In a typical scene, a local woman in a dentist's waiting room was typing something on her cellphone with her thumbs.
But she wasn't sending a text message or playing a game.
She was indexing names of those who have died, to help with an electronic database for FamilySearch, which is noted as the world's largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The new smartphone application is available for free through phone-application marketplaces -- such as the iTunes application store -- for the most popular mobile phones.
"Almost everyone is excited about doing indexing in a casual way," said Scott Flinders, a senior product manager for indexing technology software and mobile applications for FamilySearch. "People love the idea of being able to help bit by bit."
Flinders explained that those with the mobile application can index as little as just one name at a time and can do the work wherever their phones go with them.
He said although the mobile application was just released at the beginning of February, tens of thousands of people are now doing indexing on their cellular phones.
And all this growth has occurred without much mention from FamilySearch officials.
"We have not done too much in the way of promoting or actively trying to recruit people," Flinders said.
"We have held off trying to promote it. We are seeing what kind of word-of-mouth promotion we get."
The application is quite different from the traditional indexing tools FamilySearch has provided in the past. Names only are indexed one at a time instead of in batches with other information, such as dates and locations that need to be downloaded and returned within a short time period.
Still in its testing stages, the application currently has a limited span also.
Flinders said the names are from only two collections at the present time.
"In the future, we'll have a wider variety," he said. "Now, there are just names. ... And right now, it's only in English. It would be nice if we could offer it in multiple languages."
The mobile phone application is not a place where the 1940s census will be indexed, either, Flinders said.
One hang-up with the new application, he said, has been that some people have had trouble logging into the program.
For those who have worked in FamilySearch programs before, this is not a problem.
"It does require you to have an LDS account," Flinders said. "If you try and create an account through your mobile device, it doesn't work as well. It's better if you create your account on your desktop first."
To create a Family Search account on your desktop, visit new.familysearch.org and follow the instructions.
Another issue with the application is that LDS stake family history volunteers -- who offer support to indexers who are signed up with Family Search -- aren't necessarily aware of the new application.
Flinders said information about the program isn't currently shared in updates that go out to all the volunteers.
He also said training on the application is limited to a short written document, and by the user's interest in exploring the program.
Some phone application indexers have missed an undo feature on the application that allows them to go back and fix the last name they just submitted.
This guards against accidentally sending a name before being finished typing it.