A Mac or Not a Mac?

That is the question that often arises when we announce new projects or a new tool update for the Ancestry World Archives keying tool.

I acknowledge the frustration our Mac users in our community experiences when Ancestry produces products that are not Macintosh compatible. While we do not have anything new to announce for our Mac community at this time I did want to say that your message is being heard and is a point of discussion in our product roadmap planning meetings as we explore our options for converting the keying tool so it will support multiple operating systems.

At best I can say, don’t loose your passion for this cause!

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Thanks for keeping us in the loop, I look forward to your development of Mac-compatible software. In the meantime, I use a relative’s PC from time to time.

Millions of people use Mac OS. There is no excuse for software developers not to include both platforms. I have a PC laptop and an Imac and I find it very frustating when a program will not run on Mac.

Some of your MAC users might be interested to know that they can run Windows on their MAC using BOOT CAMP – Software included in most/all new MACs and (at least formerly) available as a download. Windows XP runs well on my IMAC this way and there are probably many unused copies of XP available from friends who have upgraded to Vista or ??

I’m sure that all Intel based Mac users are aware that they can run Windows.
The point is I’m a Mac USER–and an Ancestry subscriber. I would drop my Ancestry subscription before I would use a Windows product.
It is time for the IT staff at Ancestry to acknowledge that there is a world beyond Microsoft.

OS X is the world leader in operating systems; whether or not the little IT trolls want to acknowledge this or not.

I was looking to donate my time to help with this project, however running OS X, I cannot.

The second something came available that would allow me to, I’d be all over it.

accrding to the experts, Mac is the safest and most advanced so why would you not run both programs. I will need to drop my membership and go to the latter day saints church as they are more advanced it seems. it’s for sure I wouldn’t give up the Mac.

Type your comment here.

I know I can run the other on my Mac but why should any one need to do that? Maybe Mac people should pay less. Anyway please change, that is the only proper thing to do.

Come on guys! Give us Apple Mackers a chance. We pay the same subscription as window users. Considering the amount of users world wide and the amounts of subscription charges (it must be astronomical!), you must surely have the funds to develop the system for Mackers? Will watch with interest.

Think of all the Mac users who could help you but are unable to. I certainly won’t run windows on either of my Macs

While I can appreciate a lack of resources, it seems to me that you might want to engage some bright Mac programmer to come up with a solution. As has been pointed out before, we Mac users also use your product. As passionate as we are about genealogy, we are just as passionate about using our trustworthy machines. I’d like to add my encouragement that you all reach out for assistance so many more folks can participate.

Yes, we know that we can use Bootcamp to run windows on our macs. We own macs so we don’t have to run windows! Please, get with the program. Thanks!

I would love to contribute, and I can translate your Italian records. Done hundreds of them on my own over the years. I see you have made little progress on some of the Pavia records, so I am offering. The ball is in your court. When you bring a Mac version online, let me know.

Waaaah, can’t I use my Mac with the WAP? Unbelievable!

It would help if they say up front – in the email inviting users to participate, and the main window leading to the sign-up — that this is WINDOWS only. I wasted a bunch of time getting to the download area to finally discover this.

Agree with Chris. At least tell us up front what the system requirements are. Signed, one less person able to help.

I find it quite interesting that Ancestry are happy to develop an iPhone app for family trees but won’t develop software for Mac users to contribute to the World Archives Project. I think they have their priorities all wrong!

While I am very aware that I can run Windows on my Mac, I do not want to “borrow” a friends Windows program nor do I want to purchase an additional operating system.

I would really like to have a Mac version of this program.

Many companies have both. It is time for Ancestry to step up to the plate…it has been a long time coming.

I don’t really think the IT guys know how to go about developing the Mac compatible software. It’s the fact that you only run on particular internet browsers. Mac’s can run windows and word, which also run on PC’s. Why is it that Safari is not included as an internet browser? Sometimes I feel as though Mac computer users are getting left in the ‘dark ages’ simply because IT guys know only how to use a PC and won’t learn on a Mac. Believe me, once you go to a Mac, you’ll wonder why in the world you even use a PC!

The fact that I can’t use my Mac to contribute to the World Archives Project is almost too ridiculous to comment on. The internet is supposed to bring about some equality and be platform neutral. Apparently the stuck in the mud windows/explorer diehards don’t think so. Step up to the plate, Ancestry.com, and get with the program!

I’m a tech entrepreneur. I spent most of my career working with Unix, and writing software across many platforms. For nearly two decades, I focused on Unix based operating systems, with Windows running on several systems in my home, office, etc. I never really cared for Macs. They seemed so damn hippy and artsy.

