Monday, December 31, 2012


One of my favourite Android apps is Evernote that I use on my two Androids. I also have Evernote installed on my  laptop and netbook and use thw web ckipper on my Chrome browser.

This blog post from Moultrie Creek gives a good explanation of the program's capabilities.

Research 101: Taking Notes with Evernote

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From the Android Guys

50 Android apps you must install before the world ends

A list of essential apps. Some are useful for genealogy and some for those rare times when you're not chasing ancestors.

Friday, November 30, 2012

App for New South Wales vital records indexes

Thanks to Hawkesbury Famy History Group for highlighting this on Facebook.

Another great free resource for Android users.

Family History - Android Apps on Google Play

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Google Calendar App now available in Playstore

Great news for genies like me who use the Google Calendar app to manage their lives. I am presently downloading it on my Android phone.

Bringing Google Calendar to the Play Store | Official Android Blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Instagram Solution

Since I  procured my Galaxy S3 I have been taking lots of pictures.

One of my disappointments is that the Instagram Android app does not allow one to share photos directly to Blogger. Since DearMyrtle and Carrie Keele's webinar I have been using Instagram but I also want to share the snaps I have there on my personal blog jillballau.

I am hoping that my personal blog will, in the future, give my descendants a window into my life by relating  things that interested me.

This post from The Daily Freeman gave me two options for sharing posts from Instagram to Blogger. As a result I am now able to share some of my snaps from Instagram to Blogger.

jillballau - My personal blog

Christmas List

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Access Your Files From Anywhere With Google Drive [Android]

This is what I do. Do you?

Whenever I am at a genealogy event I take notes on my Android Tablet (can't type too well on the Android 'phone) and then when I get home I can tidy them up on my laptop.

Access Your Files From Anywhere With Google Drive [Android]:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't let the grass grow under your feet

I recently read James Tanner's blog post What good are apps? It made me to reflect on the apps I have on my Android devices.

James says "If I download and app and after a while, if I find I just don't use it, I do delete the ones I don't use. Sometimes an app seems like a really good idea, like the one I had to find my car in a parking lot, but then in reality, I don't lose my car in parking lots, so the app was never used." My practice echoes that of James.

James' post did remind me that I was in a bit of a rut. I have been so wrapped up in playing with my new Samsung Galaxy S3 that I haven't tried any new apps out recently. I am not an app happy person who downloads tens of apps each day but, if a fellow genealogist mentions something that appeals then I download it and give it a go.

I also noticed that my mate, Dear Myrtle, has been using Zite (a free personalised magazine) and posting links on social networking sites to several articles she has found there. Firstly I dismissed Zite as I already read several hundred blogs and follow lots of genealogists on social networking sites. Then I thought that I should have a look (I have great respect for Myrt). I have found that the Zite Android app is easy to set up and tailor to my interests and that it returns some interesting articles that I would never have found. I believe that as I continue to use Zite it will note my preferences and return even more appropriate articles for my attention. The downside is that I have now found even more blogs to add to my RSS feed. For genealogists who wish to expand their reading horizons this is a valuable app.

A Paper Camera photo of mine

Just last night Genealogist, Kerry Farmer, posted on Facebook a photo she had taken with the Paper Camera app. I was so taken with this image that I actually shelled out $1.95 to purchase and download this app; I usually restrict myself to free apps. I can't yet see too many genealogy applications for  Paper Camera   except for providing nice images for my blogs. As I don't have a creative bone in my body this app appealed to me and I'm sure I will have more then $1.95 worth of fun playing with it.

I think that Zite  and  Paper Camera  will remain in my collection of Android apps for quite a while.

Have you tried any new apps lately that may benefit your genealogy experience?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In Praise of the S3

Screenshots are simple as
My Samsung Galaxy S3 is around three weeks old and I am still in love with it. As a non-tech person I am not too concerned with what goes on under the hood I am just interested in features, reliability and ease of use.


1. It is light to hold but doesn't feel flimsy.
2. The display is crystal clear and bright.
3. The camera is super responsive, takes fab photos, has a flash and 4x zoom.
4. It hasn't yet crashed - I imagine it's due to the stable OS - Ice Cream Sandwich.
5. I don't need to refer to a manual - it's so easy to fathom out how to use it.
6. It's easy to customise.
7. Taking screenshots is child's play.
8. It looks good.


