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Ancestry.com iOS Apps


1920 Census in the Ancestry.com App on an iPad

Ancestry.com announced apps for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices (Ancestry.com blog link).

The free app allows Ancestry.com mem­bers to access fam­ily trees they have cre­ated or that have been cre­ated by their friends, and get access to the doc­u­ments they have attached to these trees while they not at a com­puter, but have an Apple iOS device handy. (Ancestry.com says they are inves­ti­gat­ing cre­at­ing an Android oper­at­ing sys­tem ver­sion of the App.)

This announce­ment involves Ancestry improv­ing it’s iPhone App, and also releas­ing an iPad-specific app designed specif­i­cally for use with the larger for­mat of the iPad.

The blog entry says:

Today, we announced the avail­abil­ity of an enhanced ver­sion of our iPhone app, Ancestry, that now has uni­ver­sal sup­port for the iPad and offers sev­eral new features:

  • An inter­ac­tive fam­ily tree viewer to visu­al­ize rela­tion­ships in your fam­ily history
  • Access to fam­ily trees that were shared with you
  • Ability to view attached his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments and source cita­tions attached via Ancestry.com
  • An improved user experience
  • Available on the iPad”

On the iPad, Ancestry.com makes the point that this will be a pow­er­ful shar­ing tool for geneal­o­gists to show one another and their fam­i­lies what they have found.

While I do not have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, and haven’t felt a real desire to get one until now, being happy with my HTC Evo Android phone, my Mac lap­tops, and my Kindle, this looks quite interesting.

With Ancestry.com’s acqui­si­tions last year of Footnote, one won­ders if the inter­ac­tiv­ity avail­able on that site will seed cre­ativ­ity around these mobile apps, allow­ing users to anno­tate images for them­selves and oth­ers from the App, and upload this infor­ma­tion to the web.

The app becomes really com­pelling if I can make “notes” about the genealog­i­cal images, say that have been incor­rectly indexed, and then, the next time I am online, upload those notes for oth­ers. Or, if I can take quick snap­shots (iPad 2 is rumored to have a cam­era), then upload these quickly to Flickr, Ancestry, and other accounts with default pri­vacy set­tings. As a one-way app, Ancestry looks cool; as a portable col­lab­o­rat­ing and crowd sourc­ing tool, it would be an almost essen­tial addi­tion to any genealogist’s tech­no­log­i­cal toolkit.

 
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