21st Century card index
iOS App of the Week When the leeches at NatWest recently decided to increase my home insurance premiums yet again, I decided it was time to take my business elsewhere. It was Bento that helped me to carry out an inventory of my home and belongings for my new insurance policy.
Bento isn't your average database
The Bento app is a companion for the Mac-based Bento database – which itself is a kind of cut-down version of FileMaker for home users.
There are two versions of the app for iOS devices. I used the wide-screen iPad version, although there’s also a separate release designed for the iPhone, which can also run on the iPad in ‘pixel doubled’ mode, though this looks unattractive.
You can maintain many databases within the app, all of different types
The app includes a number of templates for creating different types of records, such as expense claims, recipes, home inventories and even simple project management work.
Next page: DIY database
Times have changed
Not very long ago loads of stuff was "Windows only". Syncing with Mac only is fine with me!
I'm surprised that they can get away with calling it a database app...
What am I saying? These guys market polished turds as toothpicks every day...
Limited by the main app
Unfortunately the bit of Bento that's "cut down" from Filemaker is arguably the most important bit of a database - it won't do relational tables.
There are some limited workarounds but in practice for anyone who needs a database for a real reason, rather than just to satisfy some obsessive-compulsive fetish for catalogueing their belongings, it's next to useless.
"I used the wide-screen iPad version, although there’s also a separate release designed for the iPhone"
That's strange considering the iphone is widescreen and the ipad isn't
Is it really that great if the app itself requires a Mac to be able to sync data?
Surely a cloud based database app, or one that could sync with Mac or Windows or other software would be much better.
Or do you have to have a Mac now if you want an iPad / iPhone?