Create Your Own Data-organizing Apps with Bento 4 for iPad
Even with more than half a million apps available at the iTunes App Store, there still may not be one that does exactly what you need. And programming one from scratch is beyond what most people are ready to do.
So FileMaker, a database software company owned by Apple, has launched Bento 4 for iPad today (June 19). It's the latest version of the company's tool that you use to easily create information-managing apps simply by dragging and dropping — no programming required.
The app's name was inspired by the Japanese bento box, a container with compartments for different items — chicken teriyaki, tempura vegetables and so forth. In a similar fashion, Bento 4 users create their own apps by dragging and dropping pre-configured components into any of twenty-five templates designed for different purposes.
Among the available components are a contacts list, photos and a spreadsheet form with embedded calculation functions. Some of the templates you drag them into can create, for example, apps for event planning, time billing, password storage or home inventory tracking. You could even create a cookbook app. [How Can I Free Up Space On My iPad?]
More ambitious users can build their own templates from scratch. Or they can choose from hundreds more templates created by other users and available at FileMaker's online Bento Template Exchange.
To take advantage of the new iPad's high-resolution retina display, Bento 4 for iPad also comes with 40 "retina-ready" design themes.
FileMaker is launching Bento 4 for iPad in the iTunes App Store, discounted to $5 until July 31. The price will rise to $10 afterwards.