When BillionGraves launched just prior to Memorial Day I was quite excited at its availability. Though it was initially offered as an iOS app and I don’t have an iPhone, I enjoyed perusing the website and using what was available there. I wrote a blog post outlining my initial impressions. I am a power techie user and their model fits nicely within my paradigm for how I like to operate. Well, this week, they made the Android app available and I could not wait to try it out!
Earlier this afternoon I took a trip to a nearby cemetery to see how it works. I am in love.
- Android is notorious for all the different phone models, so the app does not work on all Android phones. I appreciated the developers taking the time to present a list of phones in their blog post that they know it works on, phones they know that it does not, and phones they were unsure about. My phone is on the “know it works on list” – yeah!
- The download went without hitch and it was easy to login. I do wish my avatar would have downloaded when I logged into my account - but that’s a vanity thing.
I went to Calvary Cemetery – a Catholic cemetery here in Nashville. I’ve only been here once and this was an opportunity to further explore it. I was concerned about my GPS because my phone is awful for GPS, but this app is right on target as far as the section of the cemetery that I was in! Here is my photo map of the pictures I took and it is an excellent tool for location purposes. The headstones marked are not exactly in place, but close enough for someone who may wish to follow-up and find them for themselves. I like this view too because it makes it easy to remember where to pick up when I go back to the cemetery. In fact, I’m going back in the morning and am going to try and finish this section.
The app is very easy to use. In fact, the camera on it works faster than when I use the regular camera feature on the phone. I did have a few delays between pictures at times but it could have just been my phone -it has been acting up for weeks now. The GPS signal on my phone was strong and I was able to take around 150 pictures in about 30 minutes. Not bad! I had the kids with me, so purposefully did not stay long – just wanted to test it out.
One touch upload. Perfect! I don’t know how long it took for my pictures to upload because I did it and left my phone to charge back up and didn’t come back to my phone until about an hour later. After the pictures are uploaded, the numbers show up on my online dashboard. For some reason, one of the pictures was attached to the cemetery next door, so I’ll have to try and fix that.
From here, the transcription process is just like all other photos on the website after you click on the “My Photos” tab. After having used the site for the past month, I can conclusively state that I prefer their transcription process to FindAGrave – I can move more quickly through it.
On an interesting note I see that some of my pictures have already even been transcribed by others. How cool!!!
I am very pleased with my app experience. Thank you to BillionGraves for providing this app. I may even go back and redo past pictures I’ve taken so I can further contribute to the site.