Still seeking a robust Bento replacement.

Still seeking a robust Bento replacement.  It’s been five years since the last update (Mar 16, 2011) and about two and a half years since it was discontinued (Sept 30, 2013).  And yet, two things still surprise me.  (1) There still isn’t a feature complete replacement product, and (2) I’m still using Bento.  It still works.

The short list of leading Bento replacements: 1Password, HanDBase, or TapForms.

* as of 2016-01-25, FileMaker would still be a >$350 buy in, require dev work, incur heavy “ease of use” penalties, and still leave me exposed to the poor Apple-FileMaker long term risks.

2016-01-25: tried/purchased 1Password and was left frustrated by missing features.

The 2nd worst of all is: any “schema” changes are only “per record”… i.e., adding a field only adds it to the record being currently edited… it’s doesn’t change the underlying table structure… because… they don’t have an underlying table structure… they don’t have a record/table/db schema… each record is just a bag of bits.

The #1 worst problem is: after customizing the fields for a record, and trying to export the record, the result is nearly gibberish.  It would be very labor intensive to create my preferred “schema” in 1Password and then subsequently export/migrate to even a basic spreadsheet.

2016-01-25: evaluated TapForms and elected not to purchase those apps.

The MAC App is $34.99, 13.4MB.

The iPad app is $8.99, 29.9MB.

The iPhone app is $8.99, 32MB.

From the support forum, the developer has been responding to “wifi-sync” requests, with “it’s four or five months away”… but he’s been saying that for a year.  Until he gets that option figured out, TF is a non-starter.

2015-03-01, really need to find a replacement before the Bento apps quit working altogether.

Must have features: wifi sync, ipad forms.

1Password is iOS universal, HB and TF are not.

The HandDBase folks are leaving basic features, like form design, out of the MAC App.

** 2015-10-10, HDB pulled out of the MAC App Store over some little bitchy thing earlier this year.

1Password has too many integration points with too many things; it’s a high risk product in the long term.

** 2015-10-10, 1P began requiring IOS 9 less than a 1 week after Apple released the new OS. No backwards compatibility at all!

TapForms may become the defacto choice at some point… but I’ll wait a bit longer (Bento is till working today).

** 2015-10-10, TF is only syncing thru iCloud or DropBox (not an option for secure content).

2015-10-10, still looks like a DIY custom app is my best option…

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