What is a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)?

What is PDA? A PDA is a handheld device, usually just a mobile phone that can perform various business functions, described in the next section. Some PDA's also have audio and video capabilities and one can use them just as a phone and a digital assistant for their office or other business tasks. There are some PDAs that do not have phone capability and these are very advanced digital assistant devices made for medium – large level businesses needs. PDAs also have wireless connectivity options like WiFi, etc and can connect to the Internet through it, WAN or extranets.

PDA Features

PDAs comes with many different features. The typical PDA features include the following:

Many PDAs can synchronize data on user's personal computer. This helps in prevention of data in case the PDA is lost or damaged. Synchronization is done through the provided software on the PDA or using synchronization software on the computer. Synchronization can be done through wires or wirelessly. Many touch screen PDAs support external keyboards as well and these can be connected via USB, Bluetooth or Infrared. Other features of a PDA include Touch Screen, stroke recognition, handwriting recognition and virtual keyboard.

Use of a PDA

A PDA can also read eBooks, which can be uploaded directly on the PDA. This is useful for commuters, students, etc who want to do eBook reading on the go or while relaxing on the couch. Students also use a PDA for note-taking, spell checking, word dictionary lookup, etc. Some health organizations also use PDAs to organize medical records, providing reminders of treatments, accessing drug information or medical news. The development of Sensor Web technology will alert doctors with the help of a PDA to provide treatment to the patient as soon as it will be required by the patient.

One of the common uses of a PDA in all types of industries are barcode scanning, signature taking.

Latest PDAs On the Market
  • iPhone
  • Palm Pixi
  • Palm Pixi Plus
  • Palm Pre
  • HTC HD2
  • iPod Touch

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