An­ces­try’s ‘His­tor­i­cal In­sights’ are to­tally ir­rel­e­vant

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An­ces­try has re­cently in­tro­duced a ‘His­tor­i­cal In­sights’ fea­ture on its iPad app which I un­der­stand will roll out to the PC ver­sion in the near fu­ture.

This fea­ture clut­ters up an in­di­vid­ual’s timeline with gen­eral his­tor­i­cal facts and events that are not nec­es­sar­ily rel­e­vant to the per­son.

Most of the in­sights are geared to their Amer­i­can users – for in­stance my own timeline de­tails my birth and mar­riage but also the fact that the first Po­laroid cam­era was sold five years be­fore I was born for $ 89 – an­noy­ing and ir­rel­e­vant.

While the in­tro­duc­tion of this fea­ture might at first seem like a use­ful tool to some peo­ple, I was amazed to see that there is no op­tion to turn it off – once you up­date to

Ian Cole is no fan of the new ‘His­tor­i­cal In­sights’s fea­ture on An­ces­try the lat­est ver­sion of the app it is there for good. Bear­ing in mind that An­ces­try does pro­vide an op­tion to turn off its shak­ing leaf ‘Hints’ fea­ture (which is at least di­rectly rel­e­vant to a tree) not to do so for the In­sights is surely a se­ri­ous er­ror of judge­ment on the part of its devel­op­ment team. Ian Cole, Stour­bridge, West Mid­lands

Edi­tor replies: I have got in touch with An­ces­try and their spokesper­son said: “While the his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion on the app’s timeline can help some peo­ple con­tex­tu­alise their an­ces­tors’ lives, we ap­pre­ci­ate oth­ers may not re­quire this fea­ture. We will be dis­con­tin­u­ing the ‘Quick His­tor­i­cal Facts’ fea­ture at the be­gin­ning of 2015, and are work­ing to­wards al­low­ing users to hide the ‘His­tor­i­cal In­sights’ (facts re­lated more specif­i­cally to an an­ces­tor) in fur­ther up­dates.”

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