1. The ringtones. I just want an old fashioned bring bring that sounds like a phone. The included ringtones are too fancy for me. I have since downloaded a nice 'old phone' ring.
2. The annoying Samsung apps that come with the phone - I don't want or need them as I prefer to use my faves and those my friends recommend.
3. Probably a Jill issue - I find the small keyboard a problem and would not use it for typing long documents.


1. I find myself using my tablet less and less and using the S3 for most of my social networking, communicating and browsing. Should I replace my 7" tablet with a 10" one?
2. My data use had increased dramatically (I used up a month's allowance in the first two weeks) so I need to use wireless networks more often for tasks.
3. One daughter has followed my lead and joined the S3 brigade
4. While I haven't used it with genealogy specific apps I have used it for many genealogy related functions. I need to take it to the cemetery and try it out with  BillionGraves.

It's a great gadget for Grandmas and a Genealogists  (and 20 million other assorted people seem to like it too)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Library Books

In a post today James Tanner talks about borrowing eBooks from libraries.

Check Out Books from and Online Library?

Have you used your Android for this purpose?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A New Toy for Geniaus

I took delivery of my new Samsung Galaxy S3 yesterday and have already spent too many hours playing with it.

I had been tracking the device's trip to Australia from the Kogan warehouse via the internet and,from the info there, guesstimated that it would arrive yesterday. I had just about given up when the postie tooted his horn around 4:00 pm to announce his arrival. I could hardly contain my excitement when he handed me the small parcel housing my phone. I was expecting him to deliver a case of wine not my phone that I thought was coming via  DHL.

Screenshot from my S3
My first discovery was that one pays a price for buying from Kogan (but it was over $250 cheaper then at Telstra); the getting started booklet was in French. I was able to understand most of this thanks to schoolgirl French.   I G+ed about this and Tamura Jones came to my rescue with a link to the guide online in English.

Having downloaded the guide I realised that I really didn't need it as there are clear instructions given during the setup process. This was not tedious and didn't take too long as I seemed to get connected to the home wireless in a flash.

My next task was to install the SIM from my other 'phone into the S3; I tried to wedge it into the slot until I twigged that a micro SIM was needed. I consulted the internet and found that I could cut down my SIM to fit but chickened out. I had plenty to do to set up the device without bothering about getting it ready for phone calls.

Today saw me heading to the local Telstra store ready for a fight; the young lady there swapped my SIM for a micro and advised me that the micro SIM would be working within 15 minutes, and it was.

I had no trouble connecting to Hungry Jack's Free Wifi while I was in the shopping centre even though I don't know where the Hungry Jack's store is! So that's another tick for the S3.

Back to basics. The phone is nice to hold, it fits snugly in the palm of my left hand, the touchscreen is very responsive, and I seem to be able to type accurately on the screen (that was one of my fears). Having had a good feel of it I set to adding my fave apps some of which downloaded automatically from the Playstore. Some didn't download so I added them manually - go figure!.

I ditched some of the icons on the home screen in favour of things I use more frequently; this will change as I determine exactly how I will use the device.

Navigating the S3 seems intuitive to me but that may be because I had an older Samasung smartphone as well as a Galaxy Tablet. As most of the functions are the same or similar I felt very comfortable using the device straight away.

One of my first photos with the S3 - Can you see the ducks in our dam?
One of the reasons for getting the S3 was for the camera. I have a large camera and, until earlier this year, had a small camera that I carried around in my handbag. Sadly it had an accident at The Grand Canyon and was pronounced dead. Although it only has 4x zoom I think that the Galaxy will serve as my handbag camera. This was one of the reasons I purchased the 32 gig model; I can use the 50 gig Dropbox account that came with the S3 for backing up my photos along the road but will wait for a wifi connection to do so.

So far I have used the S3 to read and send emails, make calendar appointments, read my RSS feed, compose most of this blog post, play Scrabble online, search the web, make a phone call, send a text message, access Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, save links to Evernote and take photos.

And I have only had it for just 24 hours!

In a future post I will let you know what apps I have installed on the S3.

Ice Cream Sandwich Tips

My new phone is running on Ice Cream Sandwich which is a newer Operating System than my tablet which runs 2.3. This post from MakeUseOf should help me get more from my device.

