Talk:Personal digital assistant

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It's an obsolete TERM[edit]

While no one sells "PDAs" anymore, the iPad is certainly by definition a PDA. Just like "texting" came from "IMing" and IMing came from an earlier technology, this TERM is obsolete. Not the idea. Perhaps this article should be merged with smartphones.

--Thomasfromriverside (talk) 05:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)


I disagree. I think PDAs themselves are obsolete, rather than PDA being an obsolete term for Smartphone. PDAs were definitely superceded by Smartphones in terms of functionality, but the difference is in the intent of each device.
I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but in my mind PDAs were always about being extensions of the owners memory--replacing rolodex, personal calendars, etc., vs being communication devices such as Smartphones are. This can be seen in how well Palm Calendar & Addressbook were designed (Google Calendar is only now catching up, while Google Mail's Contacts function still sucks), and how poorly Palm's IP/PPP Stack performed. The focus for PDAs was on augmentation of the user's memory, not communciation with other people, because at that time (1990s) the communication infrastructures didn't exist or weren't up to the challenge of data. Jdimpson (talk) 23:51, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

It's 2013[edit]

I'm not being sarcastic at all -- is anyone (outside of the 'ruggedized' realm) still making PDAs? As in, a smart device without cellular telephony capabilities? Is there a single widely-available product on the market that is not sold as an entertainment device? HP/Compaq quit making them AFAIK, same with Dell and Sony; Palm is no more, and Microsoft's mobile OS is called Windows Phone. (And they don't even make a non-phone product anymore -- Zune is dead, too.) The iPod touch and comparable Android devices technically have PDA functions but are not sold as such -- they're all entertainment devices that happen to come with calendar and note-taking apps. It's like saying a car is a portable radio because it moves and has a radio in it. If nobody who sells them calls them PDAs anymore, I think that should be noted. Most of the products in the "Popular consumer PDAs" section have been discontinued for years. I really think this whole page should be re-framed as a product line that evolved into smartphones and entertainment devices, and no longer exists in the form it originally did -- unless you count those junky 4-line "electronic organizers" you can buy in drugstores. (And I'm pretty sure anyone can draw a clear distinction between cheap "electronic organizers" and the PDAs of yore.) BrianAshe (talk) 05:34, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Ugh its like holding a small book to your head[edit]

I removed the line "Ugh its like holding a small book to your head." for the following reasons

  • I have never heard the word "Ugh" in an article
  • It should be "it's" not "its"
  • Since when have PDAs been held to one's head?

If anyone objects then please revert the page MichaelBillington 06:59, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Since PDA devices incorporated mobile phone technology... AndyyE 19:03, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
they are like a book when u hold them when taking a call its stupid and why do you correct this guys point??annoying?? :D:D<<<<hunter>>>> —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.206.231.125 (talk) 09:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Other terms : Handheld PC.


Why doesn't Microbrowser convert into a link?

PADD[edit]

The Star Trek PADD is said to have been one of the inspirations for PDAs user:ted-m 6-6-2005

Hmm, that's an interesting observation. On a related note, I remember Jake Sisko in DS9 writing a novel using a PADD with a Palm-style freehand area below a text display, so it's been a nice two-way exchange. BTW, you can make the Wikipedia automatically sign your posts by entering four of these things in a row: ~ . Thus: Sockatume 03:09, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Considering the first PADD was seen in Encounter at Farpoint in 1987, and the first flat calculator-like PDA was in 1978, it is not likely the former influenced the latter. Corvus 19:23, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
good point. I hope you don't mind my copy-and-paste of your comment into the PADD article. --DavidCary 15:23, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"PDAs plus full-size keyboards"[edit]

Over in Talk:Laptop, I've been chatting about things like the Cambridge Z88, and the TRS-80 Model 100 line, and the AlphaSmart Dana, and the Atari Portfolio. They don't quite match up with current perception of laptop computers -- they are instant on, have long battery life, can't run Windows, etc. I think of them as "PDAs plus full-size keyboards". This personal digital assistant article claims that the Dana is a PDA, and those other devices seem to me to be very similar to the Dana. So, should I tag them all with Category:PDAs, or would it better to make some other sub-category of Category:Portable_computers to put them in? --DavidCary 15:23, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please note that smartphones have full pledged OSs(Windows CE, Symbian, Linux). There is also an Information appliances article that are charactized by their 'smartness ' and touchscreen. There is also a handheld device article... Does the keyboard characterize portable computers?--Jondel 04:05, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Cleaned up a bit and stuff[edit]

I removed the old comments, I hope people don't mind. (If you think any of the comments are still relevant, just add them back.) Anyway, I think the link sections still need some kind of cleanup, there are still too many links IMHO. Also I'm not sure if all the info in the overview section is necessary, in particular the section which I've named "Increasing popularity". Not sure about "Popular PDAs" either, this section should maybe just link to some of the most known? But the "History" part could probably be longer, although I don't know much about the history myself.

