Bento for iPad review

Justin Cauchon June 17, 2010 1

We got our hands on a popular database software Bento that was developed for the iPad. You may be asking yourself why you would ever need a personal database software. To be honest, we were asking the same thing when we decided to review this application. However, upon playing with the app we actually found it pretty useful for everyday use. Bento lists some of its common uses on its website:

  • Organize contacts, clubs and mailing lists
  • Track projects, tasks, and deadlines
  • Plan special events, parties and weddings
  • Link photos to contacts, projects, and events
  • Manage students, classes, and lecture notes
  • Search wine and movie collections
  • Catalog inventory, assets, and equipment
  • Record billable hours and payments due
  • Keep a daily log of diet and exercise
  • Store recipes and shopping lists

Bento for iPad is one of those applications that really utilizes the iPad’s big screen. There are numerous drop down menus that make it easy to navigate around the application while still seeing content in the background. On the left side of the screen when in landscreen mode there is a list (in alphabetical order) that tells you the name or description of the database entry. Upon clicking the entry, the right side has all the information you have inputted into the database. The entry looks like a notebook in which you would keep the paper version of the information. In portrait mode all you see if the entry which really makes it feel like you are holding a notebook (seen in image above).

Creating different libraries is extremely easy with the pre-designed database templates that let you record anything from inventory to a classroom student list. These pre-designed templates really let you organize your life’s information into the application. We used a bunch of these pre-designed templates to organize our life. Some of the tools we used were: To Do List, Contacts, Files, Expenses, Classes, and Notes. Upon creating the Library. It is simple to input data and create different entries that can easily be accessed later.

Syncing the information to your Mac is very easy and doesn’t even require you to plug it into the computer. If the Mac and the iPad are both on the same Wi-Fi network, you can link them up to sync your information so that it will be the same on both devices. This could be very important when used in a small business to keep track of inventory and other business processes. Syncing to the Mac requires Bento for Mac which will run you $49 for a single license.

Bento for iPad is available from the App Store for $5. The price is definitely fair for what you get out of the application if you are looking for a database program. The application can be purchased here.

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