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FileMaker Releases Bento 4 for iPad

With the debut of the original iPad back in March 2010, Apple subsidiary FileMaker released an iPad version of Bento, the company's personal database software. But while the app has received a few updates since that time, major changes have been relatively few and far between even with the release of Bento 4 for Mac in March 2011.

That all changes today with the release of Bento 4 for iPad [App Store], a significant upgrade for the personal database app. Macworld has an overview of the new app:
Past versions of the Bento for iPad have limited creation tools and have focused on acting as a means to access and modify existing databases that were initially created on the Mac. The new Bento 4 for iPad adds a complete set of tools to allow for the creation of Bento databases on the iPad itself.

“You don’t need a Mac,” Ryan Rosenberg, FileMaker’s vice president of marketing and services, told Macworld. “You’re actually building and constructing your own apps on the iPad.”

Bento 4 for iPad includes 25 customizable templates for various database types, along with 40 new themes optimized for the Retina display on the third-generation iPad. Other improvements include a new Table view for database entries and a hideaway library list for full-screen viewing of records.

Bento 4 for iPad is not an update to the previous Bento for iPad app and must be purchased separately. Regularly priced at $9.99, Bento 4 for iPad is on sale for $4.99 through July 31. Bento for Mac [Mac App Store] is also on sale for $29.99 through the end of July, down from its regular price of $49.99.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 24 months ago

I'll third that one. I have always been intrigued by this software, and at the same time, I have no idea how I'd use it. I don't know how it stays profitable. Is there anything it does better than separate apps? I'd seriously like to know.


I am a bit of a software collector and try a lot of tools. This one does do some things very nicely. It is basically FileMaker for users. FileMaker is a database tool. It allows you to create databases as simple or complex as you like. However it means programing. For most, that is not an option. Bento takes all the programing away and lets you create a database with most any field you want: photos, date, email, text, notes, document links, etc.

I use it to manage people who donate to my organization, our computer systems in the organization (users, OS, age, software installed, etc), our video archives, and more.

It is a nice balance between the power of FileMaker and versatility of separate apps. It puts a good amount of power into one tool.

That said FileMaker as a company is not my favorite. They did some really sketchy stuff with Bento v1. It was buggy and had some documented issues with main features. They did fix them...and called it v2. Oh, and you get to pay full price again. There was quite an uproar from the v1 users who realized they paid to be beta testers. Management's response: too bad. Seriously. They forums lit up and FileMaker staff said management was meeting to discuss the issues with v1 and how to fix them. Their official response: buy v2. No discount either.

So the product is decent, the management (if it is still the same) stinks.
Rating: 7 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
Not nice that they force current paid users to pay again.
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
I think I'll wait for the reviews to come in. I wont touch any filemaker products until they are tested after the Bento v1 => v2 mess!
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
To all the folks who can't imagine how they would use a database:

Do you have boxes in the attic? What's in them? Wouldn't it be nice to have a list somewhere?

Do you work out? Where do you keep your records? Wouldn't it be nice to have them in one place?

Do you have pets? Where do you keep track of health, weight, veterinary visits, vaccinations?

Do you have projects? Where do you keep track of them?

Want more? See the template list at http://solutions.filemaker.com/database-templates/index_home.jsp

I've used every version since it was released. It's an important part of my auxiliary brain.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

Not nice that they force current paid users to pay again.


Exactly! Its was originally expensive to buy Bento for iPad and now they are basically saying it is limited in itself, so buy the new one......no bleeding chance!
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
Very nice update and certainly worth the $5 upgrade IMO.

It finally has ota sync with the Mac version versus the annoying wifi sync.

Encrypted data fields are nice when dealing with passwords or other sensitive data.

Love the form creator. That just may be worth the price of admission. Actually creating forms on the previous iPad edition wasn't very practical. You pretty much had to start the form on the Mac version and then sync the file over to the iPad.

Drag and drop fields looks nice with good sorting options.

Think of Bento as a Swiss Army knife. I've seen many small companies use it to do their CRM (Customer Relations Management) because you can have a record of customers that encapsulates notes, past emails, photos and more.

Introductory pricing is good to July 31st so it looks like Bento 5 on the Mac may be a further away than I had originally though.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

Our inventory at work is done on a spreadsheet, it's always a nightmare every year when it gets updated. Would be much easier on a database.


Agreed. I still have nightmares of getting spreadsheets from Accounting asking us to verify our software licenses and hardware inventory. We kept the info in an Oracle DB, and gave Accounting nicely formatted reports, but they re-input the data into spreadsheets and that is what we would get back the following year. Go figure.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago
The bigger problem form is that FileMaker is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple. This should be to iWork what Access is to MS Office. But it's not... Not even close. They could even be going after some of the HyperCard-type tasks... But they don't. It's just a list maker program.. With a proprietary format so you can't use it with Pages or Numbers.

With zero integration to the OS or IOS it's JUST for lists... You can find an appl for whatever hobby or collections you have with the WORK of data entry already done for cheaper, even if you need 2-3 of them.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

I just find it easier to create a spreadsheet to keep track of stuff like this. Software inventory, hardware inventory, household inventory ... all in spreadsheets.

Now, if I had a 500 bottle wine collection or a large stamp collection or some other kind of collection, I would probably use Bento to inventory it, complete with photos of each item. But, alas I do not.


Our inventory at work is done on a spreadsheet, it's always a nightmare every year when it gets updated. Would be much easier on a database.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 24 months ago

Not nice that they force current paid users to pay again.


I'm pretty sure your boss thinks the same about you when he hands you your monthly paycheck. After all, he's already paid you last month, hasn't he?

But I'm with you. I think Apple should also send me the new iMac model free of charge. I mean, I bought a computer once from them. Why should I pay again for what they call an upgrade?

:rolleyes:
Rating: 2 Positives

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