Quick App: FileMaker's Bento for iPhone
FileMaker was gracious enough to provide TiPb with a walkthrough of their just-released Bento for iPhone and iPod touch ($4.99 - iTunes link). Coming as it does from a wholly-owned Apple subsidiary, Bento shows every bit as much polish as the built-in iPhone apps. Features include:
- 25 pre-designed, ready-to-use templates that can be quickly customized with a few taps.
- Create your own forms to organize virtually any data on an iPhone or iPod touch.
- Tap to call a contact, view a Web site, send an email or display a map all while in a Bento library or collection.
- Manage anything from contacts and club members to projects, parties, medical bills and vehicle maintenance.
- View libraries and collections, create new records, edit details, sort data, modify forms – even use the iTunes-style search to find information quickly on the go.
- Select from 15 field types including text, numbers, choice, checkbox, media, time, date, durations, currency, rating, address, phone number, email, URL and IM Account.
- Wireless Synchronization between Bento for iPhone and iPod Touch and Bento 2 for Mac
- Works with built-in iPhone apps Contacts, Safari, Phone Dialing, Mail and Google Maps
An updated version of Bento 2 for the Mac is shipping at the same time, which is required for the sync to function. There's no support for multiple iPhone to Bento 2 Mac sync yet, though you can manually sync one device after the other. Likewise, Apple doesn't allow hooks into the Calendar (yet?!) but for things like Contacts, Bento for iPhone's ability to mirror the built in Contacts database, and then transparently superset it with extra data (i.e. you could add a star rating to all your friends) is very impressive.
Most impressive, however, is the typical Apple-esque ease of use. Bento does a lot of heavy lifting so users, whether exclusively on the iPhone, or syncing between iPhone and desktop, don't have to.
If you have any need at all to organize personal data on your iPhone, give Bento for iPhone a look and let us know what you think!