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MacRumors
May 5, 2009, 09:02 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/05/05/filemaker-releases-bento-for-iphone/)

FileMaker has released Bento (http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/iphone.html) [App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=314638461&mt=8), $4.99], the company's personal database application, for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new application operates both as a standalone database application and also synchronizes with the desktop version of Bento to provide accessibility on the go.

- Comes with 25 ready-to-use database templates that can be easily customized for whatever you need to organize.
- Supports 15 different field types so you can store text, numbers, dates, times, durations, pictures, sounds, video clips, pop-up choices, check boxes, prices, rates, addresses, phone numbers, ratings, web sites, email addresses, instant messaging accounts, and more.
- Includes iTunes-style searching and instant sorting to help you find things fast.
- Integrates with other iPhone apps so you can simply tap on a Bento field to call a contact, view a web site, send an email or display a map.
- Works as a standalone application or can be synchronized with Bento 2.0v4 for Mac desktop software (sold separately).

CNET briefly demoed (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-10232944-233.html) the new application and was impressed with both the operation and look of it.

We got a demo of the handsome, dark Bento app a few weeks ago. After playing with it for a while, it appears to balance a mine of data fields with the iPhone's customarily accessible interface. Bento's home screen displays all your data libraries, which you can swipe through to view. Other screens let you add a new library, search for entries, or sync to Bento on the Mac. Each new library is prepopulated with one dummy entry to get you started. While there is a dedicated search screen, a similar search field within each library facilitates more advanced investigations of your data.

FileMaker also offers a video demo (http://fmdl.filemaker.com/MISC/bento2/bento_for_iphone.mov) of the Bento iPhone application.

Article Link: Filemaker Releases 'Bento' for iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/05/05/filemaker-releases-bento-for-iphone/)



Chundles
May 5, 2009, 09:05 AM
...And it is freaking sweet.

AdeFowler
May 5, 2009, 09:09 AM
Looks very good.

I bought Bento six months ago with the intention of learning how to use it, but have yet to find a use for it (my problem, not Bentos). What are people using it for?

Dimwhit
May 5, 2009, 09:15 AM
Man, I wish they'd release FM Pro for iPhone...

danny_w
May 5, 2009, 09:17 AM
Looks very good.

I bought Bento six months ago with the intention of learning how to use it, but have yet to find a use for it (my problem, not Bentos). What are people using it for?
I haven't bought either version but hoped to buy the desktop version (didn't know about the iPhone version) and use it initially to do a home inventory. It sounds like the combination may be even better for this. You can enter the basics and take pictures with the iPhone, and the sync with the desktop to do all of the tedious data entry. Is syncing bi-directional? One thing I didn't like about the desktop version when I looked at it was that there was now ay to keep a common database synced between different computers. Has that changed?

mkrishnan
May 5, 2009, 09:19 AM
...And it is freaking sweet.

It looks really well thought out. Could be useful for all kinds of things.... Nicely done, Flemaker!

SirROM
May 5, 2009, 09:20 AM
Man, I wish they'd release FM Pro for iPhone...

If you are really interested, try FMTouch for the iPhone. I have used it since it appeared about a year ago and it works well. The developers frequently update it and are always adding new features. I run my business on Filemaker and this app does a good job of putting Filemaker on the iPhone.

TuffLuffJimmy
May 5, 2009, 09:20 AM
Coverflow? I thought that was verboten.

AdeFowler
May 5, 2009, 09:49 AM
One thing I didn't like about the desktop version when I looked at it was that there was now way to keep a common database synced between different computers. Has that changed?

Apparently not. The iPhone version syncs wirelessly though which is nice ;)

Dimwhit
May 5, 2009, 10:10 AM
If you are really interested, try FMTouch for the iPhone. I have used it since it appeared about a year ago and it works well. The developers frequently update it and are always adding new features. I run my business on Filemaker and this app does a good job of putting Filemaker on the iPhone.

I've been keeping an eye on that one. It's still lacking some of the scripting and calculation support I need, but I'll probably spring for it at some point. Very pricey, though.

Small White Car
May 5, 2009, 10:15 AM
Coverflow? I thought that was verboten.

No. Tapping into Apple's coverflow software on the iPhone and just telling your program to use that is against the rules.

But if you program your own code that looks and works the same then it's ok.

There was an app a few months ago (forget which) that was rejected from the app store for using coverflow against the rules. Turns out, they had programed their own version in and Apple had to admit their mistake and accept the app. Apple just assumed it was their own without checking!

After all that, I'm sure the Bento folks know this and made their own coverflow code.


Apparently not. The iPhone version syncs wirelessly though which is nice ;)

I'm hopeful this means the desktop versions will be syncing soon. I sent them a question asking.

