Short for Web clipping application, an application that allows users to extract static information from a Web server and load the data onto a Web-enabled PDA. The display screens of PDAs are too small to adequately display Web pages the same way they are seen on PC screens, and wireless modems are slower than wired modems (with bandwidth of 8 Kbps, compared to the 14 Kbps bandwidth of wired modems from the early days of the Internet). WCAs, a technology pioneered by Palm for its Palm VII handheld device, help to solve these problems by reducing the amount of content that a PDA extracts from the Web, essentially optimizing page layouts, graphics and content for the smaller screens and slower transfer speeds of PDAs.
The WCA extracts static information from a Web server and stores that data on the PDA for easy accessibility. Links within the WCA either refer to other pages that are stored within the application or refer to dynamic documents or scripts (such as stock quotes or weather reports) that reside on a Web server. If the link exists outside of the WCA, then a wireless HTTP request is necessary in order to retrieve the data.
WCAs are also called query applications.