The full form of PDA is referred to as a Personal Digital Assistant. PDA is an electronic device that fits in the palm of a hand to assists to plan and organize day to day activities by helping with such information as contacts, appointments, files, and programs.
The term “PDA” includes “smart” pagers, Internet appliances, palm-size computers, and wearable computers.
The evolution of PDAs, also called handhelds or palmtops, has enabled it to connect to the Internet, run multimedia software and act as a global positioning system (GPS) devices.
John Sculley, then CEO and Chairman of Apple, first explained the term “PDA”.
The first PDA was the Newton MessagePad, developed by Apple and introduced in 1992 and available in 1993.
Among the many types of PDAs now available are Palm OS units, Windows CE, Symbian OS
Psion ‘EPOC’ OS, PDAs, Tablet PCs, Blackberry devices, “smart” watches, “smart” pagers, and cellular phones with PDA functions. Amongst all the most popular PDAs are the palm and the Pocket PC with the largest user base
The method used for PDA data input is pen-stylus using a form of handwriting, touch-sensitive screens, and portable keyboards.
Synchronization of data between a PDA and a desktop computer has been made possible through infrared and modem options.
The display screen of PDA may consist of Thin Film Transistor (TFT) reflective color display, or grayscale touch-sensitive display or a Graffiti input region in the screen.
Run Application Software
PDAs can operate software applications like Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Outlook along with Windows Media Player, voice memo recording, games, diet and exercise, travel, medical, time and billing, etc
Processors and Memory
The original Windows CE devices had 2–4 MB RAM and usually had processors with 36–44 MHz clock speeds. The newest device comes with 32–64 MB RAM including the new 400 MHz CPU.17
Several memory cards specified by industry standards like The CompactFlash (CF), SmartMedia card, the multimedia card can be used to expand the memory of PDA.
Input meetings and appointment information can be completed with notes, location information, and even set a reminder do perform tasks on time.
PDA allows Jot notes; write a book, keep lists and more using its note-taking capabilities.
Perform simple or complex computations.
Help keep track of daily events and accomplish things that need to get done.
Keep track of important contacts.
Input information is allowed using the touch screen and a stylus. Graffiti (Palm)/Character Recognizer (Pocket PC/Windows Mobile) –Allows input information using your handwriting instead of an on-screen keyboard.
Email can be composed and sent using a wireless connection or can be stored by synchronizing PDA with a computer.
Though each PDA performs distinct functions, some of the most common functions found on most devices include:
- The tedious job of planning in paper and then managing those papers can be omitted with the use of a small device called PDA. Also, the quantity of information they can store is much higher than that of a bunch of paper.
- PDAs with Short-range wireless connectivity using Infrared (IR) or Bluetooth technology are used to sync with a notebook computer that has an IR port, thus making the exchange of data possible.
- Internet and corporate network connectivity through Wi-Fi and wireless access points enable a PDA user to connect with the surrounding.
- PDA maintains the privacy of data through integrated security features such as a biometric fingerprint reader.