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.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »