Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Ancestry App

ORIGINALLY AUTHORED BY BRENDAN NEISH, ANCESTRY.COM

We’re really excited about the new version of our iPhone and iPad app. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Let’s take a closer look…

First you’ll probably notice that we have a new look to the entire app. Hopefully you think it’s as warm and inviting as we do :)

The new family tree viewer

Below you can see a new family tree viewer. The idea is to make interacting with your family tree more like interacting with a map or a photo. Pinching zooms in and out. Swiping moves the entire tree. We also wanted to show more relatives. The old viewer only showed direct lines, but this new viewer includes an option to show grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Some users miss the old version of the tree viewer and have expressed concern about it being no longer available. We’re listening to this feedback and are working on improvements they are requesting (for example, we plan to remove grandchildren from the Pedigree View in the next update to make it easier to see your whole tree). But we hope that your experience is the same as ours has been – the new viewer requires some time to get used to, but once you’ve spent some time on it, we think you’ll fall in love with the additional functionality and intuitive navigation. Play with it for a while and let us know what you think.

Working with the new family tree viewer

The top arrow in the image below is pointing to a “new person node” that can be tapped to add a new person to your tree. The green node at the bottom is the person who is currently selected – the relationships shown in the tree are built around this “focus person.” If you tap on someone else in the tree, their node will turn green and the tree will redraw with them as the new focus person. If you tap on the focus person again, a panel slides out with their personal information. This panel includes hints, life events, family members, photos, and evidence (records).

The viewer shows 2 generations below the focus person (grandchildren) and 3 generations above the focus person (great grandparents). To see more generations above or below the current focus person, simply tap on a person near the top or bottom of the tree.

See the green shaky leaves below? These are hints that may lead to valuable records for that person. If you tap on the leaf itself, you’ll be taken directly to a list of record hints for that person.

Toggling between the Family View and the Pedigree View

The icons in the green rectangle below allow you to toggle between two modes in the tree viewer.

The icon on the left is the Family View that shows siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The icon on the right is the Pedigree View that shows direct ancestors only.

Using filters to sort through people in your family tree

The “3 bar” icon in the top left of the screen opens a list of all the people in your family tree. If you begin typing in the search bar, the list below automatically updates based on what you’re typing. This is very helpful if you are looking for someone specific in a large tree.

In addition, by tapping “All People,” you have access to a variety of useful filters. For example, Direct Ancestors will update the list of people to show only people directly related to the tree’s home person, and the End of Line filter helps you find areas of your tree that need more research.

The bottom two options will show a list of people in your tree that have hints or only those that have received new hints in the last 7 days.

Where was I? Getting back to where you started.

Imagine that you’ve been randomly tapping on people in a very large tree and have gotten lost. We have a couple options for you… One is to hit the back icon. This will take you back in time (by changing the focus person) until you recognize where you are. Additionally, because you’ve read this far into this long blog post, here’s a little secret: tap on the back button and hold your finger down for a couple of seconds. A history menu will pop up that shows you a list of people you’ve looked at, starting with the most recent.

In addition to the back icon, tapping the home icon will take you back to the home person.

Trees, settings, and support

By tapping on the tree name at the top of the screen, you’ll get a menu with 3 options: Family Trees, Account Settings, and Support.

Family Trees shows you a complete list of trees that you have access to based on the username you signed in with. The tree currently displayed in the app is noted with a checkmark. Trees that have been downloaded to the app have an arrow in a green circle next to them. Tapping this circle allows you to change settings for that specific tree, including privacy, notifications, home person, and the ability to designate who you are in the tree so that the app can show you how you’re related to anyone in the tree. If you want to see a tree that hasn’t been downloaded, just tap it. We’ve worked hard to speed up the tree download, so unless you have a super giant tree, it shouldn’t take too long.

Account Settings allows you to see your membership information, displays your user name, and allows you to log out. If you do not have a membership, you can access membership options via the app by tapping here.

Support allows you to send us a suggestion, email our support personnel, or call our amazing folks in Member Services.

Well that about covers it. We really hope you enjoy the new app. We’ve worked hard to provide a great family history experience for the ever-growing number of customers with mobile devices.

Spend some time getting familiar with the new version and then let us know what you think…  What do you like about the new app? What new features would you like to see next? Let us know our on Facebook Wall.

Thanks for your support!

-The Ancestry Mobile Team

Don’t have an Apple iOS device?  Don’t worry, we have an Android app as well.

For more information, or to download either the iOS or Android app, visit www.ancestry.com.au/ancestry-app.