Family history is increasingly being done on mobile devices. The introduction of the iPad and the new Android and Windows tablet devices means that family history information can be carried anywhere. It has also made capturing photos of documents, headstones, and other sources much simpler. FamilySearch is working on a mobile application that will be available for users next year and this week Ancestry announced a number of improvements in their mobile application. Mobile has become a growing part of Ancestry’s business. The following are the improvements to their mobile application. It is free and can be found in the app store.
1. Redesigned App Experience. The updated Ancestry App provides native support for the newest Apple operating system, iOS 7, by building upon the new operating system’s themes of clarity and depth. In addition, this update includes a redesigned ancestor view, gallery view (for photos, stories and historical records) and media details views, along with several other enhancements.
2. Rich Story-Like Narratives. With a completely redesigned and simplified user interface, the new ancestor view includes a rich timeline with media and story-like narratives, which are auto-generated from the ancestor’s life events. In addition to these narratives, significant historical events are highlighted in the person’s timeline to provide a vibrant historical context for each ancestor’s life.
3. Facebook Import. Filling in your family tree on a mobile device has never been easier. This updated app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, will help a user identify potential family members and automatically build a family tree through their Facebook connections, providing a great way to get started and quickly make discoveries about their family.
4. Add from Contacts. Allows users to quickly add family members from Address Book to their family tree.
The Facebook functionality is incredibly easy and very cool. It helps to quickly build your family tree from what it already knows about your family from Facebook. If you haven’t already added family information online in a tree and are looking for an easy way to get started I would highly recommend this app.
Commenting on the new app Ancestry said, “We’re excited to take our popular and top-grossing app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to the next level, including native support for iOS 7,” said Eric Shoup, Executive Vice President of Product for Ancestry.com. “This update provides meaningful context to ancestors’ lives through the use of narratives and historical context and makes it easier to get started and expand a family tree by allowing users to quickly add relatives from Facebook or a device’s contact list. We feel this release underscores our objective to provide users with a deeply engaging way to personally connect them with their ancestors.”
These new mobile apps will steadily change the way we each do family history. They will create the ability to have our family information with us all the time, and will allow us to capture sources, movies, pictures, and audio of our families that can be easily stored and shared. I look forward to seeing what is next.