PS: If someone works on the "See also" section, consider adding Handheld PC. --Mythril 19:37, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page. It is customary to archive, not delete, talk pages.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:24, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, please don't delete from Talk pages. For one thing, I often see the same arguments (discussions?) multiple times on a page. We can't FORCE editors to read previous topics, but at least they should be available for reference. And, PLEASE, sign and date your posts. I don't know when the "sig-bots" were implemented, but there are a lot of confusing, run-together, unsigned posts on this page. Thanks ;). Rags69.171.178.88 (talk) 09:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Other purposes[edit]

I don't think all modern PDAs support game emulation software. Somebody should denote what brand of PDA dosen't support it, and other purposes. Nobody wants to buy the wrong PDA for the wrong reason as some PDAs are not as versatile as others. --Nintendude 09:33, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Removed the mention of emulators, as it's not really useful to the article.--Mythril 19:37, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Study details needed[edit]

While not necessarily inaccurate, these numbers don't mean much in isolation. For instance, the numbers alone do not indicate if all Palm OS-running handhelds and phones were compared to all Windows CE-running handhelds and phones, or if the comparison was single-function PDAs alone (not including smartphones). If I am right about which study is being referred to here, the study excluded smartphones -- which would include Palm's most popular line, the Treo. -- Steven Fisher 19:41, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I am removing it for lack of references. Alexius08 (talk) 13:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Overview: History[edit]

Is Palms/Palm Pilots really used as a generic term for PDAs? First I've heard of it. 86.132.0.242 01:55, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

At least in holland it is. And since palm used to be THE pda it seems likely that many people still refer to their pda as palm. Besides palm sounds cool, pda sounds sort of nerdy to me.

It's not used in the same extent that a "PC" is always considered based on Windows unless otherwise noted (eg Linux PC) but fairly often used for any kind of PDA.

Yes, people do overgeneralize with Palm (in California). I've often thought it was my duty (as a PC technician) to inform people that the generic term was PDA, not 'Palm'. The interesting thing is that I never heard it called 'Personal Digital Assistant'. It was always 'Personal Data Assistant'. Just do a Google, you'll see many (though a minority, a significant minority) use 'Data' instead of 'Digital'. Odd, I wonder where the reference to 'Data' came from. PDA, Nerdy? I disagree! :-)

"Struddle my Noodle"[edit]

Pointless. Use the Sandbox instead. I deleted it.

PalmOne --> Palm[edit]

Does this need changing?

PDA Watches[edit]

Is there room in this article to add a short discussion of PDA watches, or would that go better somewhere else?

I'm thinking of things like the original Timex Data Link, which I think was one of the first organizer watches. It also used that blinky CRT method to download data, which made it sort of interesting. I'm just not sure where it goes. (prev unsigned, guess the bots missed it)

I enjoyed my Casio Databanks, but I don't think they qualify: only addressbk, calendar, calc functions. I'd say, if the watch had PIM/PDA functions, it should be included. There are probably much better ones on the market, now, though I'm not up-to-date. Someone more familiar should add them.
Rags69.171.178.29 (talk) 09:19, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Educational - POV[edit]

The educational section reads like it was copied from an advertisement. Han-Kwang 09:24, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree - having taught for many years PDAs are still too slow for effective note-taking, I am observing increasing use of digital audio recording, often without requesting permission first, but no note taking using PDAs. I suggest this section needs revision or deletion. Tony Davies (talk) 10:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I noticed this too, and think a problem with it is that it reads like an essay (both in the sense of reading like a personal reflection pushed as facts and the general tone of the writing), so I added the template for that. If it's to be fixed, it looks like it will need a major revision or rewrite done to it. — Northgrove 18:15, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I took a pass at this while performing a general copy-edit. How does it look now? I don't see anything terribly non-neutral about it at the moment, although it could sure use some references for the claims made. Macwhiz (talk) 04:11, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

Can people please remember that the correct plural is "PDAs", not "PDA's"? The apostrophe should not be there. --Tiberius47 04:04, 25 January 2007 (UTC) I agree


And please check spellings before posting drivel!