15 Android Ice Cream Sandwich Tips You Should Already Know

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ancestral Breezes: Using Mind Mapping

A review from genealogist, Jen Baldwin, of  mindmeister a mind mapping tool that is a Chrome extension. The basic plan allows one to create up to three mindmaps - so one can try before buying.

mindmeister is also available for Android.

Ancestral Breezes: Using Mind Mapping:

I'll be having a play with this tool.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moving up in the Galaxy

After much deliberation I have ordered an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 and hope to take delivery of it early next week.

I am presently looking at the apps I have loaded onto my 7" Galaxy Tab and determining those which I will load onto the S3 which will be running a much later version of Android than the 2.3 my tablet is running.

I also need to investigate a travel SIM card for Europe for when I journey there later in the year.

If any other S3 toting genies can offer me suggestions for getting the most out of my new toy I'd love to hear from you.


I love podcasts. While I download one radio program, The Conversation Hour, the remainder of tbe podcasts I download for later listening are genealogy related.

I have been using Doggcatcher to manage my downloads but was interested to see this list from Make use of.

6 Of The Best Podcast Apps For Android

What do you use?

Pinterest for Android

I tried Pinterest when it first appeared but didn't get into it because I could use it from my Android tablet, the device that travels with me everywhere. At that time peopke were mainly using Pinterest to share recipes, home decor and fashion items.

Since I gave up on it I have noticed that several genealogists have begun to use it fir genealogy purposes. Now that there is an Android app I may play with Pinterest obce more.

This review projects a positive view of the product.

Android Police[Review] Pinterest For Android: A Perfectly Designed Android App (That's Not Just For Women)

Do you use Pinterest for genealogy?

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's like Twitter for photos

Earlier this week  I attended a webinar about Instagram hosted by mother and daughter duo, DearMyrtle and Carrie Keele . After hearing Carrie utter just one phrase "It's like Twitter for photos" I got it.

At the behest of my daughter I had downloaded  Instagram onto my Android devices several months ago but I didn't quite understand what it was all about. Now thanks to the webinar I have a good understanding. I'm not sure I'll be using Instagram a lot but it's nice to know what it's all about. Although the presenters used iProducts for the webinar presentation the examples shown apply to Android devices.

If you aren't sure about this  Instagram  thing you can tune into the recording of the webinar where all will be revealed.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kindle Genealogists

"Passionate about Genealogy? Passionate about your Kindle? Discuss genealogy uses for your Kindle or Kindle Fire. What apps do you use? Recommend genealogy books."

If you are on Facebook you may be interested in joining this Facebook Group

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I have been following on Google+ the excitement of genealogist, Carole Riley, as she gets to know her new Nexus.

I wonder if any other genies are contemplating purchase?

I was interested to read this article also shared on Google+ by Caroline Pointer.
Why Google's Nexus 7 Tablet Is Hotter Than Apple's iPad - Forbes

Will the Nexus 7 be the tech toy of the year?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Android app for voice recording - HELP

Australian Genealogist, Kerry Farmer, asks this on Facebook:

"Can anyone recommend an Android app for voice recording interviews? I tried Easy Voice Recorder & Tape-a-Talk, but on my Samsung Nexus they sound very faint & unsatisfactory (might be my lack of knowledge of my phone getting in the way)."

Do you have any suggestions for Kerry?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I enjoyed this article: "What is Android Genealogy?" 

To me Android Genealogy can only be one thing but to someone who is a Star Trek fan the term promises something completely different.

Thanks to the writer, Jen Thorpe, who finished off with this plug for the Android Genealogy blog.

"The website called Android Genealogy has nothing to do with Star Trek. It is a straightforward website that points out different genealogy apps that can be used on Android devices. The site is run by Jill Ball, who is an ancient Australian ancestor hunter, who was formerly a librarian, a teacher, and an IT specialist."

What about Australia?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cheryl talks about GedStar Pro

Although I have news alerts set up to find articles about Android Genealogy sometimes these miss blog posts. I therefor do a simple Google search fro Android genealogy every so often to see if it brings up anything else.

In the post below from may Cheryl Rothwell talks about her new Android phone, GedStar Pro and the Legacy Families app.

If you spot any posts about Android Genealogy please let me know so that I can link to them from this blog.

I hope this is true

Friday, June 22, 2012

» Picasa and a Cell Phone are Genealogist’s Tools

I use Picasa to manage my photo collection. I rarely find that I need to use my (old) copy of Photoshop software to fiddle with images.

