updated 09:00 am EDT, Tue May 5, 2009
Bento for iPhone released
Apple's FileMaker subsidiary on Tuesday made a trio of announcements related to the iPhone, including a mobile version of its Bento personal database software, a free update to its Bento 2.0v4 desktop application for wirelessly syncing to the iPhone app, and a new tool for FileMaker Server 10 to create iPhone-friendly websites for FileMaker data. Bento for iPhone and iPod touch enables users to view, organize, create, and search for data easily on their mobile device as well sync that information to their Mac using Bento 2.0v4 (available separately). The portable version of the application, is now available for download for US$4.99 from Apple's App Store, while Bento 2.0v4, a free update for existing v2.0 users, is available on the Web.
Bento for the iPhone neatly formats information entry by using the familiar iPhone interface as well as offers complete integration with other iPhone apps, including Contacts, Safari, Phone Dialing, Mail and Google Maps. In addition, the Bento mobile enables users to easily track information by entering, organizing, and synchronizing information -- wirelessly -- with a Mac (when using Bento 2.0v4 for Mac desktop software, also released today). Users can sync changes made on their iPhone/iPod touch device to the desktop version of their application (although changes made on the mobile app will overwrite those on its desktop counterpart).
The software includes 25 built-in templates, including several for business (Issue Tracking, Time Billing, Customers, Expenses, etc.) and others for personal use (contacts,To Dos, Diet Log, Expenses, etc.) as well as a Blank template for creating customized templates.
Bento for the iPhone allows users to create "collections" of records -- much like playlists in iTunes -- in any library to organize informational records on-the-go. In addition, it supports the ability to create new records, edit details, sort data, modify forms and use an iTunes-style search to find information quickly. The mobile version supports many -- but not all -- types of Bento field types, including text, numbers, choice, checkbox, media, time, date, durations, currency, rating, address, phone number, email, URL and IM Account.
Bento for iPhone, iPod touch (and mobile templates) are available in English only, but Bento for iPhone supports input in a variety of languages and can be synchronized with Bento 2.0v4 for Mac in any language. Bento templates are available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Dutch in the localized versions of Bento 2.0v4 for Mac.
In addition, FileMaker is now offering an iPhone template option for FileMaker Server 10 or FileMaker Server 10 Advanced. The FileMaker Server PHP Site Assistant for iPhone can be used to instantly create a iPhone-friendly website with a few clicks, enabling enterprise to deliver a wide variety of business data via the iPhone including schedules, service tickets, field data collection, images, sales leads, order histories, asset management, inventory status and more.