When I first got my Android tablet, I thought I’d be able to use it like a computer, and I was disappointed when I couldn’t. Although my tablet is a lot easier to carry around than my bulky laptop, it spent a few genealogy conferences at home.
I just didn’t know what a handy genealogy assistant a tablet (or iPad) could be. In our upcoming Maximize Your iPad (or Tablet) for Genealogy online workshop, you’ll learn how to take advantage of your tablet’s tools and convenience to—as tech wizard Lisa Louise Cooke would say—turn your device into a “genealogy powerhouse.”
Powerful apps optimized for mobile devices are a big part of what can make your tablet or iPad an essential genealogy tool, so they’ll be covered thoroughly in the workshop.
Here’s a sneak peek: 10 types of apps every genealogist should have on his or her mobile device, along with suggestions for each:
- Note-taking: Evernote is highly popular with genealogists for taking and organizing notes (which can include record images), and it includes a web clipper. Microsoft One-note also is popular.
- File storage and transfer: When you use your device to photograph records or microfilm at a library, you’ll want a way to easily transfer those images to your computer at home. Dropbox and File Transfer (iPad/Phone and Android) are two options.
- Tree-viewing (and editing): See if the software or family tree website where you track your research has a mobile app. If you’re looking for a place to put your tree, look for an option that includes an app so you can check your tree from a library, family gathering, cemetery, etc. Ancestry.com, MyHeritage (which just announced a major redesign of its app), FamilySearch Family Tree, RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree (the app is called Families) all have mobile apps.
- Scanning: Apps that turn your tablet camera into a scanner (great for “photocopying” records) include CamScanner, Genius Scan, Scannable by Evernote, and more. Here’s an article listing scanning apps to consider.
- Translator: Google Translate (iPad/Phone and Android) is the go-to translation tool for many researchers. Here are some other options.
- Library searching: WorldCat has a mobile app available in beta for iPad/Phone and Android. See if libraries in your ancestral locales have mobile apps, too, which might let you search the catalog and find your way around the library.
- Conference-going: Many genealogy conferences have mobile apps that show you the class schedule, an exhibit hall map and more. Here’s one for the National Genealogical Society conference this week. The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree app will be available soon.
- Recording: Interviewy (iPad/Phone) is a good app for recording oral history interviews.
- Blog reading: Feedly is great for keeping up with genealogy blogs, as is Flipboard.
- Storytelling/keeping: FamilySearch Memories lets you take photos, record memories and interviews, write stories, and add them to your FamilySearch family tree. Storypress (for the iPad/Phone) and Keepy let you take a picture and record audio or video to go with it.
The Maximize Your iPad (or Tablet) for Genealogy online workshop starts Friday, May 22, and runs for a week. It includes six video classes, advice from Lisa Louise Cooke, and an exclusive workshop message board. View the workshop program and get registered at Family Tree University.