By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm
FileMaker Inc.’s FileMaker Go–which brings databases created with the Windows and OS X versions of FileMaker to iOS devices–just got a bit more powerful.
As before, the new 1.2 versions for iPhone and iPad aren’t fully standalone apps: You use it to view and edit databases created with full-blown Filemaker Pro, and can access databases both by syncing them onto the device and by connecting remotely. (That’s a different approach from FileMaker’s more consumery Bento database apps for iPhone and iPad, which can be used in conjunction with the Mac version or on their own.)
You can now use Apple’s AirPrint to print wirelessly to recent HP printers. Charts–a feature introduced in last year’s FileMaker Pro 11–can be viewed, updated, and edited. And you can capture signatures into FileMaker Go on an iPhone or iPad, and then transfer them back into a FileMaker Pro database. (The FileMaker folks say that Go is often used to automate processes that would otherwise be handled with paper and pen.)
FileMaker Go is still distributed in separate iPhone ($19.99) and iPad editions ($39.99). The 1.2 version is a free update for current users.
Apple owns FileMaker, but FileMaker Pro has been available for both Macs and Windows PCs for a couple of decades; that. along with its emphasis on ease-of-use, is its defining feature. So I didn’t think it was sacrilegious to ask FileMaker VP Ryan Rosenberg if there was any possibility of FileMaker Go showing up on Android or other mobile platforms. He told me that the company gets that question occasionally, but that the answer is simple: “We’re part of Apple.” In other words, it plans to continue to focus on iOS. But it would be cool if somebody came up with database apps as straightforward and powerful as Go and Bento for Android–as far as I know, they simply don’t exist.