Then Apple did something amazing. They rebuilt their OS from the ground up and based it on BSD, a Unix-like operating system. Then, they optimized their UI layers and other frameworks on top of this new Unix. Then, they cleverly hid most of the Unix portions because of their layers, but left them in for advanced users who wanted to tap in.

I got curious. I told myself I’d give Apple and their OS X a serious 3 months trial. After all, they had Unix, and Microsoft had NT kernel based operating systems.

It’s been 5+ years now, and I haven’t looked back since. I’m a “switcher.” My MacBook Pro is one of the sexiest laptops, is one of the fastest pieces of hardware, and runs a REAL operating system.

As someone who has been in IT for most of his life, I truly appreciate the platform and the development tools that are available to me. And, the general interface guidelines help you produce simple, easy to understand applications (leaving room for advanced overrides if you really want to make your application flexible).

Ancestry, you’re missing out on quite possibly thousands of people who would be keying more content (on their own time for FREE… read: more people you don’t have to EMPLOY) to build your product. After all, the meat and potatoes really is the databases. You’ve got an incredible product on your hands, one that I’m willing to fork over $25-35/mo to have. You can make it even better if you tap into the Mac side. It’s no longer a toy. Engineering teams in all major companies have adopted some portion of macs now, even Intel (well, they do make the chips for Macs anyway).

I would have purchased Family Tree Maker 2010, but guess what, it’s Windows only. And I have to load up VMWare with a copy of Windows 7 that I needed to purchase as well, in order to run your keying tool.

In essence, in order for me to donate all my free time to you (which, I must admit, I don’t have much of, yet I somehow manage to give you more than I give anyone else), I had to pay for a copy of VMware and a copy of Windows 7. I did it only because I’m a techie. You can be your bottom dollars that regular people won’t go through these hoops to contribute.

Listen to the rest. Port the software. Or, open up an SDK/API for some of us savvy folks to build something ourselves.

I agree with the comments so far…I’ve got very little free time as it is now, but I’m so enthusiastic about genealogy that I was willing to give up some of that valuable time to help the community with indexing. When I saw that Ancestry had failed to account for the large number of Mac users, I just couldn’t believe it! In response to the individual that suggests I use Boot Camp, I say why? I’m a Mac user because I want to use a Mac…not so that I can spend more money on a less reliable, more vulnerable OS that I simply don’t want to use! I wish Ancestry would get with the program, I mean, even Microsoft makes their software available for Macs!!!!

For over 4 years I have been begging Ancestry to make Family Tree Maker for Mac users. All I get told is that they “are looking into it.” Now I cannot contribute to the World Archives Project because it is not for Mac users and again their answer is “we are looking into it.” I agree that I would give up Ancestry before I would go to Windows for anything. Charging us $300.00 a year for a subscription I cannot fully use is also dumb on my part. I will be changing my subscription this month. WHY WON’T ANCESTRY LISTEN TO US? IS IT THAT THEY REALLY DON’T CARE OR ARE THEY JUST NOT INTERESTED.

I, too, am an eager Mac user who is frustrated with the inability to get involved in the World Archives Project. Perhaps Darla should revise her quote about the project to say, “This project gives Windows users the opportunity to help the world’s stories live.” Saying it gives “us all” the opportunity is not really accurate. Please help “us all” to be able to get involved! Think how much more could be accomplished if all the frustrated Mac users were able to help! I’ll sign up just as soon as there is a software program that I can use. Please hurry!!

Come On Darla, tell your people to get with the programme. MAC users are MAC user by choice. Many of us have experienced the instability and vulnerability of Windows Operating Systems and Applications. Those of us who have, will never go back. Why should we expose our MAC systems to Windows add-ons at some expense, merely to offer our free time?
You apparently employ IT professionals, you have an offer of assistance from an IT professional in these comments. So get off the pot and get on with it, or you will surely loose membership, including this one!

As everyone else has already said – why would I want to run windows on my mac. I changed to an imac some 6 years ago and would never change back, pc’s are rubbish.
There is no excuse for not having software compatible with a mac, except that perhaps microsoft pay you not to!
Come on Darla, let us ALL get involved.

I would like to continue to advocate for a Mac platform so we can help improve your services and help lots more people become connected to their past.

Thank you!

I know this is long, but I’m sure many of you feel the same way I do, so I’m speaking for you too!

