Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Family Tree Maker—The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ancestry.com's Family Tree Maker 2012Some people have claimed that Ancestry.com is skipping the release of a Family Tree Maker 2013 because they are still fixing serious tree-synching bugs in the 2012 product. Regardless of their motives, Family Tree Maker 2012 owners received word recently that another free update is available.

A few of the new or improved features are:

  • Several bugs have been fixed in Tree Sync and several new features have been added, such as the ability to flag desk-side media objects for exclusion when uploading photos and documents.
  • In the Places workspace locations are grouped together hierarchically to make them easier to access.
  • Backups can now include media files from where ever they are on your hard drive and can now include information such as website favorites and historical events for timelines.
  • Facts can be copied and pasted to multiple family members, including media and citations.

For more information, read “Another Bonus Update for Family Tree Maker 2012.”

4 comments:

  1. I've seen a lot of FTM updates lately. Is there any indication from Ancestry that they are moving permanently to a new model for this software, relying more heavily on updates and less on the annual new product? Are these freebie updates just placeholders?

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  2. I don't use any FTM product. I think that this “expectation” of some that do use FTM for annual new version of FTM is insane. This expectation leads the company to spend more time on coming up with new whistles and bells rather than spending time and money on improving what is already there. I think a better model for FTM is to have a new version every 2 or 3 years with minor upgrades when needed. I think it is great that there isn't a FTM 2013.

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    1. Cormac, I don't think user expectation of an annual version upgrade to Family Tree Maker is one of demand, but simply one of past experience. Almost from its initial release over two decades ago, FTM has had nearly annual version upgrades, so Ancestry.com has only been continuing a long tradition begun by the software's previous owners. Although I doubt Ancestry.com will ever explain the "real" reason it chose not to release Family Tree Maker 2013, I am impressed that they recently issued a very respectable minor-version upgrade to FTM 2012. Typically they release at least one added-feature minor-version upgrade to FTM in between major version upgrades, but the recent one was at least the second for FTM 2012.

      Personally, I hope they will eventually add fundamental improvements to the application that will allow documenting parent-child relationships (probably the single largest flaw in the application, in my opinion), as well as better support for non-marriage-like relationships, such as neighbors, ship passengers, business partners, etc. And it would be wonderful if they add research tool enhancements. Someday, maybe.

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    2. James, I never said that it was one of demand. As you said yourself, FTM has had nearly annual upgrades. Because of this, it led to the expectation of annual upgrades. And when the annual upgrade didn't come, the howls came. I maybe wrong on this, but I don't know of many software companies that have annual upgrades to their majors applications. Btw, James, reread my earlier statement. I think you will see that I say that it was of past experiences.

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