Amazon.com released its Kindle e-reader in 2007. Since that time, several generations of the Kindle have been released, but none of them are as popular among genealogists and family historians as the Kindle Fire, which was released in 2011, and its cousin, Kindle Fire HD. This device is similar to the Android tablet, with a touch screen to make accessing your information easier. The Fire has the capability to stream movies and songs, run many different apps, and it allows you to read thousands of books at your fingertips. The Kindle fire has become popular with family researchers, because it is as useful as a standard laptop, whether you are doing your LDS family search at home, or whether you take it on the road during your travels. The Fire can also help you write your family history, or help you stay in touch with family members you have lost contact with who live anywhere in the world. Here are a few ways you can use your Kindle for your LDS family search. Before we talk about how your Kindle Fire can be used for your Genealogical research, let me share with you a quick note about app’s for your Kindle fire. The Kindle Fire runs by using app’s that are designed for android phones and tablets. Although many of them are free, there some that cost you a small fee, which can often be less than ten or fifteen dollars at the most. App’s can be downloaded for free, or purchased from the amazon.com android app store. Now let’s discuss the ideas for using your Fire for genealogical research.
The Uses of the Kindle Fire for Research
The Kindle Fire is first, and foremost, an eBook reader. With thousands of books at your fingertips with many fabulous colour photographs and illustrations, it will be like sitting down in your living room with a paperback book or magazine. There are hundreds of books that are helpful for family researchers. Although some of them are free, other books cost anywhere from $0.99 to $10. If you are looking for history books in particular, use the search terms, free books for Kindle, or free history books for Kindle. You will be pleasantly surprised by the fabulous treasures you will find there.
If you have uploaded your family tree to ancestry.com, you can download the free ancestry app to your Kindle fire for easy access to your ancestry account.
When you are out and about visiting your relatives, and someone asks you about your family history, you can instantly pull up the information to give that person the information he or she needs. If you want to interview a family member who may either live just down the street, or across the country, you can use the Skype app for Kindle, which comes with your Kindle Fire. You can also use Skype for Kindle to keep in touch with newly acquainted relatives, in the same way you would on your PC or mac. Pinterest is one of many social networks on the Internet where you can post your favourite photos. With Pinterest, you can create virtual bulletin boards where you can pin your photos. The way this works for your LDS family search, is by creating bulletin boards for your own genealogical discoveries. They can be anything from history books where you found information about your heritage, maps of old hometowns, records you want to share with your family, old recipe books, and much more. While you are doing your research, when you find some useful titbits, of information of interest to your family, take a moment to pin these titbits of information and images to the boards you have created. Pinterest also gives family history researchers a way to organize their information, plan research trips, and share your hobbies and interests with others. If you are looking for some ideas for your Pinterest boards, search for genealogy, food, and DYI for inspiration.
Evernote is a free app for Kindle Fire that helps you keep track of any research notes you write, web sites, or Internet articles you’ve tracked or saved on the Internet. This app sinks all your notes and favourite documents to your Kindle. If you are offline, or you lose your Internet connection, you can still access your notes on the Evernote app. You can add new ones, or edit the old, and the changes you have made, will sync to your Kindle fire when you go online again. If you are documenting the information you have found for your family tree, you can use Evernote to compile and organize your information, or you can make a research outline with it. If you love surfing or chatting on Facebook and twitter, then you will love using the free app’s which are available for both networks on your Kindle Fire for your LDS family search.
For instance, you can post your genealogical research information on your Facebook page, tag your family in old photos of your ancestors and their homes, workplaces, etc., and simply chat with your distant relatives, whom you are likely to find and become friends with on Facebook. Twitter on the other hand is a place for talking about your family tree research. You will be surprised how much genealogical information you can pack into the limited space available to you in one tweet for your followers to see.
Drawing Apps and Flipboard
If you love to blog and you use word press for your blog posts, you can use the free word press app to continue updating your genealogy blog, view comments, ad audio and video media, and share content with your friends, and much more. Kindle Fire comes with a PDF file reader, but more people choose to download the free adobe acrobat reader for their PDF documents. With adobe acrobat, you can read your PDF’s in several ways, continuous, page by page, or automatic. You can also search through the document, and send it as an email attachment. The Astrid task and to do app will help you keep track of your tasks, by setting up reminders, allow you to sync tasks to your Kindle Fire, assist you in creating tasks and sub tasks, and remind you of your seemingly endless to do list.
The drawing pad app, which costs $1.99, is great for making quick notes, or keeping the kids occupied on a long trip. With this app, you can use virtual pens, pencils, paints, markers, and some things that your kids will love stickers. You can send your drawings and quick notes to your friends and family via Facebook or twitter, or you can email them to people in your address book. Kindle has an app that can be used in conjunction with your free drop box account. You can sink documents, pictures, music, and any other media to your Kindle, phone or computer with drop box. You can use this app for storing documents for your LDS family search as well. Flip board is a free app that you can use to pull all your Facebook notifications and messages, twitter feeds, and blog posts/comments together in a magazine style format for viewing at your leisure. You can also use flipboard to pull your saved articles from your favourite genealogical research web sites together in one place. Pocket e-reader is a great app for saving online articles to read later on, or for when you aren’t on a wireless or mobile network. You can use this app for your LDS family search, to save any research articles or records you have found online, to view and take notes from at a later time. This app works on Kindle fire, and any other android devices. These are just a few of the countless ways you can use your Kindle fire for your Genealogical research on the go.