Records for Mac: Tom's Mac Software Pick

A New Offering With Promise

Records for Mac application icon
Courtesy of Push Popcorn

Records for Mac is a new personal database application from Push Popcorn, a new Mac developer. Records is an impressive first release, with a large feature set that will appeal to those of us who like to save, categorize, and keep information available in a visually appealing way.


  • Database forms are easy to design with the Visual Editor.
  • Many fields include helpers, such as pop-up calendars, to assist in data entry.
  • Common list items are pre-filled with entries; they can also be edited to meet your needs.
  • Supports popular data types, including pictures, data, time, contacts, email, and URLs.


  • Missing a few basics, including non-field objects, such as shapes and text elements.
  • Search is text-based, making it difficult to search on checkbox status.
  • Doesn't come with any sample databases to aid in learning the app.

Records for Mac is a 1.0 release, but it appears to have a lot of potential.

Using Records for Mac

Records opens with a single window split into three main panes. The left-hand pane contains a list of databases you've created, while the middle pane is used for form design, record entry, and record search. The right-hand pane is an information pane and a tool palette for designing forms.

This simple and compact interface makes Records easy to work with, especially for form design, which is mostly a drag-and-drop affair. It's a good thing it's easy to use, because unlike many other apps of this nature, Records doesn't come with any pre-built databases that you can use as-is, or customize to meet your needs. I also find that pre-built databases can be helpful in learning how an app like this works.

Records opens with a blank database, ready for you to build your first form. Form elements (fields) are shown in the left-hand palette; you can drag and drop field elements onto your form. Elements can be arranged with the assistance of guides, object alignment options, and actual coordinates of element locations. You can also specify which items are in front or back when objects overlap.

Currently, Records offers 14 different field types, including:

  • Text Field
  • Pop Up Button
  • Check Box
  • Date
  • Time
  • Date – Time
  • Image View
  • Horizontal Separator
  • Vertical Separator
  • Contacts
  • Number
  • Currency
  • Email
  • Web Site

You create forms using any of the above fields, in any combination. One very nice feature is that the pop-up buttons field, which I would call pop-up menus, allows you to select various pre-made lists for filling each item in the pop-up. You can use pre-made lists that have credit card types, countries, currency, events (such as holidays), priorities, and levels. You can also create your own list, or edit the ones supplied to meet your needs.

Besides the Pop-Up button items, Records also has fields that include built-in assistants to help when it comes time to enter data. For instance, the Date fields include a pop-up calendar, while the Time field lets you set the current time. The Contacts field can be linked to your Mac's Contacts app, for quick access to your existing contact list. The Email and Web Site fields include a button that will take you to a new email message, or to the website that is entered in the field.

Once you create your forms, you can begin populating your database by creating records, that is, filling out the forms you created.

With multiple records filled in, you can use the search feature to find records that match a search term or phrase. The search feature in this first release is a basic text-only search; I expect the search capabilities to be expanded with subsequent releases.

What We Hope to See

Records is a 1.0 release, but I see a lot of potential in this app. Ever since FileMaker abandoned the home database market when it stopped developing Bento, Mac users have needed a consumer database app that's easy to set up and use.

Records could be such an app, although it needs further development. Its search feature is very basic and needs further refinement to support more than just text-based searches. Likewise, data entry needs a bit of work to speed up the process of moving from field to field as you enter information.

Finally, the form design tool needs more form elements, specifically, non-field text and basic shapes to give a form a more polished look. Until then, Records is best suited for basic databases, such as book, movie, or music lists, or your weekly shopping list.

See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks.