PDA - personal digital assistant
Short for personal digital assistant, a handheld device that combines computing, telephone/fax, Internet and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, Web browser and personal organizer. PDAs may also be referred to as a palmtop, hand-held computer or pocket computer.
Not a Portable Computer
Unlike portable computers, most PDAs began as pen-based, using a stylus rather than a keyboard for input. This means that they also incorporated handwriting recognition features. Some PDAs can also react to voice input by using voice recognition technologies. PDAs are available in either a stylus or keyboard version.
Apple Computer, which introduced the Newton MessagePad in 1993, was one of the first companies to offer PDAs. Shortly thereafter, several other manufacturers offered similar products. One of the most popular brands of PDAs was the series of Palm Pilots from Palm, Inc.
Smartphones and Tablets Render PDAs Obsolete
As technology changed the world of mobile devices, the PDA has become obsolete as devices like touch-screen smartphones and tablets grow in popularity. Many of the original manufacturers of PDAs eventually entered the smartphone and tablet market, or were bought out by larger companies. For example, Palm was purchased by HP and the operating system used in a line of early HP TouchPads.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Taking ownership of our own misjudgments or simple forgetfulness takes a healthy amount of humility and some honest self-assessment. Yet sometimes... Read More »Have We Become a World of Addicts?
It's hard to imagine our lives without smartphones. But people who suffer separation anxiety when they don't have their phones nearby may be in... Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »