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.
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 »Sharing Threat Intelligence
A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »Smiley Faces and Symbols
A text smiley face is used to convey a facial expression or emotion in texting and online chat conversations. This Webopedia guide shows you how... Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »