Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Smart Phone and a Tablet...oh my!

We went shopping last weekend for new phones, and I got an iPhone 4 (not a 4s, they were out of them at the Verizon store) in an effort to bring my technology into the 21st century.  Unfortunately, Linda still had a Verizon contract so she couldn't get one too.  While she was sitting in a chair looking sad, a salesman interested her in a Samsung Galaxy Tablet...so we got that for her so she can play games, check her email and check Facebook.  Maybe she'll even read my blog once in awhile (hmmm, I'll need to be careful what I say here!) or even look at her family tree.  Merry Christmas to us!

Back to my iPhone.  After learning how to use the phone, hooking up to my Gmail account, how to use the camera, how to use the Maps function, and how to use the App Store (wow!), I brought it home and have added so far:

*  Twitter
*  Facebook
*  Google Reader
*  Google Plus
*  Evernote
*  Billion Graves
*  The Weather Channel
*  Sudoku
*  FamilyConnect
*  Ancestry.com

I tried to upload my 41,000 person (that was naive of me!) to the iPhone...big mistake...after an hour it was about half loaded.  I canceled that.  Heather Rojo suggested a smaller database works fine, so I made a GEDCOM file using RootsMagic 5 that included my ancestry (12 generations, including siblings of ancestors), Linda's ancestry, my great-grandparents descendants, and Linda's great-grandparents descendants.  That came to about 7,000 persons, including all of our close families.  I imported that to Family Tree Maker 2012, and then added it to my Ancestry.com trees.  That was easily managed by the iPhone.  I'm thinking that I can invite my brothers, daughters, and cousins to that Ancestry tree and they can add it to their smart phones also (perhaps interesting one of them to carry on the quest).

Is there a way to get PDF documents into the iPhone? 

I'm still experimenting with music and podcasts that I have on my desktop computer and adding them to iTunes to transfer to the iPhone. I have only 8 gb so need to be careful with quantity. 

We haven't done much with the Galaxy Tablet yet ... Linda is still experimenting with it, and wants to go get more training from the Verizon salesman.  I may end up using that to read PDFs and presentations.

I can access YouTube through the iPhone so I can probably watch the different genealogy channels.  Now I'm wondering if I can watch the FamilySearch Research Courses through the browser.  I need to try that also.  So many features, so little time!

While the smart phone is really useful, I find that so far I have used it to read email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ while I'm watching television or waiting somewhere.  As such, it will save me some reading time on the desktop computer. 

I asked about additional Apps on Facebook, and received a number of suggestions (and have added some of them in the list above).  I haven't bought anything yet.

What other Apps should I add that are useful for genealogy research and documentation?  Please tell me what and why!


Unknown said...

Randy, two suggestions: 1) "Camscanner" is a great little app that uses yor phon's camera to take a picture of a document, convert it to a .pdf file, save it, send it to email or dropbox... I have it on my Android phone, but there is also a camscanner app for the iPhone; 2) any .pdf file that you have saved to Dropbox can be read using Dropbox's internal reader.

Whitney McKim said...

For PDFs I like GoodReader or Dropbox. If you've already signed up for a dropbox account it seems to make the most sense as you can keep files organized via their sync services.

Lynn Palermo said...

Congrats Randy, I hoping to be in the same boat on boxing day. I will be interested to hear what everyone recommends.

Jeri J Steele said...

The simplest way I use to get a PDF to my iPad or iPhone is to email or download the document from the web. It will automatically go into iBooks. Evernote and dropbox as well as iCloud all work too.

Joan Holloway said...

I like iBooks on my iPad. I can open documents in iBooks and It files it on bookshelves for immediate or later use.

Michelle Goodrum said...

Randy, I will second GeneaPopPop's Camscanner recommendation.

Also, I have an Android but was able to find a free PDF reader which has been very helpful.