Monday, March 3, 2014

First Look at RootsMagic App on Android Device - Post 1

RootsMagic announced at RootsTech 2014 that the RootsMagic mobile app for Android was available.  I was busy at the time, so I didn't seize the opportunity to download the app and report on it.  You can learn more about the app at

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab that is about three years old, so I was curious to see if the app would bring run on my tablet.  The databasehas about 42,000 persons in it, with a significantn umber of media items, source citations, etc.

This mobile app can be used to upload a RootsMagic database (from versions 4 to 6) - not a GEDCOM file or any otherk ind of file - into the app by putting the database in Dropbox.

When I opened the RootsMagic app it told me what to do:

I already had the file in an Apps folder on Dropbox, so I tapped the "File" icon at the bottom of the screen, and the app found my Dropbox folder and the one file I had in it.  I tapped the title of that database, and the app began loading the data into it.  It took a significant amount of time - I'm guessing several minutes, to load.

Note that everything I'm showing in this blog post is in Portrait mode and not in Landscape mode.

After it loaded, the "Pedigree" view appeared.  My RootsMagic database was color-coded, so the four colors appeared on the screen:

I noted that the pedigree view above had four generations.  The RootsMagic App on my iPhone has only three generations.

Note the five icons at the bottom of the screen - for File, View, Lists, Tools and Info.

On the "Pedigree" view above, I tapped on Henry Austin Carringer, my great-grandfather, to see what his information looked like.  His information loaded:

This loading was not instantaneous - it took perhaps 10 seconds to load.

The birth, marriage and death information for Henry Austin Carringer was displayed, along with buttons for "Set Primary" (to make him the start person when I start the app), "Parents" and "Spouses."

There is also a button to "View Full Details" about the person.  I tapped on the "View Full Details" button and saw:

The screen above has the list of Events for Henry Austin Carringer, and the user can scroll down (flick up) to see additional Events.  There are icons at the right side of each event to see the notes, media and/or sources for the event.

Above the list of events on the screen above, is a button to "Click to view notes, sources and media for Henry Austin Carringer."  I can't resist - I tapped that button, and the "Notes" screen opened:

Again, I can scroll down by flicking up in order to see the rest of the Note.

Then I tapped the "Sources" button at the top of the screen:

The "Sources" button says that there are two sources.  I know I had quite a few more for this person.  I could not see all of the sources by flicking anything up, down or sideways.  I could see only two source items, both for Henry Austin Carringer's birth. I should be able to see a list of all of the Source titles on the left, then pick one and see the source citation for the one I pick on the right of the screen.

I tapped the "Back" button at the top to the list of Events, and tapped on the Birth event and saw the same screen as above.

Back on the Events list, I scrolled down and tapped on the 1920 U.S. Census event and saw:

The screen above shows that there is one source - the 1920 U.S. Census source title and the source citation from the database are shown.

I don't understand why, after I tapped the "Click to view notes, sources and media for Henry Austin Carringer"  button, the "Sources" tab showed only two sources.  I had twelve or more sources for the person.

Ah, I think I know why - I had only those two sources linked to the person's name, Henry Austin Carringer!  I'm glad I figured that out before I posted this..

I tapped on the "Media" button and saw the list of all 14 media items for Henry Austin Carringer:

The "Media" list is on the left, and by tapping one of the media items on the list, the user can see the thumbnail image on the right.  The image cannot be enlarged - it is a thumbnail.  I think that was done in order to keep the file size limited on the tablet.

I will do another post to look at some of the other information on the icons at the bottom of the screen, and also to have a look at the app in Landscape mode.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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