I just came across this old post from an Android 'phone user that may be of interest to you.

» Picasa and a Cell Phone are Genealogist’s Tools: "Picasa and a Cell Phone are Genealogist’s Tools"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mobile research made easier with Dolphin Browser

Denise from Moultrie Creek Gazette suggests the use of Dolphin browser and addons for Kindle use. Dolphin is my choice of browser on my Galaxy Tab

Mobile research made easier with Dolphin Browser:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GedStar On-This-Day Trial

Thanks to Tamura Jones on Google+ for relaying news of  this new Android widget available from the Google Play Store. The trial version is a free Lite version. There is also a  paid version, GedStar On this Day ($AU1.97 today).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Google+ for Android Update

I resisted upgrading to the latest version of Google+ on my Android Tablet and 'Phone due to some negative comments I heard from those who had.

This week genealogist, Susan Clark, commented on Google+ "Not a fan of the Google+ Android app. Impossible for me to read on a phone."

Some other genies including me concurred with Susan's post (Hope you don't mind me copying and pasting here - I have tried to link back to original post..

What do you think of the latest Google+ Android upgrade? 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Galaxy III arrives downunder

As I was near my local Telstra shop at Hornsby I wandered in after 12 noon to have a look at this new toy. Sadly there were none in stock yet (or I couldn't find one).

Samsung launch of Galaxy S III

I am wondering if anyone has had a play with one yet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inside History available for Android

To say that I have been pestering the Editors of Inside History Magazine, my favourite Aussie Genie Mag, to publish a version of their Mag for Android is an understatement.

I was thrilled to see the news on FB that this fab production is available for we Android users. Congratulations Cassie, Ben and team on this move.

Inside History | May/June-12 Back Issue for $8.49 | Zinio - The World's Largest Newsstand

'via Blog this'


When you install a new app do you just give all the permissions required for download without much thiught?

If you care about your security follow this link:

How App Permissions Work & Why You Should Care [Android]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Manage Your Podcasts With Doggcatcher | ByteMunchers

Seems as though someone agrees with me that Doggcatcher is a great tool for managing your podcasts. I have been using this tool for nearly a year now and have no reason to complain.

Manage Your Podcasts With Doggcatcher | ByteMunchers:

'via Blog this'

Amazon's Android Appstore Allows Users to Test Apps on Phones | PCWorld

I wonder if we can access this facility in Australia or, like many of Amazon's new features, it is just for people in the US.

Amazon's Android Appstore Allows Users to Test Apps on Phones | PCWorld:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Protection for your devices

This article made me think about the gear I use to protect my devices. Like the writer of the article linked to below I have tried a variety of housings for my toys.

My newish Android phone is a cheapish Galaxy model so I have only invested in a screen protector for it. At the time I was seeking a cover I couldn't find one that I liked. I prefer a cover I don't have to open, one that will protect the device from bumps, that encases the back and sides of the device and is made from a soft pliable material like silicon.

The cover on my Galaxy Tab is of the type I described above. Coupled with a screen protector it gives the device which has survived a few drops adequate protection.

How do you protect your Android phone?

Saturday, May 12, 2012


The iSheep amongst my friends have been singing the praises of Flipboard for ages. It now appears thatcAndroid users are going to have a chance to play with this spp.

Flipboard Arrives on Android…Finally. #parity

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Can you help Carole?

Australian Genealogist Carole Riley has written a Public Post on Google+ about her problems "synchronising files across from my Windows laptop" to her Android tablet. A couple of other Android users have added to the conversation. 

Perhaps you can take a look and add to the conversation on Carole's post.

Carole Riley - Google+ - I have tried and tried to make my Android tablet replace my…:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Having been alerted by Tamura Jones of a new Gedcom viewer for Android, GedTree, I sought it out in the Google Playstore.

I found a free version, GedTreeFree, there as well. As the price of this appealed to me I downloaded it. Once I have tested it out I will share my findings here on this blog.

Should you have already used it please share your thoughts in a comment to this post.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Facebook update

@androidcentral: Facebook for Android updated with new icons for Camera and Messenger #android Shared via Tweetcaster

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Billion Graves

I am duplicating here a post from my Geniaus blog. Apologies to those readers who have already seen it on that blog.

On our recent trip we travelled back to Sydney via a few towns where some ancestors buried.