Yes! I want my drivel properly spelleded.Jedaniel (talk) 04:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

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Operating systems -- things to remember[edit]

Please remember the following things when you edit stuff regarding operating systems:

  • Desktops are not operating systems. They are, just like Linux, components in an operating system. Plese treat them as such.
  • Only one name covers an operating system. Each operating system will have differences and each of them will want to be treated differently -- even if they do share some components or have similar functionality. If you want to refer to some missing functionality in an operating system, please do not refer to one of it's components, but use the full name of the operating system. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by FrederikHertzum (talkcontribs) 08:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC).

FrederikHertzum 08:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Would it then be acceptable to refer to a PDA running such an operating system as being "GNU/Linux-based"? This is how Richard Stallman refers to the entirety of the code which comprises the operating system in dispute here.

external keyboards[edit]

Good catch on that. Alatari (talk) 14:28, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Images[edit]

Those images are nice but the are pushing the POV towards Palm devices. Unless the machines are the top sellers of all time maybe we should stick with a stylized image to avoid favoring one brand. Otherwise we'll have to put up pics up an iPhone, Ipaq, Treo, Toshiba e-series, etc, etc. Alatari (talk) 00:51, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

People with disabilities[edit]

Changes should be self-explanatory, but in a nutshell: previous section version (titled "PDAs for the Visually Impaired") was both inaccurate and written in a personal voice. Comments were insulting and ill-informed. kid shelley (talk) 01:03, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Also, I found that the last line seemed out of place, something that should be replaced with something like "See other article for more details" could be better placed there... I don't think this article has anything to do with occupational therapists, no matter how important of a role they take. -- 24.247.181.64 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:02, 12 September 2009 (UTC).

Popular Models[edit]

Deleted "OQO..." from list of popular PDAs. The OQO products are considered UMPCs, not PDAs. They are comparable to the Laptop in functionality, similar to the Samsung Q1 series, the Asus EeePCs, and TabletKiosk's eo models. See Ultra-Mobile PC for more information. Jedaniel (talk) 04:22, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Confusing Statistics.[edit]

"Stand-alone PDA sales fell 43.5% from 2006 to 2007. Approximately 4 million PDAs are sold per year. However, with smartphone sales increasing from levels of approximately 60 million per year, more telephones are being used as PDAs with phone capability.

According to a Gartner market study, the overall market for PDAs grew by 20.7% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2005, compared to Q3 2004, with marketshare resolving as follows (by operating system):[citation needed]"

This data is confusing, the market is declining it seems however there are statistics of an increasing market years prior. Is this necessary? SupersawLead (talk) 08:36, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, the article currently states: "Over 150 million smartphones are sold each year, while "stand-alone" PDAs without phone functionality sell only about 3 million units per year." How does one reconcile 3 million units per year with 960 million iPod touch PDAs sold in roughly four and a half years? Or does the ability to run the Skype app count as "phone functionality"? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 23:23, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Am doing major revision of the stats part, here my reasoning[edit]

I agree the stats part is very confusing. I'll first establish the growth part - ie the smartphone part (is 150 M in 2008), then show that meanwhile the stand-alone PDA market keeps on shrinking (is 3 M in 2008).

I'll also put the operating system stats into order of size of current market share first (from Gartner) before the growth/decline percentages. Tomi T Ahonen (talk) 18:30, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Is there the ultimate digital organizer?[edit]

(When I say 'digital organizer' I have in mind only its primary purpose (like the old ones).)

  • Digital organizer on which you worry about batteries once in 6 months at most.

(which implies: simple monochromatic LCD, limited back-light , non-rechargeable batteries with great capacity, memory limitations (but 2MB or even 4MB at least))

  • Full QWERTY hardware keyboard (ideally entire standard PC keyboard layout)
  • No cover lid (implying scratch-proof display and keyboard (the kind like on those credit-card-sized solar calculators if you've seen one ( http://images.virtualvillage.com/001495-001/001.jpg ), but with slightly raised buttons which make a small click when pressed under that scratch-proof membrane))
  • Screen with fair resolution so that a lot of text is viewable at once (maybe 32x8 characters or even 64x16)
  • Unlimited text entries (for example CASIO models had 384 character limit per data entry)
  • All the standard functions (and possibly ability to add new functions), quick, reliable, and all of them readily available through hardware function buttons
  • USB connection for easy and quick memory backup and editing

