Ancestry app is the perfect companion for researching family tree history
Mar 5, 2012 8:44 AM –
Ancestry is the official Android client for Ancestry.com, the hugely popular family history website. Since the app was released a few months ago, it has significantly increased functionality and is now an incredibly useful and feature-rich genealogical resource.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Ability to build, view and continually update your family tree from the app!
- Great interface and easy navigation!
- Not as feature rich and intuitive as the full website.
Researching your family history is a fantastically rewarding enterprise and there are now many services available to help you do so. Ancestry.com is probably the biggest of the online resources. You can create and research your very own family tree and have access to thousands of scanned official documents- from War records to available census information. I’ve personally been researching my own family history for around 6 months now and Ancestry.com has been key to this.
The Ancestry.com app is pretty neat and provides many of the functions available through the website. You can add family members and grow a family tree including dates of birth, death, photographs and other lifetime events. Once set up you can easily view and zoom in to all areas of your tree, view profiles and search for extended family members.
Sweeping through your family tree is pretty impressive, the tree profile zooms in and out using fluid movements that look very polished and smooth. Viewing profiles is also a breeze and it allows you to see life events, parental line, search further and access their photo library (if pictures have been added). I’ve used the Ancestry.com website a lot and while it is far easier to perform functions there, the Ancestry app is perfect for overviews and accessing information. The functionality in-app is great, but if you have a PC I’m not sure it would replace the website as your primary means to add content and search.
I think the absolute golden application for Ancestry on-the-move is the ability to access this while doing field research; graveyards, registry offices, local family records offices… and the living rooms of elderly relatives! I have approximately 1200 people in my tree right now and if I visit a relative to mine for useful nuggets and memories that might help build more, this little app is going to be superb.
Ancestry – Easy to view trees, great UI
Ancestry – Zoom out
Ancestry – Zoom out further
Ancestry – Search view
Ancestry – View documents
Ancestry – Family info
Ancestry – Person view
Ancestry – Resources used
Ancestry – Typical tree view with subject and parents
Ancestry – Expanded view
If you’re a user of the Ancestry.com website, this is a superb compliment for family research on the go. There’s nearly full access to all the online resources and, while it isn’t as comprehensive as the website, it’s good for reference purposes or adding other items to your tree while mobile. Blend this with something like Evernote and you have a brilliantly useful and discerning app ideal for building your family history.
Ease of Use:
The superb UI and easy navigational tools create a simple yet effective experience. It’s not as easy to search items as the website (in my opinion), as I’ve found it more helpful to have two or more tabs open at one time, but you can still perform this kind of research on your Android device which is pretty cool- especially if you are away from your computer.
Genealogy is a hobby, so it’s really down to how much time you have to spend doing it. I often make connections when out and about, I think of different ways to research, or different search terms. Being able to do this on my Android is very cool. On that basis I’ve tended to use the app a few times per week but it’s stable and feature-rich enough to use more. Usage on an Android tablet is especially good.
The interface is very good and a real highlight of the app. There’s something quite delicious about sweeping through your family tree and it feels not dissimilar to sweeping across your homescreen launcher. It feels nicely heavy and qualitative. Navigation and profile access is also impressive. Being able to bring up historical documents is superb and you can zoom right in to read the content.
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