Even so, though, this iPhone app makes Bento 10 times better! I'm loving it!

So far I'm using Bento on my Mac for:
- Tracking small jobs that people owe me money for
- My car maintenence records
- Favorite recepies

I'm hopeful I can find more uses, I enjoy the small amount of use I've gotten out of it so far.

danny_w
May 5, 2009, 10:24 AM
Sounds like it is time to quit putting it off and go ahead and buy it. It sounds like this would make Bento so much more useful.

aristotle
May 5, 2009, 10:43 AM
Coverflow? I thought that was verboten.
Filemaker is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Inc.

http://www.filemaker.com/company/

SirROM
May 5, 2009, 10:51 AM
I've been keeping an eye on that one. It's still lacking some of the scripting and calculation support I need, but I'll probably spring for it at some point. Very pricey, though.

There is an update due out any day now that has massive updates to the scripting and calculation engines of FMTouch. While I agree that it is a bit pricey, it has dropped from its initial $99 down to $69 (where I bought it) and it has been worth every penny to me. The ability to carry my DBs with me into a patient's room is worth a great deal and saves me a lot of time on the back end of the day.

As I noted before, the developers are very responsive and appear quite open to feedback and feature requests. Overall, it is 100x better than FM Mobile was on the Palm devices and the next best thing to Filemaker/Apple doing it themselves.

kironin
May 5, 2009, 10:55 AM
looks great, but

just to have the software backed up am I going to have to buy Bento 2 for the Mac as well ? Since that only runs on Leopard, that would mean I would have to upgrade from Tiger.

So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

not so sweet.

what does a PC user with an iPhone do ?

Small White Car
May 5, 2009, 11:01 AM
looks great, but

just to have the software backed up am I going to have to buy Bento 2 for the Mac as well ? Since that only runs on Leopard, that would mean I would have to upgrade from Tiger.

So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

not so sweet.

what does a PC user with an iPhone do ?

I think you're looking at this backwards.

They wanted a way to make Mac Bento more useful to its users and extend what it can do. This app does that.

I mean, what you're saying is similar to looking at the 'Bank of America' app and complaining that it's useless because you use a different bank.

Not all apps are going to be useful for all people.

Dimwhit
May 5, 2009, 11:05 AM
There is an update due out any day now that has massive updates to the scripting and calculation engines of FMTouch. While I agree that it is a bit pricey, it has dropped from its initial $99 down to $69 (where I bought it) and it has been worth every penny to me. The ability to carry my DBs with me into a patient's room is worth a great deal and saves me a lot of time on the back end of the day.

As I noted before, the developers are very responsive and appear quite open to feedback and feature requests. Overall, it is 100x better than FM Mobile was on the Palm devices and the next best thing to Filemaker/Apple doing it themselves.

That's good to know. I may bug you when it's out to see if it has what I need. Unless they have a good manual that gives a list of supported calculations and scripts. Thanks!

SirROM
May 5, 2009, 11:20 AM
That's good to know. I may bug you when it's out to see if it has what I need. Unless they have a good manual that gives a list of supported calculations and scripts. Thanks!

go to their website and you'll find a wealth of information about current and upcoming features:

http://fmwebschool.com/frm/index.php?board=39.0

BTW, I'd be happy to help if I can.

kironin
May 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
I think you're looking at this backwards.

They wanted a way to make Mac Bento more useful to its users and extend what it can do. This app does that.

I mean, what you're saying is similar to looking at the 'Bank of America' app and complaining that it's useless because you use a different bank.


I don't think your analogy makes any sense but beyond that ...

That's not the impression you get from the video. They never say what you said that this is just for Bento on the Mac users. They give you the impression that this is a great app for creating databases on your iPhone that blends well with the Apple apps especially the contacts on the iPhone, NOT that it is simply an app to access on your iPhone the databases you have created in Bento on your Mac.

also after seeing your comment and I went and looked at the iTunes description

"Works as a standalone application or can be synchonized with Bento 2 for Mac... sold separately"

so the question remains how is the work on this standalone application backed up ?

Small White Car
May 5, 2009, 11:57 AM
also after seeing your comment and I went and looked at the iTunes description

"Works as a standalone application or can be synchonized with Bento 2 for Mac... sold separately"

Yes, I disagree with that marketing approach, then.

I mean, it will probably sell more, but it seems like they're setting themselves up for a lower star rating. Don't know if that's the best strategy.


so the question remains how is the work on this standalone application backed up ?

When the entire iPhone is backed up by iTunes, isn't the app data part of that backup? Won't a restore bring it back? (Not sure, I'm asking.)

