Thursday, August 9, 2012

Will there be a Family Tree Maker 2013?

By this time last year, the Family Tree Maker 2012 Beta testing was underway and the TreeSync feature was the challenge for the developers of Family Tree Maker software.

It's early August, and new versions of Family Tree Maker have usually been announced by this time in the calendar year.  But I've heard absolutely nothing about a 2013 version of Family Tree Maker.  The website has nothing on it mentioning a 2013 version:

There are two message board threads with Family Tree Maker 2013 in the title:

*  Family Tree Maker 2013 (started 17 July 2012)

*  Family Tree Maker 2013 Wishlist (started 23 September 2011)

I spent some time reading those threads today, and saw nothing really new or revolutionary as it relates to FTM 2012.  I also did a search on the Internet for Family Tree Maker 2013 and found no real information about it.

Perhaps is going to announce it at the FGS Conference in Birmingham - we'll have to watch for it.

So, inquiring minds want to know:

1)  Will there be a Family Tree Maker 2013?

2)  If so, what are the new features that would justify purchasing it?

3)  If so, will there be a Beta testing period for potential users?

4)  What new capabilities would you like to see in an FTM 2013?  Please tell me in comments!

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


KMD said...

I would love them to unify the features and release dates of the PC and Mac software.

Kerry Scott said...

Well, if is for sale (as has widely been reported), they're probably holding off to see who their new overlords will be. Those new owners might want to have a say in how that product is developed and marketed.

Geolover said...

Since it took quite a while to work out bugs in the program and in its vaunted interface with Ancestry Member Trees, perhaps development of a new product in addition to the FTM patches and AMT adjustments just ate too many resources.

During some of that time there were also server-functioning problems that may have been related to a combination of 1940 US Census activity and FTM2012 user activity.

Rosemary said...

I would like them to address the handling of large databases, the memory leaks and the generally abysmal speed of the report publishing features. None of these is a trivial undertaking.

Donna Hague Wendt said...

I would like to be able to switch and use married names for females in the Index without having to go to TOOLS --> OPTIONS --> NAMES/DATES/PLACES --> then Check the box "Use Married Names for Females". Seems to me that choice ought to be available right at the index on the People view where you can SORT various was to see people in the index. Or maybe just a little box at the top in the green Index bar?

Unknown said...

Family Tree Maker 2013 should be what all FTMs should have been from the very beginning - identical to Ancestry's online trees. Anything else has been and is baffling to me.

Aylarja said...

Does memory serve me right, or was the public beta test of FTM 2012 an exception to Ancestry's typical mum's rule of thumb? My sense was that the TreeSync feature required a larger pool of testers to shake out the lion's share of bugs prior to commercial release.

I respect Kerry's judgment that a pending sale might have an influence on Ancestry's current behavior. But I would also bet that Ancestry has been developing a revised version of FTM ever since it released FTM 2012 last year, and that such a revised product is being or has already been beta tested internally. Ancestry's standard practice is to refresh FTM every year, sprinkling it with just enough marketable "enhancements" to justify a Gregorian goosing and a fresh new coat of paint. Family Tree Maker is a key conduit to what I presume is Ancestry's biggest money maker, the web site. If Ancestry is seeking a buyer, I would think the image of a vibrant company actively enhancing its underlying value would make it a far more attractive prospect.

In that light, I can imagine that Ancestry might tap the brakes a bit on an FTM update if it believed that doing so made sense from a packaging and marketing standpoint, and that such a change was imminent. I would be surprised, however, if we don't see a Family Tree Maker 2013 well before Christmas, regardless of which corporate logo appears on the box.

If you think I sound cynical, then I plead guilty. Yes, I think that is probably the most commercially savvy genealogy biz out there. But I'm not so cynical that I dislike either Family Tree Maker or In fact, I pony up for an membership annually, and for FTM about every other year. I have my gripes, but I don't let them spoil the love.

Regarding Donna Hague Wendt's comment, I will say that there is a way to do what you are asking, at least as I understand what you are asking. When you are on the Person tab of the People module, and if you click the Index button (or press F2) to open the Index, and then click on the Options... button in the upper right of the Index screen, there is a checkbox labeled "Use married names for females". In my experience, the resulting sorting can be a bit buggy, especially if you later uncheck the "Use married names for females" checkbox. I've found that I need to close and reopen the Index list to get the sorting back the way it should be after switching back out of the "married names" mode.

Anonymous said...

source citations made easier
Easier to print a PDF report

Kathleen Moore said...

I would be a little skittish of a new update to FTM until the sync is fine tuned a bit more.

Currently, you can sync your copy of FTM with your member tree. However, I work from two computers and only one can be synced to my member tree.

If we update FTM, what kind of sync issues will pop up? As it stands each new version of FTM is a separate install and it just updates your file. I'm assuming this would break the link to the member tree.

What would be the point of linking DNA tests, syncing photos, cleaning up citations and events if you'd have to start from zero every time there's an update to the program?

Unknown said...

From the Ancestry Blog . . .
"We know many of you have been eagerly waiting to hear when Family Tree Maker 2013 will be released. Well, we’re doing things a little different this year. Instead of creating a new version of the software, the team has been putting all of its resources into improving Family Tree Maker 2012 so you get new bonus features throughout the year.

If you haven’t purchased or upgraded to Family Tree Maker 2012 yet, there’s never been a better time.

Since Family Tree Maker 2012 was released last fall, a number of updates have been sent out that include improvements and new features. Here’s a list of just some of these great changes:

Numerous enhancements to TreeSync so syncing your tree to is faster and more reliable
A new Family View Report that displays a person’s ancestors, spouse, and children together (similar to the Family View in the People workspace)
A new Undocumented Facts Report that lists people’s facts that have no source documentation
The ability to merge info from multiple versions of the same fact
New source templates for the 1940 U.S. census and improved support for city directories
Dozens of report enhancements including performance improvements and new options in the relationship chart, family group sheet, Individual Report, Notes Report, Data Errors Report, Outline Descendant Report, Media Item Report, photo albums, Media Usage Report, Documented Facts Report, and calendar
And there are more enhancements to come in the next bonus update—so stayed tuned."