1) Tamura Jones wrote a blog post about Software MacKiev Family Tree Maker 2014 on 1 March 2016. He, apparently, was part of a short beta evaluation team. He also has information about the free updates to the current versions.
2) On the site, there is a link to a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Family Tree Maker.
The questions and answers include:
Q: When will Family Tree Maker start shipping again?
A: Both Mac and Windows editions are already available for download through our Online Store. Click here to get them now!
Q: I already own FTM 2014or FTM Mac 3. Will I have to purchase this new version?
A: No. There will be a free update available soon. Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when its available at www.mackiev.com/ftm.
Q: I own an older version of Family Tree Maker. Can I get a discount on an upgrade?
A: Yes! If you already have FTM 2012 or Mac 2 or earlier, you can get an upgrade to the new versions for just $29.95 (vs. regular price $69.95). To receive our upgrade offer, make sure you have signed up for our mailing list at www.mackiev.com/ftm. We will be sending out the upgrade offer on March 4th to everyone who has signed up by then.
Q: Will we need to transfer our trees in some way to use the new versions?
A: No. We are not starting over but rather building from FTM 2014 and FTM Mac 3 editions, so you will not need to move your trees – as you would if you were moving to some other family tree software than Family Tree Maker.
Q: Are your new versions of Family Tree Maker upgrades?
A: The Windows version is a somewhat updated version of FTM 2014, with as many bug fixes we could fit in. We've had more time to work on the Mac version and we have an update just about ready that will have some new features and some new background art added.
Q: What will the cost be for users new to Family Tree Maker?
A: Full new copies of Family Tree Maker will still be $69.95, but we will have an introductory offer for $49.95 when the product ships, so sign up to get notified if you'd like to take advantage of that. We will be sending out the upgrade offer on March 4th to everyone who has signed up by then.
Q: I have a copy of Family Tree Maker already for one computer. Do I have to buy additional copies at full price?
A: No, we will have a Family Pack Upgrade that will upgrade your license from one copy to three for just $20, and those three copies may be a mix of Mac and Windows editions.
Q: I'm a Family Tree Maker user. Do I have to buy new versions of Family Tree Maker from software MacKiev in order for my Family Tree Maker to work with my subscription to Ancestry.com?
A: No, you don't need to purchase anything and your Ancestry.com subscription will continue to work with Family Tree Maker.
Q: Where will Family Tree Maker be sold?
A: Currently we plan to sell new FTM Mac and Windows editions through our online store (both downloads and physical discs will be available) and through other online resellers such as Amazon.com, and the Mac App Store.
Q: Will Software MacKiev be supporting FamilySearch?
A: Yes. We’ll be implementing Family Search in future versions of Family Tree Maker. Ancestry had actually started implementing Family Search some time ago in both Mac and Windows versions. The folks at Family Search have already reached out to us and we hope to have Family Search in FTM versions by the end of 2016.
Q: What about TreeSync? Will we still be able to keep our trees in synch with the tree we have on Ancestry.com?
A: As Ancestry has announced, you will continue to be able to access your data through TreeSync through December 31, 2016 using current versions of Family Tree Maker. After January 1, 2017, while TreeSync will not be supported by Ancestry for the version you have now, you will still be able to access your trees on Ancestry.com and keep your online tree consistent with the one on FTM through new technologies being developed together by Software MacKiev and Ancestry.
Q: Do I need to re-register with Software MacKiev?
A: No, you do not need to re-register with Software MacKiev for your software to continue working. You might want to sign up for our mailing list though to find out about new product introductions and upgrades. Click here to sign up.
Q: What about the Family Book Creator plugin by Stefan Harms? Is it compatible with the new versions?
A: Yes! Stefan Harms already has developed a free update for his Family Book Creator (FBC) for FTM 2014.1. A download link will be sent to registered FBC Newsletter subscribers and can be found inside your FBC licensing information as well. More details can be found here.
3) There are several interesting answers on this list:
* The free update to the current program versions is not yet available - you need to signup for the free newsletter at www.mackiev.com/ftm. I did. I also checked the "Help > Check for Update" menu item in Family Tree Maker 2014 and there is not one available now.
* The Software MacKiev versions will be able to interact with FamilySearch by the end of 2016. The interaction process is not defined - it may be like the process that LDS members can use now to interact between Ancestry and FamilySearch. Or not.
* The TreeSync issue is important, and they say "After January 1, 2017, while TreeSync will not be supported by Ancestry for the version you have now, you will still be able to access your trees on Ancestry.com and keep your online tree consistent with the one on FTM through new technologies being developed together by Software MacKiev and Ancestry."
To me, that says the interaction will be different from Treesync. Ancestry.com said at RootsTech that they have not started working on the API required to make this happen.
4) Software MacKiev promised to have their new version of Family Tree Maker available by 1 March 2016, and they essentially met that commitment. I look forward to receiving the free update to my present version of FTM 2014 soon. Will it be on 4 March?
Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver