Useful LDS mobile technology is available for a variety of platforms, and development lifecycles continue to enhance product offerings. You may already be familiar with a few apps but not be using them to their full potential. Other apps may be entirely new, with features you will find very worthwile. Follow the next three articles on LDS mobile apps and learn about their supported platforms and features, including some that may surprise you.
1. Gospel Library (Android, Apple, Windows, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, Other Phones)
Gospel Library has a much improved search function with a simplified way of grouping and sorting results. Android now has the same content organization as the Apple version with the same visual interface. Windows 8.1 mobile app has a feature-rich interface to search, mark, and share gospel content, including scriptures, general conference talks, manuals, music, and more. A great feature is the ability to open several related sources and switch seamlessly between them either from the “screens” icon in the top menu bar for Android and Apple, or by pinning the contents pane on the left while you browse sources on the right for your Windows device. If you have not yet tried to place references, marked passages, and annotations into study folders under “Notes,” you will find this a convenient way to prepare a talk or create a lesson outline.
2. LDS Tools (Android, Apple, BlackBerry, Windows Phone)
Many people routinely use LDS Tools to connect to directories for their ward and stake, view calendars, and locate Church meetinghouses and member addresses. Did you know you can also press and hold on a calendar event in the app to see a message box that asks if you want to add the event to your local calendar? This is a quick way to update your schedule. Leaders can also access additional membership information in the app, and everyone can create custom groups or use the built in groups to send email messages to a distribution list. Anyone with an LDS Account can replace his or her own personal directory photo, and heads of household can do so for family members.
3. FamilySearch Memories (Apple)
Use the Memories app to capture priceless family moments and preserve and share them with your relatives and your posterity. The app works anywhere, even where you do not have Internet access. Add stories when you have a spare moment and upload photos from your camera roll. From the app, pick the camera option and take a picture, crop and rotate it, then “accept” the image. It will be stored in the Memories app and sync to Memories on FamilySearch.org when you are online. Unlike the tree app, the Memories app focuses on the preserving the memory of lives we have known, giving you enough information about a person (names, dates, record number) to tag it and attach to the right person. The app is not for family history research, but one of the best features is a built-in voice recorder to use when interviewing family members and it integrates beautifully with FamilySearch.org. No need to purchase a separate recording app to capture impromptu family history sharing.
4. FamilySearch Tree (Android, Apple)
This app is a mobile companion to your family tree at FamilySearch.org and provides access to your family history wherever you go. In the settings option, download six generations into the app for off-line viewing and leave yourself signed in so syncing to your family tree is automatic when online. Navigate through your ancestors using the pedigree or detail views. Attach source information, upload pictures and stories, and connect to persons in your tree to share family history information on social networks. Help connects to all the resources on FamilySearch.org. It is not dependent upon the Memories app. Did you know the app comes with a series of family history e-learning video courses that walk you through the basics of doing research, writing a life sketch, finding cousins, and making corrections?
Any of the above apps may be downloaded from their respective app stores. If you start at mobile.lds.org, and pick your platform, it will take you to the supported app store.
More LDS mobile apps will be covered in the next two articles.
Continue to LDS Mobile Apps - Part 2 or LDS Mobile Apps - Part 3