iDiary for iPhone review

Diaries are typically for keeping secrets or intimate thoughts safe. That’s why they have locks.

In the digital age, diaries have passwords and encryption keys, as is the case with iDiary, a marginally useful application for the iPhone and iPod touch. We stress “marginally” because it’s difficult to imagine anyone using this app to maintain lengthy and intimate accounts of their daily lives. The world’s fastest typist on an iPhone touchscreen would still be slower than a person writing longhand. What iDiary is, then, is a notepad with password protection.

If that’s what you need, iDiary does the job well. When you run iDiary for the first time, you are prompted to enter a password. Don’t lose it. iDiary employs Blowfish and MD5 encryption. Try to alter the diary without authorisation, and iDiary will display this terrifying message: “Corrupted data.”

iDiary functions as a day planner. The calendar-interface is easy to navigate. In month view, a blue underline appears below each date with a diary entry. Touch the date and a preview of the entry appears below the calendar at the bottom of the screen. Double-tap the date or touch the Edit Diary Entry button, and a yellow notepad pops up. Then simply type in your entry and click save. Easy.

The only way to export an entry from the app is through the device’s built-in Mail function. The product developer helpfully notes that the email function lets users “share your journals with your friends and family”. But aren’t there more convenient ways of doing the same thing that don’t require a password-protected app? Email, text, even a good, old-fashioned phone call?

OUR VERDICT

iDiary Lite is exactly like iDiary except without the encryption. So the vast price differential – £3.99 versus 59p – comes down to password protection. If your diary entries are extremely sensitive, then the extra £3.40 may be worthwhile. If not, go with the Lite version.

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