What is MobileGenealogy.com?
At its heart, it’s about genealogists using mobile devices for genealogy research. The focus is primarily on genealogy-related applications, but we are open to looking at any applications or devices that can help genealogists. There’s been some transitions and we are in an interesting time these days. We’ve moved from Palm/PalmOS devices and Windows CE/Pocket PC/Windows Mobile devices dominating the mobile genealogy software/application market to the iPhone surprising everybody and becoming the premium mobile genealogy application. While Palm devices have fallen off, Windows Mobile devices look to make a strong showing with the upcoming Windows Mobile 7. The Google Android platform is starting to take off. I’ve got a lot more to say about all of that, but I’m saving it for after I finish redoing the site from top to bottom.
We are reaching a kind of golden age of mobile devices for genealogists – affordable, a choice of 3 platforms (iPhone OS, Google Android, Windows Mobile), and a large selection of software. Then there is the netbook, but more on that later.
As we look ahead and move forward, at the same time there are plenty of people who are using older devices/PDAs, including Palms, as well as mobile devices that don’t have dedicated genealogy software, and I want to help them out if possible – as we all know, just because something new came out doesn’t mean the old has stopped working. If you see an old solution or a genealogy application that we aren’t listing that may be of use to somebody, please hit the contact button at the top of this page and let us know.
I’m going to cover their uses, partly because I have one, and partly because I think they make a valuable tool for a lot of genealogists. When they first started coming out, laptops in that size and price range were hard to come by. Now you can get a 13.3-inch or even 15.6-inch laptop for nearly as cheap as a netbook, but netbooks still offer plenty of advantages over larger laptops while at the same time mobile devices/pdas offer advantages over netbooks, all of which I’ll be discussing later on.
What about mobile devices in general?
I’ll cover the major developments (Apple’s iPad, Google’s Nexus One, among others), but I’m not going to cover every single new device – this blog/website is focused on genealogy software and methods. I will cover every bit of genealogy-related software you could conceivably use on a mobile platform…well not all of the Windows or Mac OS X genealogy software on laptops obviously, but if it’s on a mobile device or PDA or Smartphone, yes, I’ll cover it. Mobile devices/computing and genealogy go hand in hand – every since the first “luggables” and laptops came out in the past few decades, genealogists have been making use of them. As we move more and more towards organizing and storing nearly all of our various genealogy research and projects in some kind of digital form, or at least having them available for easy reference, these devices will become more important. The majority of devices and software I’ll be covering is not going to replace a full-fledged laptop or desktop, but it might just able to save you from lugging around a few extra pounds of gear.
What device should I use and do you lean towards anything in particular?
I can make a few recommendations, but honestly it’s going to come down to what you need out of a mobile device as far as your genealogy and family research needs. Some people are not going to need a genealogy application on their smartphone/mobile phone, but they might need other software or certain features (GPS, mapping, etc.). As I said below, I primarily use an iPhone and a netbook these days, however that is not going to be for everyone and I don’t want anybody thinking this site will be iPhone-centric. The thing is, the iPhone dominates the mobile genealogy application landscape these days. It was (and still is) a surprise to me, and whether the iPad extends that, I don’t know. I can tell you this – this site will not be slanted towards any one platform. It may seem like simply due to the numbers of applications for say the iPhone, but it’s not. All are welcome.
Who am I?
A part-time genealogist who is as fascinated with using technology together with genealogy almost as much as I am with genealogy and family history itself. My first truly mobile device I used for genealogy purposes was an early Windows CE/Pocket PC device as well as one of the older Palm OS devices (think non-color with little memory). I was able to move on to a Dell Axim 50v when they first came out, and from there I eventually moved to an iPhone. These days I also use a netbook at times, but there are actually advantages that the iPhone has over the netbook. With the release of the Google Nexus One smartphone/phone, I am definitely watching the Android devices. I like the 800 x 480 display and the 5 megapixel camera, complete with flash.
I like to travel light when possible, especially when doing field research, whether it’s cemeteries or libraries and I’ll be writing about that as well.
Is there anybody else?
Yep, a few others that will be assisting on and off, and they’ll be introducing themselves later.
What’s up with the history of MobileGenealogy.com?
Let’s just say it’s passed through a few hands, and thankfully it was kept online all this time. I don’t know how much I’ll say about that in the future, but I will be posting a better introduction of myself later on.
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