Yesterday, I mentioned the differences between the two Mac versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac that are for sale on both Ancestry.com and on online retailers such as Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, etc. – it came down to the non-Ancestry.com versions (aka the retail versions) had a 6-month subscription to Ancestry.com with them, while the cheaper version sold at Ancestry.com does not. In everything else, they are the same.
I asked several more questions and am grateful to the Ancestry.com staff for answering them. The answers will end up in the Family Tree Maker for Mac FAQ, which is a part of the main Mac genealogy software FAQ. Without further ado, here they are (answers received are in bold and with numbers preceding them, my comments follow):
1) Family Tree Maker for Mac is basically Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac. It is based on Family Tree Maker 2010 for Windows. It does not include the updated features of Family Tree Maker 2011 (Windows).
I had thought maybe it would be based on FTM 2011, but it makes sense to keep it on 2010. This is the first time since the 1990s that we’ve had Family Tree Maker on a Mac platform (that didn’t involve using virtualization running Windows) and it’s not the easiest thing to port between different OSes. They needed to work off of finished software, and at the time Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac was announced, Family Tree Maker 2011 was probably nowhere near being finished. Had they used FTM 2011 as a base for Family Tree Maker for Mac, we’d definitely be waiting until sometime next year.
It is on the same level as Family Tree Maker 2010 though. It’s still one of the best/easiest ways for Windows users of Family Tree Maker to make the switch to Macs and bring their genealogy data and information over.
2) There are no plans to release an Essentials, Deluxe, or Platinum version of Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac.
3) The version priced at $99.95 is essentially the same as the Platinum version of Family Tree Maker 2010 – it comes with the 6-month subscription and Family History Toolkit.
4) Both releases of Family Tree Maker for Mac are identical, the only difference is the included subscription and the Family History Toolkit.
2, 3, and 4 are tied together and they are answers to questions I asked about the differences and potential different versions (Essentials, Deluxe, or Platinum).
At its core, Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac is the same between the Ancestry.com and the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk versions. That is to say, the actual Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac software is the same between both Ancestry.com and the retail versions.
With Family Tree Maker for Windows, the different versions come down to add-on content from what I understand. Videos, additional tools, etc. The Family Tree Maker software was still the same. There aren’t artificial limits between versions, etc. Family Tree Maker is Family Tree Maker.
What does the retail/$99.95 version have that the $69.95 version from Ancestry.com doesn’t?
* 6-month subscription to certain Ancestry.com services
* Family History Toolkit (an add-on)
The Family History Toolkit comes on a bonus DVD. IT IS NOT a software application, even though it sounds like it. From Nova Development’s site (the company that ported it to Mac OS X for Ancestry.com):
Get started fast with invaluable family history reference books – volumes of information that can help you with your research – compiled on one DVD.
That probably means Adobe Acrobat PDF files of some sort, or some kind of files you can read through Family Tree Maker. It is not an application.
5) The software will be available for purchase at most Mac stores and there are no plans to release the software to any other retail outlets
I believe this means that it will be available (eventually) through Apple’s retail stores. I also believe it probably won’t be released to Target, Best Buy, etc. You’ll either buy it from Ancestry.com, Amazon.com, or Apple’s retail stores, and probably a few other places online.
6) There are no trial or demo versions.
This was in response to a question I asked about there being a trial or demo version for people to download and try out. They did say that it would be passed on to the programmers for consideration in future implementations.
Personally I think it needs to be available in Family Tree Maker 2011 for Mac or whatever, because all of the Mac genealogy applications that are commercial/shareware have some sort of demo or trial modes and it allows people to basically shop around and find what’s best for them. This is probably still the best option for a Windows Family Tree Maker user who is switching to Macs, but it’s going to be hard to convince existing Mac users to switch.
Hopefully that clears up a few questions. I may have over-explained things, but there had been some confusion out there.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me. As I said yesterday, I am working through a lot of emails and getting answers out to people.