RootsMagic App Alternative

So, many of us who have android phones have a RootsMagic app that we can no longer update our database files. Any suggestions for similar android apps. I find it nice to have a genealogy app on my phone and one than once I have been able to answer a genealogical question on the spot, instead of waiting until I got home to check my PC. Before someone suggests My Roots Magic, it is not very compatible with a phone screen. I did check out Gedstar pro, but it is sort of old and I wonder about security since it is no longer supported.

There is this guy, @Rooty, who is constantly flogging the Ancestry app as an acceptable alternative. He might be able to fill you in on some benefits of using their app.

Ignoring nonsense comment below, if you have trees on Ancestry you can simply use their free phone app which sees the trees without Dropbox and can also edit the file.

Hi @Rooty A couple of quick questions if I may -

I assume that you have to have a paid for Ancestry subscription to use the app to see your latest data?

Can you view your tree/data in the app while offline i.e. No Wifi and no Mobile signal?


I have the Android version. It downloads some data for the selected tree to your device and that remains available if the Internet connection is lost but hints and media gallery become inaccessible. If you start the app with no connection, you cannot login to select a tree.

I have a paid subscription. With a free one, I think you can use it with the same limitations as the browser interface has to your online tree. No source images et al…

Thanks, I am really after an app where the data is stored on the iPhone or iPad.

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Then give David Knight’s GedView, available only for iOS. The latest version 4.3.5 still works on my old iPad 2. It is one of a few applications that recognises RM’s custom GEDCOM tags for shared events.

You won’t find one that can read RM database files but there are a couple that can import a GEDCOM export from RM. Search the Google Play store for “family tree”, “gedcom”, “genealogy”.

Thanks, I’ll give that a try.

My account is paid but I think you can upload trees with a free account. Just download the phone app and see if it will access the trees on ancestry. They want free accounts to tease in new money with records people can find but not use.
On my ipad the app takes a bit to load a new tree but then will show that tree without cell or wifi. It just can’t show new changes you make.

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I did find an Android app that so far I really like. It is Gedstar Pro. Takes a little work as you need to install a file converter on your PC and the Android app on your phone. You export your RM file via a gedcom file into the converter, then upload the gedstar file to the app on your phone. I like it better than the old RM app. All the info is on your phone and the photos can be enlarged on your phone like to enlarge any other photo. It is called GedStar Pro Genealogy Viewer. Website: GHCS Software
The conversion must be done on the PC where your RM program resides so your photos can be included in the GedStar file.

Interesting. N.B.: this is not an app that is available via Google Play store so it has not been screened to whatever level Google does for apps that make it in. It is downloadable from the developer and you must override a default security setting to allow it to be installed.

Unfortunatly for me, it is not available for iOS! :frowning_face:

The Ancestry app works well with a free account, so as far as I’m concerned it is the best choice for this purpose. I use it on Android, but it’s available for iOS too, and it synchronizes your tree in such a way that you can view it off-line too.

Editing is limited, in the sense that there is no way to add citations manually, like you can do on the site, but you can work with hints, and some of these are free, like for the 1940 and 1950 US censuses, and for persons found on Geneanet (hosted in France) and Genealogie Online (Dutch).

And with a registered version of RootsMagic, you can download changes made with the app, or on site, back into your current database.

Check out Heredis. I don’t use it often but I find it nice for those “check on an ancestor on the go” times. It’s a Gedcom file app. (I use Android but it has both.)

I did not need to override anything. All the data will be on your device and it responds fast. At one time it was n the Google play store, but since it is no longer supported it is not on the store. When it was supported, it was a paid app. I happen to like it. Each person has to decide what works for them. Personally I think is far better than the RM app was/is.

I guess if you can trust Ancestry with your info, then use it. I just don’t happen to trust them.

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That’s right, but putting a tree on Ancestry does not mean that you have to share it with others, so for me it’s the easiest, and I know the risks.

I think the point is that it doesn’t matter if it shows to others, but that Ancestry has it in their clutches…and who knows what they may choose to do with it in the future.

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I use GEDexplorer on Androd. After exporting a GEDCOM file, I combine it and my media folder with WinZip. That part is optional; you only really need the GEDCOM. I copy to Dropbox and read them from my phone or tablet.