I have been an Ancestry subscriber for many years, & enjoy having this tool at my fingertips to satisfy my “addiction” to researching my family’s past. I recently purchased my first Mac & love it! This is the 1st Apple computer I’ve worked on since high school, before the internet. Having an Apple in the 80s & 90s was a privilege, yet frustrating at the same time, b/c there were only a few select programs you could buy. Needless to say, I’ve been a PC for the last 15 years, & am proud to say, I am now a Mac! I’m a believer when people say, “Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back.” I was surprised to see how FAST & SAFE it was, & how much more is available to Apple users in 2010, including the increasing number of Apple compatible, Windows based programs!

With that said, I’m well aware there are other products on the market, which will allow my Mac to run Windows & Windows’ products. However, after spending hundreds of dollars on programs to clean the viruses, worms, spyware, AND adware off my PCs over the years, why in the world would I want to go back to spending hours & hours of my precious time on mind-numbing computer scans? After seeing how much more I can accomplish on my Mac, I have realized how much of my free time I had been spending on those scans & waiting for my PC to start “responding” again, once it froze.

I used to be an “indexer” for LDS, & have indexed many records, so when I saw the World Archives Project through Ancestry, I became really excited to start up again, knowing how many more records I could enter, b/c my Mac is sooo much faster! When I was getting ready to download the software, I noticed it only spoke of Windows users, so I sent an email to Ancestry requesting the software download link for Mac users. I assumed since so many more people are buying Macs now, & more software companies are making Mac compatible programs, they MUST have a program for us. You can only imagine my disappointment when I received the following response, “Unfortunately at this time we do not have a Mac compatible version of the keying tool. All of the resources that we currently have are being directed to the Windows based version of the program. However, we have received quite a bit of feedback from Mac users regarding their interest in joining the World Archives Project. We apologize for any inconvenience & we appreciate your feedback as we work towards improving our products.” At the end of the email, he added the link to this site, so I could voice my concern. Of course I went straight to this blog & was absolutely disgusted to find it had been dated Sept 30, 2009!!! Almost 8 mos have gone by & this is STILL the most current answer you’re giving people who want to help you!? To the lay person, it appears you haven’t thought about this issue since September 2009.

Really, Ancestry?!? Think of the thousands of people, who own Mac computers, who could (and WANT) to VOLUNTEER their time to assist YOU in indexing millions of records, making Ancestry.com an even better resource for millions of other people, which in turn, will make you more money. If I were running a company, & had all of these people willing to help you for FREE, I think I would do everything I could to improve my product to include EVERYONE.

We know you are constantly updating your product to make more information available to the public, which we really appreciate, however, we want to feel appreciated too. We want Ancestry to address this on-going issue with a solution, which would allow Mac users to leave our footprint. Please give us the opportunity to be an important part of the Ancestry.com World Ancestry Project! As it has been said before, we ALL pay the SAME membership fee, therefore, we ALL should be given equal access to EVERYTHING Ancestry.com has to offer.

(FYI, to the other Mac users out there, just so you know, even if I didn’t have a Mac, I would have still posted a comment on this site to advocate for your equality. Living in my little “PC world”, I had no idea this was an issue…I had no idea people who paid the same membership fee as myself, were being excluded from this “worldwide” project.)

Ancestry, unfortunately, I cannot afford to make my new computer vulnerable to the perils of the Windows world again, so I will not be downloading your indexing tool at this time. I am very disappointed to not be able to volunteer to help a cause close to my heart…helping other people find more answers to their past.

You have an awesome product, which I have had a blast using, therefore, I will be checking back DAILY for:
1) a frequently UPDATED message addressing this on-going concern,
2) an EXPLANATION as to why it takes so long to convert “the keying tool so it will support multiple operating systems”,
3) INFORMATION regarding your progress toward a resolution, & finally,
4) a personal INVITATION to Mac users to participate in the Ancestry.com World Ancestry Project.

Darla, thank you for your dedication to this cause, & your understanding of this matter. I look forward to your prompt response, which supports your statement above, “This project gives us ALL the opportunity to help the world’s stories live!”

Ditto to all messages from MAC users. I was truly excited to be able to work on the World Archives Project, but alas .. as usual with Ancestry.com, MAC users are the red-headed step-children. And while I know I can run Windows on my MAC..if I wanted to do that I’d have a PC.

Perhaps Ancestry.com needs competition.

“This project give us ‘all’ the opportunity to help the
world’s stories live!” Not true. When you have some-
thing new to announce (World Archives Project) to
MAC users and have NO intent to include MAC users
in said projects, you are bordering on Hypocrisy!
If, by now, with your unlimited computer-resource experts, you have not figured out a way to INCLUDE Mac users on your site, as equals, this is pathetic.
Whether Morman, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc,
using your expertise to include ALL, is just not there.

I can’t really add anything more than what has already been said by other MAC users.
You know what, I’d absolutely love to get involved with the World Archives Project, and I’d like to think I’ll be able to at some point in the future. I do hope Ancestry are actually working on this, and don’t just expect us to load Windows on our Macs or use a PC. An update would be much appreciated.

As you can tell from our comments, Mac users are very frustrated to not be considered as a valuable part of the Ancestry community. I have Parallels for my Macbook, but would never consider connecting to the internet with anything but OSX, due to the well-known problems with Microsoft bugs, worms and spies.

I also much prefer Safari to any other browser, and am not happy that you don’t support it.

Please let me know when you do have a version of the World Archive Project for the Mac. I would love to help with keying information in the system.

Ancestry should speak with actions, not just words, “We’re working on it.” I use Safari, the Mac browser and Ancestry only supports Firefox so some of the functions don’t work properly. It shouldn’t take years to support a customer base. It’s like throwing away money because people will no longer use your service on principle.

As we near a year from the original post date on this entry, would it be possible for an update on how things are progressing? A year ago we were told that making the Archives Project compatible for Macs was “a point of discussion in our product roadmap planning meetings.” I have rejoiced, though from the outside, for the advancements made by the Project but I would love even more to be able to be one of the many who help Ancestry with their noble cause. Continuing information would be appreciated and being allowed into this world would make myself and other Mac-users ecstatic.

I second Matt’s comment (#36) from back in September. Why the inertia when it comes to Mac software development?

I volunteered a couple of years ago and was disappointed there was no way to use my Mac laptop. I used my desktop pc for a few months until it crashed. After all of this time I had hoped that Ancestry would have integrated the software ESPECIALLY since you can now buy Family Tree Maker for Mac which interacts with Ancestry.com and is compaitable to upload trees etc. If you can’t integrate the two perhaps establish a separate forum just for mac users and deal with the integration at the other end. Not taking advantage of all of us Mac users doesn’t make good business sense.

I am a new Mac user and must have access to this information. Your article is now 1 year old! Can your report progress for Mac users?

I hope Ancestry.com will add a Mac OS version of the World Archives software. I would LOVE to participate in this but not badly enough to buy a PC again 😛

Happy New Year fellow Mac folk. I too was disappointed to find I couldn’t help with the World Archives Project. As well as leaving comments correcting misspellings on my own tree ancestors, I’ve taken to offering suggestions for other mistakes I come across in my research eg.town/village names, personal fore and surnames, which to a local person are obvious errors.
Here is an opportunity to use my knowledge to help other researchers, but sadly, not until Mac users are facilitated.

This discussion has been going on for well over a year, and no doubt began before this post was made. We finally have Family Tree Maker for the Mac (hurrah!) so it IS possible. So many programs are produced for Windows AND Mac these days there really isn’t any excuse. The number of Mac users is growing rapidly – don’t get left behind Ancestry.

Oh and don’t even think about suggesting I run Windoze on my Mac – why do you think I switched?

I find it fairly pathetic that this project is so segregated. I find it pathetic that Ancestry prefers that we use Internet Explorer, which is now the number 3 web browser not the number 1 that so many people still claim.

Mac is the most safe and stable platform according to every techie I deal with. Windows is and has been the bad knock off version of Mac OS.

I like not having to do the amount of redundant maintenance that I had to on Windows 93-Vista. They all sucked and crashed repeatedly. I will drop the Ancestry membership as your site is becoming more and more Mac unfriendly. If you want to be in bed with Bill Gates, have a field day.

I add my frustration to every other Mac user’s. Ancestry’s response to my inquiry, though polite, rings hollow after reading the comments and realizing that nothing has changed since September 2009. Sounds like they need an incentive to finally get this done…

How about Mac users get a subscription discount on account of NOT being able to contribute to the World Archives Project? I bet it wouldn’t take but six months before they’d have a fully compatible Mac version up and running.

Well here it is March 2011 and I got the same response that Mary got in May 2010. I like ancestry.com, but they seem to have cornered the market, or so they think. Not listening to a extremely large populous, in my opinion, is not a smart business move on their part. I even sent the link to the free Apple Developers Tools. Nine out of 10 Personal computer sold in the last 5 years are Mac, and the iPad is off and running. The business world may still be dominated by the Windoze, but they are not the ones who are offering to help. Also, the business world is catching on, I switched my company to Mac, and there are only 2 little Windoze servers left…..and they are offline!!!!! Ancestry.com is the giant among genealogy research, but complacency has resulted in the fall of larger giants.

