FileMaker was here in attendance at the Digital Experience event last night at CES in Las Vegas, and they had some big news to announce: The company has reached a full half million iOS downloads for its database-driven software solutions. That's a big milestone for the company, and while iOS installs still pale in comparison to the huge amount of desktop users, a rep from the company told us that this many downloads signifies a big shift that FileMaker is going through.
Initially, we were told, when devices like the iPad first arrived, they were seen only as content reading devices -- even Steve Jobs sat down on stage with the iPad and showed off how it worked as a content reading device. But what FileMaker's seen since then is that users have started bringing their iPads to work, and using them to actually browse through and compile business information. The third phase, said the FileMaker rep, is actual creation on the device itself, which is what they say is driving adoption of their apps.
FileMaker's apps can not only create databases and information files, but the apps can also deliver some custom interactivity as well: The staff showed off a point-of-sale solution, as well as even a very simple math game, all put together with FileMaker's software. The company said that the biggest challenge in acquiring new users is just teaching them how versatile the software can be, and just what it's capable of.
Finally, we asked about the emerging trend of "bring your own device" among iOS devices, where users are bringing their own personal iPhones and iPads to the work environment. FileMaker said that it has benefited from that trend for sure, and that it's just one of many drivers for their iOS popularity. FileMaker is one of the oldest brands around in Apple software, and it's interesting to see that it's finding such success on Apple's newest platform.