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We loved Bento 4 for Mac, and now FileMaker has brought its killer features to Bento for iPad. But while Bento for Mac is $49.99 in the Mac App Store, the iPad version is just $9.99 -- with a $4.99 sale through July 31.
We dinged the last version of Bento for iPad for the restricted layout options: no side-by-side fields in form view, for example. Bento 4 for iPad has the same 25 built-in templates, but packs in 40 themes (up from 8) for changing their look, plus the 1,000-plus free templates from the Bento Template Exchange can help you organize just about anything. Bento 4 uses the iPad’s screen real estate better too, with the side-by-side fields we wanted, plus a smart split-screen view that shows each library’s table view and forms on the same screen. Dragging and dropping new fields, objects (like image boxes), and spacers feels even more intuitive on a touchscreen than on the Mac.
Entering large amounts of data can be tedious, but as always you can sync in libraries from the Mac version, and import data from your Contacts and Calendar apps. Using a Bluetooth keyboard helped us speed up the data entry, and we loved the full-screen view for typing notes during meetings without being distracted by the rest of our database’s fields. Other new features include a slider to scrub through records in form view, encrypted fields, simple lists inside forms, and calculation functions.
The bottom line. Bento 4 hits the sweet spot between ease of use and flexibility, letting you organize just about anything with a tap.
iPad running iOS 5.0 or later
Works just fine without syncing to Bento on the Mac. But it syncs perfectly if you do use the Mac version too. Flexible layouts. Easy to learn.
Entering tons of data can take a while.