Russ Worthington sent me a quick Facebook message this morning to tell me that there was a Find a Grave Droid app for my Motorola phone. Russ is an avid Find a Grave volunteer. I am also a member and hope to contribute more in the future.
I immediately went to the Android Market app (on my phone) to check it out. I discovered that it was free and that it was still in Beta. Having beta tested software for both the Mac and Windows platforms over the years, I knew that this is not the full featured, final application.
This is the main screen for the app which I installed. By the way, this phone is a Web based "smart" phone which means that everywhere I go I can access the Internet via a browser, get my email and text and more. Yes, even in the cemetery! Naturally, the 3G network would have to be available in that area.
Of course, this means that I would need to have my USB charging cord and my Think Geek Coffee Cup Power Inverter with me to charge my phone in the car as this should drain the phone's battery with an extended cemetery visit. (You can also buy a car charger for this phone). I like the power inverter as I can also use it with my netbook, iPod and other electronic wonders.
Here is a photograph of the main screen of the app with the "menu" showing at the bottom. So far, only the "Search" feature is functioning. I used the Option to access the screen to sign in to Find a Grave with my username and password. Once I did that, I was ready to use the Search feature.
I touched the Search icon to access the search screen. You can search by Memorial (for a particular person's grave) or by Cemetery to see information about that cemetery. It is hard to take a photo of a phone screen, so this is a bit blurry, but you get the idea.
The other icons on the Main screen are not active yet but I would assume that the Profile icon brings up your Find a Grave profile, the Lists icon might be where you can save particular "favorite" graves or cemeteries and the Create must be so that you can add a gravestone or information. Naturally, that would be very cool.
The camera in my Drod works quite well, once you get used to holding the phone steady. Because it is a Web enabled phone, you can take photos and share them via text, email or even through the Facebook app. I am guessing that is how this app will work when it is finished. This is just a first look!
I am excited about this new technology which will help us locate, photograph and share our cemetery data!