One of the cemeteries I had previously visited in Cobar many years ago but the images I had taken of my grandparents' headstones were poor quality. I wanted to rephotograph these and also look for other family resting spots. The two other cemeteries where I managed to find some family graves, inBroken Hill and Forbes, were new to me.

Locating the graves in each of these sites wasn't particularly easy. In Cobar and Forbes there was no resource available to pinpoint the graves' exact location; the map of Broken Hill Cemetery that was available by the Cemetery gate was quite confusing even for Mr Geniaus who is not spatially challenged like me.

Ben Hall the Bushranger - Forbes Cemetery
In order to make it easy for cousins who may be seeking these graves in the future I added each of them to Billiongraves. The GPS coordinates that Billiongraves attaches to these images will make finding them in the future much easier for those who make use of the Billiongraves site or app. 

As we were on a tight time schedule I could not commit myself to photographing all of the graves in each of these cemeteries. I did, however, take and upload a few rows of headstones  around the graves I was visiting in Cobar and Broken Hill. 

In less than half an hour I was able to photograph over 100 images in Cobar cemetery. These are now available on Billiongraves site; those who wish to visit these graves can use the GPS coordinates to locate them efficiently.

How about joining and downloading the Billiongraves  app to your Android or other device so that you can contribute to the database when you find yourself (above ground) in a cemetery. While in a cemetery take some time to photograph a row or two of graves. This is a painless and enjoyable way of helping others connect with their ancestors.

Kindle Fire and Genealogy

In this series of posts Julie Cahill Tarr discusses the apps she uses for genealogy on the Kindle Fire. Julie explains in some detail how she uses four popular apps on her device.  It's a great resource.

GenBlog: Using the Kindle Fire for Genealogy – Introduction

Podcast app discounted

The app I use to manage podcasts is discounted for just three days. Hop over to the Google Play store and grab it now.

Podcast app DoggCatcher discounted to $1.99 for limited time

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Drain on Batteries

Ads on Android Apps Significantly Drain Battery, Research Indicates

I am a cheapskate who loves using free apps many of which are supported by ads. It appears that these may be having a negative effect on my battery' life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Android for Geniaus

My smartphone is a very early top of the range model that cost me way too much three years ago. It is a Windows HTC that has never missed a beat. Since I bought an Android tablet and have started using more and more of Google's suite of products I have realised that my life would be easier if I had an Android phone.

I am presently hooked on overseas travel  and I have been paying a monthly plan fee for my old phone; when I am out of the country this is dead money as I rarely use my phone - a cheap overseas phone and Skype enable me to make phone calls when abroad. As I prefer to communicate via email or social media when out and about at home I make few mobile phone calls. My current plan allows me to make lots of calls but has a stingy data allowance.

I worked out that I need an Android phone on a prepaid plan with a reasonable data allowance. Because I have an affinity for gadgets I had considered buying an unlocked top of the range Android phone but for my situation that is overkill. Today, as I was walking through the local shopping centre, I put on my sensible hat, wandered into the Telstra shop and bought a moderately priced prepaid Samsung phone. It is only running Gingerbread but that is fine for me; I am not hungry for Icecream Sandwich. It has a 5 megapixel camera that will enable me to take happy snaps. It won't be a device for creating but for delivering info to me anytime anywhere.

I haven't spent an enormous amount on the new phone and I am not locked into a contract so if some really exciting 4G device comes onto the market in a few months (and the Aussie 4G network expands beyond the city) I won't feel guilty about replacing the Samsung.

I am itching to try out this new toy but will have to wait until tomorrow for my old number to be transferred to it (I can't fathom why this cannot happen instantly). I look forward to connecting via my home wireless network and downloading some of my favourite apps.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Google Play

As I have been travelling I hadn't reported on the new Google Play. Now that I have a spare hour in my hotel room I am going to take a look.

Have you had a look around? What do you think?

Google to ape Amazon, Apple with audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Genealogy Apps for Android Tablets

Readers may be interested in this Slideshare presentation that looks similar to the class Michael presented at Rootstech.

Genealogy Apps for Android Tablets: "Presentation by Michael Helmantoler at the Family History Expo in St. George Utah. February 24, 2012."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What is a QR Code?

At Rootstech I attended a talk on QR Codes by Thomas MacEntee now James Tanner has written a Tech Tip on the subject. I think I undertand them now.

