If you use FileMaker as your database of choice you'll find its new mobile apps incredibly useful.
As a lifelong FileMaker user I've been looking for a portable version since I carried a Treo. There have been a number of workarounds for putting databases smartphones over the years and even a few FM-compatible apps, but none of them offered the full FileMaker experience. Well, no more.
FileMaker Go ($19.99 iPhone, $39.99 iPad) was released in July and finally brought the power of FileMaker to Apple's iOS devices. With it you can work with your databases just like you do on the desktop.
You can work with databases by sideloading them onto an iPhone or iPad from iTunes via USB, opening them from email attachments or by accessing remotely hosted databases. FileMaker Go then allows you to add, modify, or delete data. You can also find, sort, and navigate through records as you'd expect. But it doesn't stop there, 'Go gives you the classic FileMaker Form, Table, and List views as well as portals, Tab Controls, Quick Find and Web Viewers.
Version 1.1.1, released last week as a free update and, allows you to produce PDFs and either save them locally or email them -- especially useful for distributing reports directly from the iPad or iPhone. It also gives you the ability to save a copy of a database and email it directly from the app. You can even take photos with an iPhone and add them to record in the database. Lacking a built-in camera, iPad users can attach photos to ay record from the photo library.
I tested both the iPhone and iPad apps over the weekend with three databases (3,000, 6,000 and 165,000 records respectively) that I sideloaded from iTunes and FileMaker Go didn't miss a beat. I found the performance to be great on the iPhone 4 (and on the iPad) with all three databases.
The current iteration of FileMaker Go doesn't support syncing so you'll have to manage versions on your own, or stick with hosted databases. And while some will gripe about the price, or the fact that the iPhone and iPad versions are separate apps, the convenience of having my FileMaker databases at my fingertips everywhere is well-worth the expense.
FileMaker Go is a front-page app on all my devices and I can't wait for the next versions.