Four Must-Have Genealogy Apps

Four Must-Have Genealogy Apps

Want to translate foreign-language genealogy records? Listen to expert advice during your commute? Take research notes on all your devices or more efficiently scour the web for ancestors? These free apps can get the job done.

When a genealogist gets a new tablet or smartphone, the first question is often “which apps should I install for genealogy?” The answer is simple: You want the apps that will accomplish the genealogical tasks at hand. Perhaps you need to speak to an archivist in a different language or translate foreign-language records. Or you want to make better use of your driving or housecleaning time by also listening to genealogy tips. Need to take research notes of all types on all your devices? Or scour the web more efficiently for genealogical gems? These free apps can get the job done.
 App    Description  Features  Tips
 Google Translate
(iOS and Android, free)

 This free app breaks down language barriers in genealogy. Use it to converse with someone who speaks another language using your device’s microphone and speaker, and translate signs and other printed text using the camera.
  • supports 90 languages
  • translate using your voice, camera, keyboard or handwriting
  • translates while offline; no internet connection is required
  • save translations and access them from any device
Translate newspapers and books by pulling up a digitized page, zooming in on the desired text (must be a standard typeface), opening the app on your device and snapping a pic of the page.
 Capti Narrator
(iOS, free basic version or subscription-based enhanced version)

Consume web pages, blogs, digitized books and other online genealogy content with your ears instead of your eyes. This app lets you listen to content from the web, Google Drive or Dropbox. In addition to the iOS app, you can use Capti in Firefox and on Windows and Mac computers (English only).
  • narrates websites, e-books and documents
  • save content for later or listen immediately using the Playlist
  • skip ads and menus on web pages
  • listen offline
  • customize voice and speech rate
  • supports PDF, EPUB, HTML, TXT, DOC, PPT, RTF, ODT and more
  • multilingual
 Visit the Captivoice website in your Firefox browser, open the Download tab and install the Capti Firefox add-on. You can install the Capti Bookmarklet in most web browsers to add web pages (in any language) to Capti.
(iOS and Android, free)

 The ultimate note-taking app lets you create notes in many forms (text, audio, video, images, handwriting, web clips) and synchronize them across all your devices. Retrieve notes with the search tool and make image notes keyword-searchable with optical character recognition.
  • compatible with PC and Mac computers, as well as Android, iOS, Windows and Amazon platforms
  • three levels of service: Free (60 MB monthly uploads), Plus (1 GB) and Premium (unlimited)
  • save web content with web clipper and screenshot tools
Apply tags to your notes for easy retrieval and sorting. Group notes into notebooks for projects (particularly those you plan on sharing). The browser clipper works for most web clipping, but the screenshot clipper gives precise clipping control.
(iOS and Android, free)

 In addition to being a great web browser, this app has loads of convenient built-in tools. My favorite ones let you save to Evernote, find text on a page, and navigate with Gestures, which allow you to accomplish tasks with one swoop of your finger.
  •  Sonar feature (Android and iPhone) lets you search, share and navigate by shaking your phone and speaking commands
  • use downloadable desktop extensions to send URLs, directions, photos and phone numbers to connected devices
  • sync bookmarks, tabs, history and passwords
 To set up customized gestures (such as a for, first tap the hand icon. Next, draw the letter in one stroke. Tap the Add Gesture button, then enter the URL. Finally, tap Next, then Save.


From the January/February 2016 Family Tree Magazine 

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