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The App Store is home to plenty of digital journal tools, but all of them require effort from the author to be useful. Heyday solves this problem in a very elegant way – and one that actually makes us want to participate. The free app converts existing photo libraries from an iOS device into an automatic journal of your life, complete with geolocation data and time stamps. The speed and accuracy at which Heyday accomplishes this task is nothing short of amazing, but the occasional coarse location can be confirmed or updated as needed. On days when photos aren’t taken, the app continues to work in the background with minimal battery impact, capturing key places visited.
At first launch, Heyday encourages users to sign up via Facebook for faster sharing; a brief email signup option is also available. The app creates events with details of when and where they happened, grouping photos into collage layouts (from 50+ available choices), each with one of 18 automatic Instagram-style filters. Images can be added, changed, moved between events, or removed entirely in just a few taps.
Heyday optionally sends a daily push notification to remind users of past events that took place on the same day, with a pop-up calendar for easy browsing. This trip down memory lane became great morning fun for this reviewer’s family, while slyly encouraging us to spend a few moments fleshing out older entries by adding captions or tagging Facebook friends.
Although Heyday is now part of our daily ritual, there are a few issues that keep it from perfection. The app offers a cloud sync option, but there’s no native iPad support and no Mac version, severely limiting the utility of this feature. Photos aren’t currently synced to the cloud anyway, so once deleted from Camera Roll, they’re also removed from Heyday. Thankfully, events remain intact and images can always be manually re-added from iCloud Photo Sharing.
The bottom line. Heyday takes the hard work out of creating a digital journal, making it actually fun to rediscover moments from the past that might otherwise be forgotten.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Effortless journal creation with slick UI. Automatic creation of events with photo collage. Wide variety of collage and filter styles. Minimal impact to battery life.
No way to manually create new events. No native iPad or Mac support. Photos can’t be synced to cloud. Can’t edit event time or tag non-Facebook friends.