It’s been over two years (24 Oct 2011 on Amazon) since Ancestry.com released version 2 of Family Tree Maker (FTM) for Mac. Ancestry.com, and the developer of FTM for both Mac and Windows, Nova Development, spent most of 2013 improving the then-current versions rather than releasing a paid upgrade. I applaud them for their decision, given the many problems with version 2012, especially its TreeSync™ feature, which enabled changes made in FTM trees to be synced with their Ancestry.com counterparts and vice versa. Ancestry.com released the 2014 version of FTM on 10 Sep 2013, but Mac users had to wait a little longer. Like the new Windows version, version 3 for Mac includes enhancements and new features, including an improved TreeSync™, a new Family View, user interface updates, task simplification, and new and enhanced reports. In fact, with a few notable exceptions, the Mac and Windows versions have moved more closely together in terms of feature parity and even price. These improvements address most of the complaints I had in my review of version 2. This review updates my previous review, and I now can recommend FTM for Mac.
Family Tree Maker 2012 and Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 are once again available at a holiday discount. The sale is scheduled to go through December 12th, 2012. New copies are 25% off and upgrades are discounted 30%.
If you’re interested, but unsure if Family Tree Maker (FTM) is for you check out the buyers guides:
As previously announced, Ancestry is focused on enhancing and fixing the current versions so there will be no new major version this year.
The change log states the following:
- Dynamic family tree that shows more family members.
- See grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews & cousins in your family tree.
- Ability to change your tree to display direct ancestors only.
- Purchase monthly memberships via In App Purchase.
- An updated look and feel that’s both beautiful and functional.
That seems like a good list for a 4.0 version! The dynamic family tree is pictured to the left. Handy buttons at the top enable you to switch on or off the direct ancestors only feature.
News came from Ancestry.com today that there won’t be a Family Tree Maker 2013. The firm is focused on enhancing the existing version. They’ve already released updates with the following enhancements (listed in their blog announcing the direction):
- Numerous enhancements to TreeSync so syncing your tree to Ancestry.com is faster and more reliable
- A new Family View Report that displays a person’s ancestors, spouse, and children together (similar to the Family View in the People workspace)
- A new Undocumented Facts Report that lists people’s facts that have no source documentation
- The ability to merge info from multiple versions of the same fact
- New source templates for the 1940 U.S. census and improved support for city directories
- Dozens of report enhancements including performance improvements and new options in the relationship chart, family group sheet, Individual Report, Notes Report, Data Errors Report, Outline Descendant Report, Media Item Report, photo albums, Media Usage Report, Documented Facts Report, and calendar
And more enhancements are promised.