusted manually.

In addition to having more additional information to fill out, traditional diary apps also lack feedback.

Of course, whether feedback is needed or not actually varies from person to person. Some people can get satisfaction from the record itself, and the meaning naturally emerges from the process, treating the diary as writing and practice for themselves.

But proactively providing more guidance like Xinguang is also an option, and meaning is unearthed with the help of AI.

In addition to combing through past records, Xinguang also has an interesting AI function – the crystal ball, which is also a design that allows you to get feedback.

Here, you can ask AI to respond to one of your questions based on your records.

Or you can respect the original intention of the "crystal ball" and play some metaphysics, draw a tarot card, or let the AI ​​determine which MBTI personality you are based on your records.

From traditional diary apps to Xinguang, there is no subversion from 0 to 1, and their user groups may not even overlap.

If diary products in the past made you look at yourself, Xinguang takes the initiative to understand you – you stand on the bridge and look at the scenery, and the people watching the scenery look at you upstairs.

It's a little regrettable that after a free trial of 2 to 3 days, Xinguang must be paid for, either as a monthly or annual subscription, or as a permanent owner. During the free trial period, there is limited recording, and you may not be able to decide whether this app is suitable for you.

More life-like AI, more personalized AI, and more long-term AI

Products like Xinguang, of course, need to access our location, photo albums and other information, and obtain various permissions such as microphones. Users will inevitably have privacy concerns.

Xinguang said there is no need to worry about this problem. They attach great importance to privacy protection and all data is stored locally on the user's device and iCloud. No one, including the developer, can see the user's records except you.

The Internet is only used when interacting with the crystal ball, there is no server storage in the middle, and all other functions run offline.

▲The App Store also shows that Xinguang does not collect any data

Speaking of this, Xinguang reminds people of a native app from Apple, Journal (notes) officially announced by WWDC last year.

This is a very simple digital diary, but very imaginative. It is backed by Apple and records your life at the system level, including the places you have been, the photos you have taken, the songs you have listened to…

▲ Notes to track recent activities

At the same time, Notes will give very specific personalized suggestions based on this information, and even integrate materials, such as the music and podcasts you listened to yesterday, the places you went today and the photos you took for lunch.

At this year's WWDC, in addition to the official announcement of Apple Intelligence, Apple also made many updates for iOS 18, including Notes, which added a new data "mental state" to record the user's daily mood.

Following Apple's long-standing principles, Notes pays great attention to privacy. Through machine learning on the device, users can control what data it uses. Your notes are only in your hands, not even Apple can read them.

The ideas for making products are similar to those of Heartlight and Notes. They are all based on one judgment: mobile phones are the personal devices that know us best. They know where we have been, who we have called, how many photos we have taken, how much exercise we have done, and what we have heard. What music.

At the same time, AI has given the application the ability to "insight", using notes to determine what content we want to review, Xinguang sorting out our keywords and mood swings in the past period, and answering questions in a targeted manner…

Apple Intelligence, the big pie painted by Apple, also has the same meaning, but it is more system-level and lower-level. It can understand personal situations across applications and implement user needs. It has more "action" capabilities than diary products.

For example, the official demonstration gives an example. If you want to pick up your mother at the airport and want to confirm your landing time, lunch location, and driving time, you don’t need to jump repeatedly between emails, messages, and maps, but during the chat with Siri. , let AI do it for you.

What used to take a few minutes can be solved in seconds by the smarter Siri. Mental light and notes actually greatly shorten the time we spend sorting out information and understanding ourselves.

This may be the meaning of the device-side model, more personalized information, more local privacy, AI that understands you better, and products with more long-term value.

When using ChatGPT to solve problems, we often don’t have such a strong need for personalization. Just like using WeChat applet, you can use it and go. Moreover, OpenAI will support it from April, and you can use ChatGPT without registration.

But we are also in some scenarios where AI needs to take the initiative to understand us. Xinguang positions itself as an "AI life recording companion."

Such products have nothing to do with work and do not help improve productivity. They are like mild and harmless dessert products, but this is also our initial expectation for AI. AI is the assistant, and people are the center.

AI, which is known for its work tools, learning assistants, drawing, translation, and role-playing, has become widespread. However, at this stage, there is still a lot of room for imagination in terms of what kind of needs AI can meet our needs and how to achieve better interactions. , and there are still many needed functions worth doing again.

Companionship, positive feedback, and casual thoughts are actually people’s emotional needs. Keeping a diary is a long-term need, and Xinguang has made this task not lonely, easy to persist, and not like "only serious people keep diaries."

Apple software executive Craig Federighi talked about a very moving concept at WWDC – "AI for the rest of us."

Of course, AI can also be accepted by everyone except technology enthusiasts and early adopters. Put aside the anxiety of "changing the world" and abandon the marketing of "changing the world overnight", and serve people in an appropriate way, just like a micro-wave that shines through the cracks. Light makes life easier and makes you feel happier.

It is as sharp as autumn frost and can ward off evil disasters. Work email: [email protected]

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