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Apple’s FileMaker is publishing its Bento personal database app today for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The point of Bento is to create an organizer to take care of all of the details of a busy life.
The $4.99 app comes with 25 templates that you can customize to handle everything from recipes with star-ratings on them for personal use to expense tracking for business use. It also has a blank template that you can customize any way you like.
For business, you can track bugs, time billing, customers, products for sale, inventory, projects, events, items sold and equipment. On the personal side, you can track contacts, to-do lists, your progress on your diet, expenses, classes, digital media, vehicle maintenance, projects, home inventory, event planning, membership lists, notes and donations.
The FileMaker division first launched Bento for the Mac in January, 2008. It launched Bento 2 in 2008 for $49.99. The new Bento for the iPhone and iPod Touch can now synchronize wirelessly with the Bento 2 v4 desktop version, which is available for download today.
The organizer can help you sort your life by creating collections that are much like play lists of iTunes songs. If you want to call a contact inside Bento, you simply tap it on the iPhone’s touch screen. Bento works with some of the iPhone’s existing features, such as contacts, the Safari web browser, automated phone dialing, email and Google Maps. An overview of Bento is available here.
Jon Sigler, vice president of product management at FileMaker, said more than 15 million copies of Bento and Bento 2 have shipped on the Mac, Windows, and the web. The only other Apple-created iPhone apps include Keynote and Texas Hold ’em. Sigler said there is no overlap in the code between the Mac and iPhone versions of Bento. Also, Bento for the iPhone has its own unique user interface, with menus and images that move side to side, much like the Coverflow iTunes interface.
Competitors include HandBase for the iPhone.
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