As there are many Android apps for creating and reading QR codes I am sharing a link to James' article with you.

What is a QR Code?:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I am presently in Salt Lake City for the Rootstech Conference and am soending my spare time at The Family Histiry Library. As a result there won't be too many posts on tbis blog this week.

If you are at Rootstech please seek me out in the Media Hub and say g'day. I'll also be presenting a sesdion on the Android experiences of three tablet owners so, if yiu are around, please join me for "The Galaxy Girls" talk.

Following is a link to an article I just read in my RSS feeds that may be of interest

Four ways Android is doing exactly what it's supposed to do | Android Central

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rootstech 2012 App is Available! - For Your Family Story

While I was sleeping this app for the Rootstech conference appeared. I have downloaded it and am playing.

Please read Caroline's post and the accompanying comments. Try the app and add to the conversation.

Rootstech 2012 App is Available! - For Your Family Story:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 21, 2012

App Reviews

I feel that some of the ultrapositive reviews on GenSoftReviews are posted by those with vested interests such as the slew of positive reviews when version 8 of The Master Genealogist was recently released. 

Anyone contemplating purchase of new genealogy software should stop by this site as the bulk of reviews and accompanying  comments are very useful. 

GenSoftReviews is a site owned by Louis Kessler  who"wanted an interactive site, one that allowed anyone to review and rate their genealogy software."  There are presently over 1,000 reviews of genealogy software packages on the site. Visitors have several options to search for appropriate reviews. The site also gives one the option to subscribe by RSS and have a message delivered whenever a new review is added to the site.

The good news for Android users is that there are presently 17 Android apps listed on the site. I would encourage Android users to both consult these reviews and add their own reviews to the site. I just posted my first review - it was very easy to do.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Size Matters

What I love about Android devices is that they come in all sizes. They are not developed within 'a one size fits all' framework.

I was attracted to my 7" Galaxy Tab because of its compact size and light weight. It is large enough for me to view webpages without too much scrolling from side to side and I can easily hold it in one hand to type notes.  A family member has a new Galaxy S2 that suits his purposes - he finds that screen big enough for the casual browsing, emailing and social networking that he does.

A while ago Carole Riley lamented the damage to her Kobo Reader on Google+ saying "What to do with a broken Kobo?" Her post drew 17 comments including this from Carole "Can I justify buying as new one now that I've started reading books on my Android tablet from Kobo, Kindle, Google and others? The only downside to the tablet is it's too heavy to hold in one hand for long."

I had a bad case of Tablet envy when Carole wrote about her ASUS tablet. It was bigger than mine and offered the facility to type on a real keyboard. In my green state I hadn't thought about the weight issue when  using it for reading. If I did not have a netbook I would still want a tablet like Carole's because of its keyboard facility.

Another family member has just bought a new car and instead of paying a few thousand dollars to have a DVD system installed has bought a couple of 10" tablets  to load movies and games on for the kids to play as they drive along. The bigger screens enhance such viewing.

Owners of 7" tabs like mine have commented that, when using the Billion Graves app, they find it easier to use and hold steady their smaller Android 'phone for taking headstone pictures. They prefer it to the larger tablet for this function.

Size does matter. When you are selecting your Android device think long and hard about how and when you will use it. Once you have given this some consideration you should be able to select a device that will meet your individual needs.  

The large range of Android devices on the market cater for individual needs - Variety is the spice of life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Disappointed with Dick

Yesterday Dick Eastman posted an article, Genealogy Apps for Tablet Computers, in his newsletter. Dick said  "The only tablet that is useful for genealogy programs without modification is the Apple iPad or possibly one of the more full-featured and expensive tablet computers that run the Android operating system."

Possibly? Within minutes of this post appearing a few genealogists on Twitter expressed concern at the  apparent inaccuracies in Dick's post and his bias towards Eve's fruit. I went off and made a couple of comments on Dick's post directing people to this blog and to Tamura Jones' lists of Android Apps for genealogy.

If one was unkind one could assume that Dick did not test any of the "more full-featured and expensive" Android tablets in addition to the two cheapies, The Nook and Kindle Fire, that he mentioned. Dick may have also been unaware of Tamura's lists when he said "In short, anyone who wants to use a full-featured genealogy program on a tablet computer needs to purchase an Apple iPad (which has many genealogy programs available) or one of the "leading handheld candidates" listed earlier that run Android (and will then be limited to only two or three genealogy programs)."