That's not as nice or as useful as syncing, obviously, but that would be protection from total data loss.

twoodcc
May 5, 2009, 11:58 AM
yeah i got an email about this today. seems good, but not sure if it's worth $4.99 to me

batchtaster
May 5, 2009, 12:35 PM
So just to back up this $4.99 app, I would have spend at least another $178 ?

iTunes backs up your entire iPhone for free.

That is, unless you're not actually talking about "back[ing] up" and mean that you want to get the data off your iPhone to import it into something else and mess around with it some more, which is completely not the same thing at all and a misuse of the word. I don't see why FileMaker has any obligation to provide that sort of functionality with anything other than their own products; which this already does. I mean, would Pocket Access for Windows Mobile be expected to sync with anything other than Access for Windows? Surely not, so why apply a different standard here? And what product are you proposing to do that in, if any?

Bento for iPhone is an extension of Bento for Mac, not the other way around.

And it also works on its own.

sum1
May 5, 2009, 12:53 PM
Does Bento-iPhone sync with Desktop 1.0?

batchtaster
May 5, 2009, 01:00 PM
Does Bento-iPhone sync with Desktop 1.0?

- Works as a standalone application or can be synchronized with Bento 2.0v4 for Mac desktop software (sold separately).

Not even 2.0v3.

Besides, even the latest 1.0 update (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/33479&vid=499971&mode=info) pre-dates the App Store (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store) by 6 months.

danny_w
May 5, 2009, 01:04 PM
Not even 2.0v3.
Makes sense, since they would have to have added syncing into the desktop app as well.

CTYankee
May 5, 2009, 02:22 PM
I would have gotten this if they fixed v1 of the desktop app and not as a paid fix (aka v2). They know it was flawed, readily admit some advertised features just don't work, yet decided not to fix it. Essentially v1 was a paid beta.

sum1
May 5, 2009, 02:30 PM
I would have gotten this if they fixed v1 of the desktop app and not as a paid fix (aka v2). They know it was flawed, readily admit some advertised features just don't work, yet decided not to fix it. Essentially v1 was a paid beta.

I agree. And I think those of us who bought v1 should've waited until v2. There was only one major and paid update to v2 at the time. We don't even get a break to v2 but pay the full price for few additional features which should've been a free upgrade.

TuffLuffJimmy
May 5, 2009, 03:29 PM
No. Tapping into Apple's coverflow software on the iPhone and just telling your program to use that is against the rules.

But if you program your own code that looks and works the same then it's ok.

There was an app a few months ago (forget which) that was rejected from the app store for using coverflow against the rules. Turns out, they had programed their own version in and Apple had to admit their mistake and accept the app. Apple just assumed it was their own without checking!

After all that, I'm sure the Bento folks know this and made their own coverflow code.

That's absolutely not true. If they make a product that presents itself in the same way, meaning it is exactly the same as Apple's coverflow that is a violation of Apple's IP. That's why people are getting up in arms about Palm's Pre having pinch and zoom, sure the code is different but the IP in the same. Now if the two coverflows differed somehow, either in presentation or effect then they may have a case for allowing it in the store.

and thank you aristotle I was unaware of that.

kironin
May 5, 2009, 04:59 PM
iTunes backs up your entire iPhone for free.

That is, unless you're not actually talking about "back[ing] up" and mean that you want to get the data off your iPhone to import it into something else and mess around with it some more, which is completely not the same thing at all and a misuse of the word. I don't see why FileMaker has any obligation to provide that sort of functionality with anything other than their own products; which this already does. I mean, would Pocket Access for Windows Mobile be expected to sync with anything other than Access for Windows? Surely not, so why apply a different standard here? And what product are you proposing to do that in, if any?

Bento for iPhone is an extension of Bento for Mac, not the other way around.

And it also works on its own.



Has anyone else noticed that backing up through iTunes seems rather inconsistent. Also it's not exactly transparent. I don't need to access the files on my Mac but it would be nice if I could verify what it has backed up and when. I see a possible need for myself to have something like Bento on my phone on the go if I could just be sure it's backed up.

I think Filemaker has some obligation to make sure that you can verify the app's databases are backed up if they claim it can be used as a standalone app.

adamcal
May 5, 2009, 07:17 PM
I would have gotten this if they fixed v1 of the desktop app and not as a paid fix (aka v2). They know it was flawed, readily admit some advertised features just don't work, yet decided not to fix it. Essentially v1 was a paid beta.

I agree, do they hope we will fall for it again, buy the 4.99 app now, pay another 4.99 when they get it to work, then 4.99 again to get it to work with the new bento 3 when they want another $69 for that.


buyer beware

Kwill
May 6, 2009, 02:37 PM
Bento reviews suggest first version is crash prone. Here's hoping for a better 1.1.

What opens cool possibilities for other apps is the wireless sync.