With MobileTree, New Family Search customers can access their FamilySearch data directly on their iPhone or iPod Touch. In short, you can have your online database in your pocket at all times, and the information is automatically updated without any involvement from you. There is no copying of files, no GEDCOM files, and no other systems tasks involved. Just turn the handheld device on and use it.
Keep in mind that MobileTree only works with New Family Search, the database owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. New Family Search is still in beta test and is available only to members of that church plus a few others. If you do not have a user name and password to New Family Search, the MobileTree program will be useless to you - for now. New Family Search will someday be released to the general public. When that happens, MobileTree and similar programs will become useful for everyone.
MobileTree directly accesses the New Family Search Database for its information, allowing retrieval of the Church's genealogy records. You can access those records from any location, as long as your iPhone or iPod Touch can connect to the Internet via a wireless connection. If Internet access is not available, you may view information that is already displayed on MobileTree. However you may not search for new information without Internet access. The Internet is available on the iPhone through 3G or wi-fi wireless networking. The iPod Touch only works with wi-fi.
Once installed, MobileTree can be used to research content stored on New Family Search, including:
- An individual ancestor - What events are recorded for this individual, including birth, death, and burial?
- A family record, including an ancestor's siblings
- Your pedigree record to see your parents, grandparents and earlier ancestors.
MobileTree also provides the premium feature to associate photographs of ancestors or events. You typically "associate" those events manually on the iPhone. You do not download the photographs from New Family search.
When held vertically, the iPhone or iPod Touch displays information in text format. This is typically called "portrait mode." However, to view a pedigree chart of the information, turn the handheld device on its side, or "landscape mode." A help box will appear to offer further instructions.
MobileTree is a "read only" application at this time. That is, you can use the handheld device to read information that is stored in the online New Family Search database. However, you cannot yet add new information directly from the handheld device. You can, however, add new information to New Family Search from a normal Windows or Macintosh computer. That new information will then become visible on the handheld MobileTree application. The producers of MobileTree have promised to add an update capability to the handheld program in a future release.
MobileTree has completed all the requirements communicated by the FamilySearch organization and has been certified as an approved access application.
MobileTree sells for $4.99. The producing company is listing that price as an "introductory offer." As is customary on most iPhone applications, there is no free trial. To download MobileTree, visit the App Store on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Press SEARCH and then enter: mobiletree. Installation is automatic and only requires a few seconds.