I have a MAC now and I used to key for you…I sure wish you would work out the kinks so I could get back to keying again! MLMartin

I really don’t want to create a dual-boot system leaving me much more vulnerable to windows security issues and viruses. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please get ‘with it’ Ancestry.

I see people have been asking for Mac compatibility at lest since September of 2009!!!

What is the problem?

Hope you get on this immediately, please.

I see people have been asking for Mac compatibility since September of 2009!!!

What is the problem?

Hope you get on this immediately, please.

Keep the votes coming in for Mac support, I’ll add mine now.

Winter will end before Ancestry decides to recognize that Mac users do genealogy too.

I’m stunned that this program is not Mac compatible and that Mac users would be so marginalized in your planning. I used to be a PC and Windows user, and now that I have my Mac (and only my Mac) there is no way I would return to a Windows world. I can’t understand how you would be the rarity in the electronic universe and ignore such a huge community. At the very least this is terrible PR for your company and creates an immediate antipathy for accessing any of your products. If other companies (many, MANY of them) can find Mac geeks in their IT departments to adapt their software, surely you can. It would certainly be most welcome and appreciated.

Add my voice to those of all of the Mac users who are dismayed by this inexplicable shortcoming. It’s been 2 years since you started making excuses and promises. In addition to being an Ancestry subscriber I’m also a shareholder. Your failure to develop Mac-compatible software is not only inexcusable given your objective of increasing participation but it is also bad business!

You should advertise that these services are not available as I am terribly frustrated. I would not have joined for the three month period had it been made known obviously that this service was not available for Mac users. Thats all I have is a Mac and I wouldn’t change either.

Will not re-commit after my 3 months are up



One more volunteer here, if and when you figure out how to develop Mac-based software for the World Heritage Project. I started years ago with Family TreeMaker, but then you stopped updating it for Mac. So I switched to Reunion for off line records. Happy with it. But ancestry.com is a whole new world of research. I do appreciate its potential. Time for Mac users to be included! We are equal, dues paying members here, don’t forget. We haven’t!

I just found out about worldmemoryproject.org. I am a child of
survivors and, along with many of my friends who are also children of survivors, would like to volunteer for this project. However, like millions of other Americans, I have a MAC computer. You are losing a valuable resource in us by not being MAC compatible.

Here it is August 1st, and I just got the same response from Ancestry when I asked why I can’t participate in the project. Obviously, they aren’t too concerned about the loss of so many volunteers or the fact that most of us Mac users are being ignored.

I am also very disappointed with Family Tree Maker and switched to Reunion, much better interface and very easily updated, especially now that they have the iPod/iPad app that you can use to input data when visiting cemeteries or archives without a computer. You can also use the camera and video for media clips to attach. After reading all the comments I guess I will collaborate on the Family Search project and cancel my ancestry subscription.

You are losing 50% of hopeful volunteers by not recognising Mac as equally important as Windows.

Yes I have to agree there is that sense that Mac users are not very important at all, and that’s sad.

The days of Mac being rare are long gone.

Hope you can fix this problem very very soon.

I too was a contributor of the archives. But I have finally gotten a new computer and of course it’s a MAC Since I was frustrated with a lot of the issues in using ancestry.com and them not recognizing last names that are multiple words. I now see they don’t want my help with archives either. Seems that since this has been asked for, for years and no one has bothered to respond I assume they have the same useless programmers they always had and don’t invest in them.

Someone is pocketing a good amount of $. We all know they get “volunteers” to do the entering so where’s all the subscription fees going? To advertising? I recommend everyone save their money. I too will not be re-subscribing to ancestry.com or “donating” my time to a company that does not listen to the customer.

Vote with your feet and find another resource. This one does not care about its consumers, it’s not cheap and one would think they could get it together but they have proven to be useless once again. They really think we are tied to them? I have not had my subscription for many months and find that a lot of the records they “offer” are available for FREE elsewhere. Say la vi Ancestry.

I too must add my frustration that I cannot assist with the World Memory Project using my Mac laptop.

I could easily give a full 8-hour day almost every week to this project, and would love to do so.

There is a vague note on this website that VMWare may provide compatibility, but for a Mac-only user since 1986 such as myself, that is far too little information. I visited the VMWare website, and have no idea which version I should consider, or how it should all work.

Please develop a Mac version of the World Memory Project keying tool. Many of us are *so* eager to help with this amazing project.