November 25, 2014
Stanczyk noted a new release of the Ancestry.com’s app.
In time for thanksgiving, Ancestry, released version 6.2. It looks like they added two features:
- Quickly add photos / documents from iCloud and/or Dropbox.
- Discover historical events that shaped your ancestor’s lives.
I get the first feature. It leaves me feeling, “meh”. It adds something for some people that have their photos in the cloud (despite all of the security concerns). For me this is a not-going-to-be-used, app “bloat-ware” feature added by some mobile programmer trying to shore up his/her resume.
The second feature is apparently Ancestry trying too add a widget to your daily notifications. I really see that feature as less than “meh”. It is almost a negative feature in my eyes.
As far as I am concerned this version of the app, you can pass on. Nothing here. Don’t waste your bandwidth, unless you actually use iCloud or Dropbox to store your genealogy images / documents.
I like to keep my images on the phone, in case you cannot reach the Internet in some building (say a courthouse) where the Internet is blocked by wiring or other building materials. No Internet, will not deter me, I just have my photos organized for quick location on my phone. If its up on a cloud and you have no access to the Internet for some reason (or your cloud has crashed) then you cannot access the document when you need it and are out mobile doing some genealogy research in some remote location you cannot return again for a long time. But maybe you store pics of your ancestors (and not critical documents in the cloud) and you use that to add a pic to your tree one time. That might be ok, for people with large trees with 10,000+ people whose pics you do not want to clutter your phone with. So I am just “meh” about this upgrade.
August 28, 2014
Ancestry just released their newest version of their mobile application.
Well testing was brief and then interrupted by Ancestry not being available (to the app; Ancestry.com was ok via the laptop).
The interface was lovely, but the constant tinkering with the interface is confusing the end users (at least this end user, who is a professional IT worker) and not intuitive at all.
The speed I could not test with my small tree. But it will reload your tree data from the website, so something in the data / model must have changed for the app.
More to come when the App can reach the website .. reliably.
September 15, 2013
Ancestry.com has updated their app to version 5.0 (iTunes App Store). I like their newest effort. It looks nice and the User Experience (UX) is improved for the most part. I miss having a button for showing just the lineal line (not siblings) to save space on the iPhone. Also the UX does not provide ways to go up or down your family tree other than what is displayed on screen (5 generations on iPhone). Why no arrows on top/bottom rows. You can of course click on someone higher up in the tree and see further back generations from that person, but you may not realize that there are prior generations unless you know your tree well. No visual key that more generations exist.
When you upgrade you will need to download your whole tree again (does that imply their local db changed and needs to be reloaded?) and that takes about 30–45 seconds for a tree of 1,142 people. Small price to pay. I do wonder if the new app is causing problems for the Ancestry.com web site. It has performed slowly and sometimes the app says Ancestry.com is not available. Perhaps mobile app users are putting a bigger strain then online users.
Ancestry.com site problems?
It integrates more closely with Facebook. That did not appeal to me, but for some people it may be just what you want. As a result I do not know what happens when you connect your Facebook profile to a person in the tree (does it post the timeline to your Facebook timeline?).
Besides, Facebook, the app now integrates with Ancestry.com more completely. The app now works a lot like the web site. It does not appear to be missing any features. I like the new Timeline view of a profile … very nice.
The Gallery button on the bottom of the profile view quickly loads your images (much faster). It also automatically searches for hints too. Finally this view has a new feature to find sources (from Ancestry.com?) for your facts. Very nice.
The tight integration to the web site does mean the app switches control to a Safari web-app but the integration is so tight you might not notice the switch to Safari and back to the App