Wednesday, May 17, 2017

UPDATE: Family Nexus App

One of my cousins, David Taylor, sent me the following new info about his Family Nexus App. That's the one that gets Ol' Myrt's Apple Watch buzzing when I drive down I-15 past places where our ancestors are buried. I think you are going to *love* this app.

The Family Nexus iPhone App has been downloaded more than 1500 times since our launch in February! Thanks for your interest and support! Please forward this newsletter or share on social media so even more people can learn about the hottest new app in genealogy (that’s us, by the way)!

This Product Update Newsletter contains some juicy tidbits about what we have been up to and what is coming up next. Read on to learn more and to see what features will be released in the App Store by June 1st!


Our Mission

Our mission is to make learning about your family history an epic adventure of discovery! Our app is different because we don’t have primary sources to help you research and document the lives of your ancestors. There are many excellent companies that provide these services.

So what makes us different? We believe that family history can be more mobile and more social! Visualizing your family tree on a map helps identify data problems and provides new insights that don’t appear in text alone. Our technology is exciting new people to learn about their family history. Alerts on your phone nudge you to spend 5-10 minutes a day learning about your ancestors. What’s more there is a magic and a power about visiting the places where our ancestors lived and died. The Family Nexus mobile app can do all this and more!


New Features in Beta

The Family Nexus team has been working very hard to bring you some very exciting features! It has only been 3 months since our last App Store release, but every day I have been wishing we could release the new features under development!

We have made some general improvements and enhancements to our core, free product. We have also been developing the Premium Features that I know you will fall in love with. When my developers showed me the latest progress 2 weeks ago, I literally got tingles! I hope you like them too.

Premium Subscription

A note about our revenue model seems appropriate here. We wish we could provide all this functionality free of charge to all our users. However, software development is expensive and so we need a way to pay for the development. The Family Nexus will always offer its core functionality for free. Specifically, the ability to automatically map your FamilySearch Family Tree data and get alerts. We will also offer additional features exclusively to users who pay for a Premium Subscription.

Users will have the option of choosing a 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month Premium Subscription. Subscribers will have access to all existing and future Premium Subscription content. Features marked with a ($) in the article will be exclusively for our Premium Subscription members.

Completed Items

I know you are dying to know what is coming. So without further ado, here is a list of new features that are currently in beta and are expected to be in the App Store by June 1st:
  • Faster download times! We have made improvements to the download manager to reduce download time and better manage system resources.
  • Improvements to Notifications! Notifications are way cool, but let’s be honest, they can be really annoying when you get 36 all at once! Now the app groups notifications together based on place or date.
  • Cleaner interface! We made several changes to the interface that make it more attractive and easier to use.
  • Improved Searching! Searching for an ancestor is now easier and will even find people with middle names you didn’t enter.
  • Invite Facebook friends! When we find something cool we want to share it! Now we have made it easier to invite your Facebook friends to download The Family Nexus app!
  • Several bug fixes, including disappearing map pins, login problems, incorrect Notification icons, preferred relationships, etc.
  • Add Feedback link in menu – we want to hear from you!
  • Premium Subscription purchase ($) – for the first time you can subscribe to access cool features that will help you make even more discoveries about your family history!
  • Filter Controls: Multiple options for filtering the event pins that appear on the map. ($)
  • Quick Map Filters: From a Person Details View go to map and view only Ancestors of that person or only Immediate Family members of that person. ($)
  • Map Layer Data (cemeteries, churches, etc.). ($)
  • More data! Subscribers can download additional generations of ancestors, including first cousins! ($)
  • Family Group Display! See your ancestors in the context of their family both as a parent and a child. ($)
  • Memories Display! Now you can browse photos, stories, and more all inside the app to discover even more about your ancestors. ($)

Kickstarter Project

We have been very grateful for the enthusiasm of our early users. Our team appreciates ALL feedback - both "good" and "bad" - that we receive. We have made note of feature requests, product enhancements, and other suggestions and added those to our development road map.

We are as eager as you are to see some of these cool ideas come to the life and we are super excited to announce that we will launch a Kickstarter campaign this summer to fund the development of some awesome features! The campaign should get underway in July.

Check out the features we will develop when our project gets funded.

Social Networking Features (FREE!)

  • Check-in Feature: Record when you visit an ancestral location
  • News Feed: See when others check-in or share on social media about a common ancestor
  • AccuPin (see below) news item: When someone adds AccuPin data for a common ancestor you'll have the option of adding that data to your own device
  • Friends: Add "Friends" for Internal Chat or News Feed
  • Internal Chat: Collaborate with friends and share your excitement about discoveries using the Internal Chat feature

GPS Data ($)

  • "AccuPin" feature: move the event pin to an actual address or geographic coordinates where an event took place (instead of just the city, town, county, etc.)
  • Geotag rich media: add geographic location information to photos and other memories

Trip Itinerary Planner ($)

  • Create and save travel itineraries
  • Add ancestral locations or other points of interest to an itinerary
  • Travel Mode: Show only places in an itinerary
  • Navigation directions
  • Google Street View:  360 degree immersive experience of ancestral villages (where available) - EVEN IF YOU CAN"T TRAVEL THERE IN REAL LIFE!

Android Version

Many fans are Android users and we want to facilitate their discovery moments as well. We will only be able to develop the Android version with your support! The plan is to complete the development of the Kickstarter features for iOS before we start development on Android.

The Android version will have "free" and "premium" features just like the Apple version. So what can you do to help? As we get closer to the Kickstarter campaign please share with all your friends so we can make this dream a reality!



Thanks for taking the time to read this development update. We love family history. We love the thrill of making connections with family members living and dead. This often happens when learning about the details of their lives: stories, photos, and places add to the rich tapestry that makes up your family heritage. The Family Nexus is on a mission to make family history more social and mobile. In the process we aim to facilitate Discovery in new and exciting ways.

We can't do this without you. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We believe our app is like none other in the industry. We ask for your continued support as we introduce new features to our Premium Subscribers and as we launch the Kickstarter campaign. Spread the word with family and friends! Also, tell us what kinds of features you would like to see. You can send an email to

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you'll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

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