Remember when I blogged about checking Family Search’s blog? Or my more recent blog (with a video) about their upcoming Family Search Apps? They’re here! Two FamilySearch Apps were were announced in their blog this month.

FamilySearch Tree

The first is called FamilySearch Tree. It’s available at iTunes and Google Play. Designed to be a mobile companion to FamilySearch Tree, it lets you add photos, stories, and audio recordings to your tree at Family Search (it doesn’t presently let you edit people details, but they say it will soon).

I frequently use Ancestry’s app to check dates, relationships, and where people were born, lived or died when I’m away from my computer. But I find it a little clunky to use for hints or adding information. So I have been impatiently waiting for this app to come out so I could compare the two.

Unlike some other apps, it only asks for access to your microphone/camera and your photos/media/files. Sweet! Can’t tell you how many apps I’ve declined because they want access to things I don’t really care to give them access to.

Downloading was quick, less than 10 seconds, but of course depends on your device and your internet connection. The first thing it asks for is your FamilySearch username and password. So you must have a FamilySearch account to use it successfully. Seems like a given, but some people may not be aware of that. You need to already have an account and tree at FamilySearch. This app will not let you create a tree.

Your pedigree chart appears next. It’s a little squished on my Android phone, but on my Android tablet, it’s easy to read and scroll around.

It automatically adds photos you upload through the FamilySearch app to your device’s gallery. Nice to have a back-up, but if you’d rather not have them added to your gallery, you can change it in settings.

You can download 6 generations in your tree to view offline. That’s another cool plus. This app will work without, yes, without, wifi connection.

There is a search function, but bear in mind, this is not a replacement for the web-based FamilySearch. You can’t search for new people (or records), it only searches the people already in your tree. Remember this is a newly released app — they will release many more features in the near future. From what I’ve read from the beta testers, they claim we will be really happy with it when it’s all finished.

Basically it does these things:

  • Scan through your FamilySearch family tree, read individual data and view photos
  • Upload and share old photos
  • Add your relatives records and photos easily from a mobile device
  • It’s available for iOS 7+ and Android 2.3+

FamilySearch Memories

App #2 is called FamilySearch Memories. Currently only available at iTunes, but an Android app should be available later this year.

It helps you collect, preserve and share any family memory. Say you’re at a reunion, and there’s a person in your tree there, but you hadn’t seen them before. Snap a pic and immediately upload it to your tree.

Maybe Grandpa’s telling an old story you want to preserve. Record him at the reunion through your mobile device and upload it to your tree under his profile. Don’t miss any meaningful moment! Like it says in their blog, “You could be the one everyone thanks for saving the most meaningful memories.” Think what this would have meant to you now if someone two or three generations back had the ability to do this. You’d know so much more about your ancestors than just names and dates.

This is what it can do:

  • Reunions, recitals, dates, weddings, graduations, even memorials can be captured in photos
  • Records, book pages, or photos can be photographed
  • Use the audio portion to capture life stories or important moments
  • Enhance the stories you’ve written with photos that match
  • Use your keyboard to record those “family-isms,” the funny stories, the traditions, the jokes
  • Within a memory you can tag and identify your relatives to automatically add it to their collection in Family Tree

You say they sound pretty similar? Perhaps. But the Tree app takes what you have in your phone, and can add it to your tree. The Memories app helps you capture all those family moments, whether in spoken, written, or photography, and can add them to individuals in your tree.

Bear these things in mind.

#1. It’s a new app. It isn’t going to do everything. Apparently they felt it was better to release it mid-year rather than wait until all the bells and whistles were running.

#2. Even tho you can record and upload audio memories, the ability to listen to them is not yet available in a browser (but coming very soon in the next few weeks).

#3. Make sure you type FAMILYSEARCH (no space) in Google Play Store (vs. FAMILY SEARCH). For a while there was a copy app up there which was full of ads. To be on the safe side, make sure the developer is “FamilySearch International”.

So what are you waiting for? Why not give one or both a try? No better time than the present to preserve your family memories in a place where they’ll be stored forever for free.

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