Posted July 8, 2009 7:35am


4 of 5 bars
  • PRICE: $4.99
  • EASE OF USE: 4
SUMMARY: A powerful and easy to use personal database app

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Bento, from Filemaker Inc. is a mobile version of their Mac only database program of the same name. As far as data-basing goes this app is one of the best out there.

To start off you can make your own libraries from scratch you can use one of the 25 templates included. Some of the included templates can be used to store recipes, keep a diet log, inventory your home, or organize your class schedule. I have seen other list and database apps that will do only one of these specific functions for the same price and even more in some cases.

Not only is this app extremely powerful and can store thousands of records without slowing down, but it is extremely easy to use. Simply tap the "New Library" button and then choose from the available templates or create your own. If you start with a blank library, you will be presented with 15 different field types to choose from. Pick the type you want and give the field a name. Then just repeat this process and place them in the proper order until you have personalize the database to your taste. Once the library is designed, then it is just a matter of creating new records and filling in all the information with whatever you want to store. This process is a breeze and app is responsive so the process goes quickly.

This app also syncs flawlessly with its Mac counterpart over a wifi network. If you own Bento for the Mac, you can simply enter your info there and then sync it to your iPhone or iPod Touch to bring with you. The syncing process is quick and it just works. Another great feature of this app is the iTunes style search. It starts searching as you type and the results come from every library.

The biggest flaw I found is that when you create a record, you must save it, however when entering info into a field, you simply press the back button when done. The problem occurs when you back out of a field. Where the back button was is now a cancel button. If you press back twice or accidentally click on cancel thinking you just need to back out of the record all the information you have added will be lost.

Another limitation of this app is without the Mac application, I do not know of a way to back up the data. This is a pretty big oversight that hopefully they will add in the future.

All in all, if you are using Bento on a Mac than I cannot recommend this app enough. For anyone else looking for a data-basing application, while there are some flaws, I still highly recommend Bento. It will fill your needs and then some.