09 January 2015

RootsTech 2015 App Available

I was reading Renee's Genealogy blog post New RootsTech 2015 Schedule Tools Available! and I got excited. Last year I found the app very friendly and I used the information to both plan the classes I attended and to find out information while I was at the conference.

The app looks similar to last years. Each icon gives you different functionality and will become more relevant the closer we get to RootsTech.The advantage to this app is that you do not need a wifi connection to use it. Once downloaded you have everything you need.

My Schedule - A four day, hour by hour schedule. As you look through the conference schedule and other information you can add your choices to this schedule. Then while you are at the conference a quick look at this page allows you to know where you are headed to next.

I took this photo at RootsTech 2014. Looking from the second floor into the Exhibit Hall.
Exhibitors - A list of all of the exhibitors that are registered for RootsTech. The functionality of the tool allows you to get more information about the exhibitor, mark them as a favorite, mark them as visited, schedule a visit that will appear on your schedule, or take notes while at the vendor to refer to later.

**Conference Tip**
I would plan on spending some time in the exhibit hall, I learned many new things while visiting the exhibitors and I got some free stuff too. I like the ability I had to be hands on with some products. I also enjoyed seeing the interviews and bloggers working at the show. They had free Dr. Pepper at the Cyber Cafe and a place to sit and charge my computer. The Demo theater was the most informative and comfortable place to be. I wish I had looked closer to the schedule of the demo theater compared to the classes I was attending. I missed some demos I would have liked to see.

Click for a larger view
Maps - There are currently two maps in the app one for the Full Campus and one just for the Exhibit Hall. I can see myself referring to the Full Campus map during the conference. It would be nice to have a map from the Salt Palace to the Family History Library but luckily for those who don't know the way. Luckily it is only a block north of the building, straight up West Temple.

Conference Schedule - This is where you can find out information about the classes that are being offered. You have a choice of looking at the schedule day by day or by Track, depending on your skill and interest level. Once you find a class you are interested in you just click the star and it is added to your schedule. If you accidentally star a class at the same day and time as another class you have already chosen a pop-up will tell you that there is a scheduling conflict. 

I can see myself looking through the classes now to set my schedule. Last year I got into a couple of classes and I decided that they were not for me so I used the app during the conference to find another class instead.

Speakers - A one stop place to find out about the speakers at the conference. I loved listening and learning from Crista Cowan last year. Luckily I chose a class from her early in the conference. I found myself in a class that was not what I expected and saw that she was teaching another class I had a mild interest in and I am glad I traded. Last year I did not look into the speakers when I chose my classes. I depended on the class descriptions. I have learned that just because a presenter can write a good class description it does not mean they have they have the background or experience level to back it up.

These pages not only tell you about the speaker but they also show you when they are presenting and gives you a link to add their presentation to your schedule. 

Click to view larger version.
Show Documents - A place to find handouts and other documents relating to the conference.  Currently there is a Week-at-a-glance chart that shows when different events are occurring during different times the day. This was not in the 2014 app so I can only assume exactly what will be in this part of the app but as we get closer to the February 11 I will be checking this for more information.

This is me and my wife with a pirate at RootsTech 2014.
Photo Gallery - A gallery of photos relating to RootsTech 2015. It was fun to see the different photos that were posted to social media from the last RootsTech. Some of the vendors even had picture contests. This part of the app allows you to take photos and add them to this library. I am not currently sure if they will be shared with others. I assume that the conference organizes will post photos of the conference for us to see.

Videos - A collection of presentations from past RootsTech conferences. I assume that they will continue to post sessions from this conference to the website and they will be available through this app. I would spend some time watching these presentations now to get a flavor of what the conference will be like in February. What better way can we put tech into RootsTech.

Twitter - A collection of the latest tweets about #RootsTech. This is another way to experience Tech at RootsTech. I am not a big twitter lover but ever since last February I have been a fan. It is fun to see the things people say and share through twitter. It also gives you a way to keep conversations going. This allows to experience the information and feel of twitter without committing to the social media site. Check it out now because it has all of the latest information for RootsTech available at your fingertips.

Friends - A collection of people you meet at RootsTech. This is where you can view the status, schedule and other information for the friends you add. To add a friend just click the + icon.

News - A collection of blog posts about RootsTech. There are currently blogs posted to the app but during the conference we will be able to read and follow the blogs live right in this app.

Attendees - A list of RootsTech 2015 attendees that share their profile for others to read. This is where you can find friends for the friends part of the app. It has a security feature so that people have to request to be your friend before they can see your information.

RootsTech.org - A link to the RootsTech website. I believe this icon requires an Internet connection. This link gives you access straight to the RootsTech app.

Facebook - A link to the RootsTech facebook page. I believe this also requires an Internet connection.

Search - This is a powerful tool to find anything you need within the RootsTech app. A quick search of DNA found 22 events, exhibits and presentations. You can also search for an attendee or speaker. I can see that I will probably be using this the very most while I am at the conference.

Download the RootsTech 2015 conference app today at the App Store and Google Play