I would say buy RM 9, I have it and Family Historian and Reunion and RM is the best.
There is a But.
I suggest that a Worldwide Subscription to Ancestry would work best for you, all the trees and media would be there and it is easy to collaborate with others, you can make the tree editable by invited guests.
Roots Magic would then be your backup using its Tree Share feature which other programmes do not have.
Far better than using One Drive which is the first thing I disabled on my New Windows 11 PC, I totally dislike Cloud based file storage.
Family Search, the organisation does a great job, but its trees are another matter for my family I found them to be full of errors.
One thing you should learn is not to trust any other persons tree. Validate each and every person you add to your Family Tree by way of all the supportive documentation that you find.
I too have the same tools in my bag of accumulated goodies. I think it important to point out that “what is best” is very subjective and without qualification can be misleading to other readers. With respect to RM9, it has some rich function, but I find its user interface to be awkward and not user friendly. Just as you have pointed out some warnings about online platforms, desktop apps also have their quirks and traps too. Perhaps one day we will have the one tool to rule them all! It is still the Wild West as far as genealogy is concerned.
This is heresy and will probably get censored but your need to sync with an ancestry tree seems best addressed by family tree maker 2019. It syncs up and down all changes made either in the computer database file or the ancestry tree. None of this one item at a time manual effort. Also as pointed out above Ancestry has an excellent free ipad app to see and edit the ancestry tree.
I agree with Handy that the RM interface is not user friendly (and the index is dreadful). This is why I do all my work in Legacy. However, I will need to export my family to RM just before publishing my book because Legacy does not cater for Eastern European special characters. Hence, I will have to use RM’s Find and Replace tool to correct the spelling of many names. Also, RM has the option to produce narrative ancestor reports which include the children of the ancestors. Meanwhile, I occasionally dabble with RM in an effort to gradually get used to it.
When RM8 was released, I was so unhappy with the user interface that I made a very serious investigation of alternative genealogy software. I did not find an alternative that met my needs. Therefore, I’m still sticking with RM even though I’m still very unhappy with the user interface. And by the way, I don’t find the argument that you just have to get used to the user interface to be at all persuasive. Even if you get used to the user interface, using the interface for heavy data entry can be a very aggravating experience.
One key need that RM meets for me better than any of its competitors is publishing books for family reunions. When I complained to the user community for one of RM’s competitors that their product didn’t meet my needs for publishing books, they recommended that I convert to their product but that I also retain RM just for publishing books.
For myself, I can’t see going that kind of route. I realize that many RM users seem to use products from RM’s competitors along side RM because no one product meets all their needs. That’s a very reasonable and rational approach. But for me as a sample size of one, I think it’s just too hard to move data between different genealogy products on a regular basis. I do use GedSite to produce Web pages from RM’s data, and I don’t consider GedSite to be an RM competitor. Rather, I consider GedSite to be sort of an add on. GedSite is designed to accept GEDCOM from many different packages including RM. It even supports the RM specific extra details which include such things as RM’s sentence templates. But that’s not the same thing as for example, exchanging data between RM and Legacy on a daily basis.
I like the quote from Winston Churchill about democracy that it is the worst form of government there is. Except for all the others. Similarly. I think RM9 is the worst genealogy software there is. Except for all the others. RM9 is really the only one that meets my needs except for RM7, and I recognize that I don’t want to use RM7 forever. So right now I’m using RM7 and RM9 on a fully parallel basis every day, doing double data entry into both. Within a few months, I plan to quit using RM7 but I’m not there yet.
Thank you for your heartfelt response. As you convey, no one product meets all needs. The priority / importance of those needs vary according to personal choice. Democracy is after all about freedom to express and action choices. This includes the developer community who make the products and exercise their rights to apply selective hearing in response to their user community
If the “one thing” that is most important for you is the publication of family history books for family reunions, I am surprised that theme has not been used as a foundation for some sort of social media platform. It just seems a natural item for integrated functional fit as part of the ability to organise family reunions and repeated events in keeping connections “alive” and perpetuating traditions. What a great idea.
As to the exchange of data between products. I can think of plenty of colorful perjoratives describing how poorly supported this really is across all products. It is “one of my big peeves” so out of necessity I’ve written my own GEDCOM interpreter tool to make data exchange a bit easier. Not a path I would recommend nor many could follow. Also, the folk driving the GEDCOM v7 have a real challenge ahead of them I think. Fingers crossed for a better future with data exchange.