Ancestry.com iPhone app

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If you use Ancestry.com and you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you might know about their Tree-to-Go app that came out awhile back. It was a very basic application for viewing the family trees that you had on Ancestry.com. Frankly, it wasn’t particularly useful, as it only let you view the trees you had uploaded to Ancestry.com and wasn’t very interactive. In addition, if you had an iPad with its larger screen, it was not optimized for that, and could not show anything more on the iPad than on the iPhone.

That all changed few days ago with the introduction of a new app, now called simply Ancestry.

This new version seems much more polished, and adds some major features.

First off, it fully supports the iPad, and can take advantage of the larger screen. You can now see not only the trees you have on Ancestry.com, but those that are shared with you from other users.

Also, if you’ve attached records to people in your tree, such as a census record, you can now view those records on your device (see the picture on the right).

For those who use both Ancestry.com and an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad) this seems like a very useful application, especially if you share trees with other Ancestry.com users. They also announced that they are ‘carefully considering’ the creation of an Android version as well, although I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for an Android version.

The interesting thing to me about this seemingly very polished application is the contrast this illustrates with the Mac application they also recently introduced. Why is their iOS app so much more polished than their Mac app? It might seem odd that the iOS app, which is free, has had more attention in its design than their Mac application for which they charge quite a lot. I suspect the answer to this question is that the development of their iOS app is done by a completely different team than the one that handles Family Tree Maker. I’m not sure either of these applications are developed in-house by Ancestry, but either way it seems the teams working on these are completely different.

by Philip Trauring

Developer’s note:

Take your Ancestry.com family tree with you everywhere you go. This updated app for iPhone®, iPod® Touch or iPad® gives you an even better way to take your Ancestry.com family tree with you. Now you can see your entire tree — not just names — in a more intuitive way.  Just log in to your Ancestry.com account from anywhere to access your tree, edit information, upload photos, add a note — even add a long-lost family member. Plus, you can see shared trees and view records and source citations on the go. Whether you’re a seasoned family history expert or just getting started with genealogy, this new app can help you grow your Ancestry.com family tree wherever and whenever you make discoveries.

With this helpful mobile tree tool, you can see all the family trees you’ve already created on Ancestry.com. Just download the free app to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, log in to your Ancestry.com account and choose a family tree. You can browse names in your tree or search for a specific person. Click on a relative to view, then edit or add vital information, immediate family members, life events, notes or new ancestors. You can even take photos of your relatives, historical documents, keepsakes, antiques, buildings and more with your iPhone and upload them directly to your tree.

Just discovered a treasure trove of family heirlooms at your second cousin’s house? Take pictures and upload them to your tree with stories about each one. Found a forgotten family member’s headstone as you traverse an 18th century cemetery? Add this new person and upload an image of their gravesite. Now when you’re on the go, your family tree — and all your family history — goes with you.

It’s free to create a tree on Ancestry.com.

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Category: Reference
Updated: 31 January 2011
Publisher: Ancestry.com
Price: Free (get app)

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