ONLY LAST week we were griping about Bento's insistance in storing the data file in the Applications Support folder of the user Library. We wanted it to be in Documents where most other data files are located. That complaint, though still valid, is sidelined by yesterday's announcement of the arrival of Bento for iPhone.
The new product syncs with the Mac desktop application via wifi and promises to make the award-winning database more useful and convenient. One of the neat tricks of Bento is to access and display the Mac's in-built iCal and Address programs. Not only can you see and work on your contacts, for instance, you can add more fields in Bento in order to store additional information. Address is a bit limited in this respect, and Bento allows the addition and categorisation of extra information--such as sales data relating to a contact. These additional fields remain within Bento but are permanently linked to Address or iCal.
Bento for iPhone is promising and I have already downloaded and installed the application. Syncing with Bento desktop was straightforward (the phone appears, iTunes style, in the sidebar of Bento and you can choose which of your desktop databases you wish to synchronise). Initially, the layout of the iPhone application can be a little confusing, particularly if a database contains many fields, but this may be something we will get used to.
Over the next few weeks we will give Bento for iPhone a workout, using existing databases already created for the desktop and new files designed on the phone.