Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Look and New Features for the iOS Family Tree app

This past week, the FamilySearch Family Tree app for iOS devices got a new look and a couple of new features. So, if you've been using the app and just gotten used to where to find things, guess what? It's moved!

Before we look at the location and purpose of the various icons, let me tell you about a new feature. The app now "remembers" the 3 most recent screens you have opened. For example, suppose I open the app to my pedigree. I tap my husband's name and then use the option to see his tree. And, lastly, I tap his maternal grandmother. 

Now, at the top left, I see a left-facing arrow and a word beside it--the word will indicate the screen I looked at just before this one. So, from his grandmother's page, I see "Pedigree", meaning my husband's pedigree. If I tap the arrow, it returns me to his pedigree. Now the arrow has my husband's name beside it, since that is the screen I was on before I saw his pedigree. I can tap to return to his page. Again it says "Pedigree"--this time it means my pedigree, since that is where I started out. And I can tap to get back to my home page. 

This probably doesn't seem like much of a change, but it might surprise you. Before, if you clicked to go back, you always went back to your pedigree view. Now, you might not. So, if you want to go to your pedigree view, tap Tree at the bottom of your screen.

The biggest change you'll notice is that you no longer see the 3 lines icon in the upper left that took you to various options.

Two icons continue to be in the upper right:

The History List (also at the bottom labeled Recents): tap to see a list of names you have visited before in Family Tree. You can also tap at the top of the list in the search box and enter a Family Tree ID to jump directly to a specific ancestor.

The magnifying glass: searches all of Family Tree for a person. You can search by name or by ID. It is different from the history list in that it does not just search for names in your tree, but in all of FamilySearch Family Tree.

The rest of your options are at the bottom of the screen:

At the bottom, we have already learned about the Tree button--I think of it as my Home button, always taking me back to square one.

The Tasks button loads your Ancestors with tasks list: it searches people you've recently viewed, your first 5 generations of ancestors and their children, and any part of your pedigree you have expanded. It shows ancestors with record hints and, if you are LDS, temple opportunities.

If you are LDS you see Temple at the bottom. This shows you your reserved ordinances list where you can share with temple or others or create temple cards.

More is where you now find Search Historical Records, Settings, Help, Other Apps and Sign Out. It also has a new feature: Messages. It does not appear that the engineers have incorporated the FamilySearch messaging option in this app. If someone has sent you a message from the Android app or the website, you see the message if you tap Messages. To the right, I THINK you could reply to a message sent to you by another user. I have no messages showing, so I'm not really sure how that works. Bottom line: Messages is limited in usefulness, since you have no clue that someone sent you a message unless you happen to tap More and then Messages. And you still have no way to contact another user from the iOS app.

So, a few new things, but mostly just a new look.

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