Ancestry iOS App 3.1 Update: New Feature Review

Ancestry iOS Update IconThe new update to Ancestry’s app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is now available in the app store.

The app can now notify you when Ancestry.com finds  information it thinks relevant to your ancestors. Enabling this optional feature will cause the little red number badge to appear on the Ancestry app icon when Ancestry.com finds new information. If you’d like to use this feature, be sure to allow push notifications when prompted after launching the updated app for the first time. [Read more...]

Ancestry iOS App 3.0.1 Update

Fire up the App Store! An update to version 3.0.1 of the Ancestry app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is available.

Here are the changes listed in the version notes:

  • Shaky leaves
  • Simple merge tool
  • In app purchase of records
  • Information automatically added to photos
  • Changeable privacy settings
  • Integrated feedback and support

The note also promises more stability and faster performance.

That all seems pretty straight forward except the part about automatically adding information to photos. If you figure out what that means please leave a comment.

Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac Version 19.2.1.241 Released

Launch your copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac to get the latest update. It’s apparently loaded with undisclosed bug fixes and enhancements. Here’s what the upgrade dialog lists:

  • Numerous stability fixes were made
  • Child sort order is shown correctly in reports
  • Added support for GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Numerous other fixes and enhancements

It’s unfortunate when professional software developers can’t or won’t provide detailed lists of fixes and enhancements. Ancestry is not alone in this and there are some companies who do this well (like RootsMagic). While it’s good to know that GEDCOM 5.5.1 is supported and that the child sort order is fixed in reports, it’s of virtually no help at all to know that “numerous” stability fixes and enhancements are in a release. Come on! You know what they are and if you don’t you shouldn’t be publishing software. Please list them so that we can see if the problem fixes or features we desire are present in updates to our genealogy software.

Is Family Tree Maker for Mac Too Expensive?

“Why is the Mac version of Family Tree more expensive than the Windows version?” I’ve read the question in the comments here and on Twitter. Here’s the scoop and thanks to GenealogyTools member Roger, the secret to a significant discount:

The Mac version price is higher because in bringing Family Tree Maker back to the Mac, Ancestry have had to pay to convert the program (a process called porting). They’ve got to pay for this expense and let’s face facts, Mac using genealogists are a tiny minority. That means the cost is spread across a much smaller group so the price will be higher.

We can complain, but it won’t do any good. We can refuse to buy it in protest, but that may simply lead to them leaving the market again. I think it’s better for us to have more competition. That’s why I welcome Family Tree Maker to the Mac.

On to the secret to a greater discount.
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The Dangers of Judging Reliability by Source Presence

Relying on sources as a soundness indicator in genealogy is like trying to understand a court case, but only having the witness list and the verdict. Sure you’ll know the outcome and you’ll know who was called to testify, but you won’t be able to understand why the decision was made. You won’t know what was asked nor what answers were given by whom. You won’t have a sense of the veracity of the testimony. And you won’t be able to get your own sense of whether the right decision was made. It’s the same thing with genealogy.
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Genealogy Virus Continues to Spread

I was disappointed yesterday to hear of another outbreak of the virus that’s sweeping through genealogy. A new GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data COMmunication) file sharing site sprang up. I’m disappointed because this nonsense undermines the practice of genealogy. Mostly this is because many (if not most) GEDCOMs being shared contain incorrect conclusions. Sharing incorrect conclusions is the single biggest threat to our hobby. It wastes an incredible amount of research time.

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Find Sources with Ancestry.com’s Explore by Location

You can discover sources of information about relatives you may not have been aware of. Ancestry.com has a feature called explore by location that will show you research resources by location. These resources can give you ideas about sources of information you hadn’t thought of or known about. In this video: Ancestry.com Explore by Location Feature, I show you how to see these resources, how to conduct a location specific search, and view brief historical information about a location.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use by control-clicking and choosing “Download Linked File As” or “Save Link As” (depending on your browser).