Catastrophic situation[edit]

There is not even one purposeful PDA on the market. Why isn't there a PDA the size of credit card you could easily slip into any pocket, waterproof so sweat can't harm it, with batteries you worry about only once in 6 months at most, memory of no more and no less than 4MB, qwerty keyboard and a simple monochromatic display you can actually READDD in direct sunlight! PDA you can actually relay on... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.216.31.46 (talk) 23:07, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

PDA wristwatch[edit]

Perfect PDA could also be a wristwatch - so it is readily available on your hand instead of dragging it in your pockets, but not like those programmable Palm-OS ones with touchscreen - no - it consumes too much power. The perfect PDA wristwatch is the one like those old ones with keyboard. Such perfect PDA wristwatch would operate at least two months on one CR2032 battery, and would have alphanumeric buttons circling the circular watch face (that is a simple matrix LCD). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.216.31.46 (talk) 19:22, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Internet access necessary part of PDAs?[edit]

The article's lead states that PDAs have the ability to access the Internet. This wasn't true for virtually all early PDAs in and of themselves. The Palm series, up through the Palm III at least, did not have built-in Internet access; you could add different modem modules as an accessory. I think that this language should clarified to indicate that current PDAs typically have Internet access; there are plenty of cheap off-brand ones that do not. Macwhiz (talk) 00:38, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

The newer PDAs had integrated Internet support, but I think the earliest PDA was the Palm VII with a Mobitex data option from 1999. I have a Sony Clie from 2003 that has provisions for a CompactFlash Wi-Fi card. GB86 02:10, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and modified the lead of the article so that Internet connectivity is referred to as a common feature of modern PDAs, rather than a required feature for inclusion in the category of PDAs. GB's recollection matches mine, and I can think of several cheapie discount-store devices currently available that I'd (technically) call PDAs that have no Internet capabilities whatsoever. Macwhiz (talk) 04:11, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Definitely agree, IP-over-serial (wire or IrDA) was an add-on to PalmOS in 1997 or so, but you needed a modem or another computer to act as the other end of the serial connection, which is no where near the always-on behaviour we have today. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but in my mind PDAs were always about being extensions of the owners memory--replacing rolodex, personal calendars, etc., vs being communication devices. Early on, Palm and its developers remained focused on this fact, to the point where by the time Internet access was important and going to happen, Palm was ill-prepared to deal with it. So I think the statement "Nearly all current PDAs have the ability to connect to the Internet" in the second paragraph really needs to be toned down significantly. I believe few of the PDA users had connectivity other than periodic batch synchronization (HotSync). Jdimpson (talk) 23:42, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

USB on PDAs[edit]

The article currently states

Some PDAs also have a USB port, mainly for USB flash drives.

(emphasis added) I'd like to see a source to back this up. In my experience, most PDAs that have a USB port use it for synchronization, to charge an internal rechargeable battery, or to connect accessories. It seems to me that USB flash drives are among the least typical uses for a PDA's USB port. Macwhiz (talk) 01:49, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I see what you mean. I know that some Windows Mobile PDAs (and none that run PalmOS) have USB host functionality that allows use of a USB drive; however the USB port's main use is for data and/or power. GB86 02:07, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I suggest merging this article with Handheld PC due to the identical roots of development. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE GOOD WORKS 16:21, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

PPC vs PDA[edit]

If you merge articles, please distinguish between PPC and PDA. Sometimes the difference is important. For example, there are programs designed to record moves at chess tournaments that are allowed to be used on PPCs but not on phone-based PDAs, since outside communication is not allowed during a chess tournament. See U S Chess Federation website, and their approval of the e-Notate software: http://main.uschess.org/images/stories/scholastic_chess_resources/electronicscoresheet2.pdf 75.53.202.224 (talk) 15:45, 17 November 2010 (UTC)Chesster