It took quite a while for my comments to appear on Dick's post. A check this morning found them together with many comments from other readers adding pertinent information and making a couple of corrections that balance the content of Dick's article.

Dick may be interested in attending these Rootstech presentations,  The Galaxy Girls –three genealogists’ and their Android tablets  or Using Android Devices for Genealogy and Family History that will give him additional information about the Android genealogy experience.

I only hope that those who read Dick's post also digest the comments left by readers as there is a lot of valuable information contained in them.

POSTSCRIPT Banai Feldstein has published a response to Dick's post where she refutes Dick's claims. It gives potential Android users a clearer picture of the Tablet  market.


A tweet from Audrey Collins today reminded me of another handy use of Android devices.  I remember that some people used this method to get an internet connection for their computers at Rootstech last year.

Google provides instructions on how to do this. Apparently it is quite a simple process.

This Youtube video from guides visual learners through the process.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Get it straight

This is a neat free app that I have installed on my tablet.

It took me a while to get the knack of holding the tab at the correct angle so that my scan wasn't skewed but now I can manage that I love this tool.

I've used it to scan certificates when visiting relatives and in the library to capture pages from books.

CamScanner App: Portable Scanner for Android | Android Social Media

Friday, January 13, 2012

Top Five Tablets of CES | PCWorld

As an antidote to gadget envy I have been ignoring the proliferation of posts telling of the new toys and gadgets being launched at CES.

I won't be upgrading my tablet yet as it is less than 12 months old but I'm posting this link for those who may be considering purchase of a first or new tablet.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Still Searching for Profit, The Daily Expands to Android Tablets

Dolphin Browser

The browser of choice on my Android device is the Dolphin Browser that I have been using happily for about six months after trying Firefox, Opera Mini and the Google browser that was pre-loaded. I can't remember what caused me to change to Dolphin but I like it and have stuck with it.

When you're on a good thing, stick to it!

Having noticed this post on makeuseof today I am off to download the latest update to Dolphin.

Dolphin Browser Updates With New Look, Improved Performance & Increased Battery Life [News]:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paid Android Genealogy Apps

Tamura Jones new post listing -

Paid Android Genealogy Apps:

'via Blog this'

From the Mailbox

I so appreciate the comments and additions people have been making to posts on this blog and now some help has arrived in my mailbox..

Thanks to Suzie who sent me an email this morning with a link that will help me identify more useful information about Android for Genealogy. Coincidentally Thomas MacEntee just mentioned this same resource in a webinar he gave an hour ago. I am going to subscribe to the makeuseof articles in Google reader.

"Jill, I clipped this from +Google this morning in case you found it useful for your Android Blog....lost power....all went dark...lost the link... finally back to sending it hours later: If you don't have in your circles, you might want to follow them. Lots of good info comes from their site and much about Android. Suzie"

Thanks, Suzie and Thomas.

200 Libraries on Library Anywhere « The Thingology Blog

I haven't tried this Android app that gives accesss to 200 library catalogues but I am a great fan of Librarything.

200 Libraries on Library Anywhere « The Thingology Blog:

'via Blog this'

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Wordlcat had an Android app.


Do you know what books are on your bookshelf at home?  I do.
Can you check your personal library holdings when in a bookshop? I can.
Can you remember every book that you have read? I can't but I have an online memory jogger.

Around five years ago I took out a paid subscription (there is a free sub for people with up to 200 books) to Librarything and have religiously added all of the books I have read and those I own into my account on their database. I continue to add to this collection. I sang Librarything's praises for genealogists in  2010 on this post on Geniaus: Librarything - a genealogist's friend. Genealogist, Shelley Bishop has also written a post about Using LibraryThing for genealogy

When looking for Android apps to add to my tablet I was excited to find the LibraryThingScanner app: "LibraryThingScanner uses the Barcode Scanner app to read the ISBN barcode from a book. Your web browser then opens at the LibraryThing add book page."

I love it. I find it especially useful in libraries where I read books that I want to add to my account. I just grab the tablet, zap a book's barcode into the app, the book's details usually appear (after a LibraryThing search of multiple databases) and then I add them to my account. I don't have to rely on pen and paper or my memory to add these resources to my database of books read. I am bibliaugrapher on LibraryThing. 

I can recommend joining Librarything and giving this app a whirl. 

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