iPhone Database apps….StoreIt

We go from one extreme to the other with this cheap and cheerful iPhone application. Whereas Bento is all flash and pomp, this one is a bit bare bones in comparsion but strangely provides a much more satisfying user experience…except when it comes to transferring files in…oh dear.

Storeit1 Anyway, on with the review. The developers have more or less just stuck with a stock iPhone interface, nothing wrong with that in fact I like it, so users will feel at home straight away. There are 16 Templates built in and you can save your own customised forms too. Adding a new file on the app is easy, click the plus button and it takes you straight to the page where you can name it and add fields. I found this really intuitive and easy to use within about 20 seconds and it was by far and away the easiest of the three bits of software that I tried. Adding info to your fields was also supremely simple, as you start typing it offers up options of recently added words/names etc. There was no slowdown whatsoever at any time, the app is swift and easy to navigate…(you can tell I'm liking this one) and info is displayed in a clear and logical manner. You have your usual database options as regards sorting and which fields to display first and second plus you can change the "view" by adding your own preferred set up. If you make a mistake in a field title it is easy to change it after the database is set up.

I think there is a sufficient amount of "field" options for most normal user's needs including the ability to add images, checkbox, Notes, numbers but there are not custom fields for things like emails although you can probably just add that as a "text" field entry. I found it easy to add fields and change the field order on an existing database and the whole thing just smacks of a developer who has gone for the simple and easy approach and absolutely nailed it.

When you open an existing file or "category" as the app calls them, the standard iPhone contacts scrolling page appears. There is no alphabetical list on the right hand side though, instead a list of dots. Touching one takes you down the page. It is probably as accurate as having letters though, with my big digits aiming for S will take me to M, and works well.

So, it all looks really rosy but then the problem arrived when I was trying to import data into the app via wifi. I followed the instructions to the letter and tried to upload via their web proxy page, or whatever it is called, but it just did not want to know. I spent nearly a whole evening trying frantically to get it working but it wasn't to be and in the end I had to concede defeat. I tried converting the file on my windows work laptop, using their recommended settings, and then importing via wifi at home on my mac but nope…nothing. I was hoping to get a couple of big database files into StoreIt rather than having to enter them manually but this setback may prove to be a big drawback to me using the app full time, especially when the other two I trialled both managed the import process smoothly. I do however like it best, rather oddly, even though it is the least fully featured of the three. I guess that shows you that specs are not King.

Nonetheless, it is an excellent programme and if you can get the import process working, if you need to, then it is near unbeatable for its simplicity and aforementioned ease of use. I actually prefer it over Bento too. 8 out of 10. Power or eye-candy lovers may need to look elsewhere though.

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