"Pocket PC" refers to PDAs running a Microsoft OS. But do the chess leagues' rules specifically mention a Microsoft product? Would the software be allowed on an iOS-powered iPod touch, an Android-powered Archos 43, or an Android-powered Galaxy Player? Like a Pocket PC, these handheld computers have only Wi-Fi, not cellular. --Pino (t|c) 23:39, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The opening line in the smartphone article states that "A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone.". Not only is it a misnomer to state that a smartphone is a "mobile phone", but the very notion "smartphone" is a misnomer per se. It is misleading to state that the smartphone is a "mobile phone" with more advanced features simply due to the fact that a smartphone is a complete microcomputer with numerous advanced features that rival the phone functionality. The modern smart phone typically combines i.a. a PMP (Portable Media Player), digital camera, digital video camera, a MID (Mobile Internet Device), GPS, video games and the ability to run arbitrary programs as well as interface with external devices; the GSM functionality is one small feature of its functionality. There already is a term in the sadly deteriorating terminology of computer science for these devices, and that is Personal Digital Assistant. This term is much more general and and does not emphasize any single feature over any other feature. The feature(s) most used depends on the user, not the device when dealing with a device as general as this. Calling a PDA a smartphone is akin to calling a PC a "Word Processor", even though that is only one single feature of the device.

For the reasons stated above I hereby state that the entire smartphone article should be merged with the PDA article and the term smartphone should redirect to the PDA article -- these two articles describe the same type of device and should support each other by becoming merged into one single article. The article should describe the history of the PDA and the history of the mobile phone up to the point where every modern smartphone is a PDA and almost every PDA is a smartphone (yes, there are still PDAs without phone functionality).

Posix memalign (talk) 23:53, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

As discussed in Talk:Smartphone, I disagree. The two articles are large enough separately and this one should remain to discuss its oldfashioned topic, even when in a few years this product is no longer made. The article should link prominently to the surviving children of PDA, namely smartphone and tablet computer. And yes, I use various computeristic features of my Samsung Intercept every day, but don't use it as a phone every week. Nonetheless, the correct or at least conventional term for such an Android phone is "smartphone". Jim.henderson (talk) 15:21, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
  • No PDAs predate smart phones by at least a decade. These are not the same thing. Maybe we could merge all the pokemon articles with all the smurf articles, because hey, they're all cartoon characters, right? --MoonLichen (talk) 03:16, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
You are wrong, take a look at the Personal Digital Assistant article, there are PDAs that are smartphones, such as the Nokia 9000 Communicator. You may also derive the fact that a smartphone is a type of PDA from the very definition given in the smartphone article, this is trivial. Posix memalign (talk) 16:32, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
By your reasoning we should have a whole article for every term that has ever been used in a faulty way by the general public.
How is the smartphone and the PDA any more different than a laptop with 802.11* functionality and a laptop without this functionality? How about a PDA with 802.11* and/or 802.15*, and a PDA without these features?
The PC and the mainframe are highly differentiated by everything, such as price, size, functionality, users, actual use and architecture. The PDA and the smartphone have one single feature that differentiates them: the GSM functionality.
The only reason the smartphone term and article exists in the first place is due to faulty use of terminology. The mobile phone has evolved into becoming a general purpose computer by having one feature after the other added to it, i.e. becoming a PDA -- the general purpose computer did not evolve into becoming a phone, it merely has the phone feature as well. Posix memalign (talk) 16:32, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
The smartphones for Verizon Wireless and Sprint don't have GSM functionality. Those networks run CDMA2000. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 23:43, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Nowadays a PDA would be called a "4-inch tablet", just as a "netbook" has become a "10-inch laptop". Archos, for example, uses this terminology for its Archos 43 Internet Tablet. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 23:43, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, nowadays the majority of cameras, calculators, E-readers and GPS receivers are smartphones. No, that doesn't mean all those articles should be merged into a gigantic one that I won't be able to read on my smartphone. Jim.henderson (talk) 16:54, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Measuring Distance[edit]

Is there a program for Pocket PC that enables the user to measure distance using the devices IR sensor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.216.31.46 (talk) 22:38, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I have wondered about that type application myself. 'Twould be a great asset to those like me who can calculate, but have little ability to estimate either linear size, beyond a few meters, or area, say, of a large room, or a parking lot or construction site. This question will be answered quicker at the Wikipedia Reference Desk, however. Article Discussion or Talkpages are reserved for discussions concerning article creation/editing/merging, etc.
Rags69.171.187.29 (talk) 07:50, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Old numbers[edit]

The statistics in this article are over 5 years old. Won't someone help to update? Rags69.171.187.81 (talk) 10:51, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Samsung Galaxy Note[edit]

The article should mention Galaxy Note, because it's a smartphone with pen referencing to older PDAs.Piotrek54321 (talk) 18:20, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

future?


what somthing abut pda`s future (how it will be in the future ) ? becuse i think concept of pda (other then those that read/watch cyberpunk/dystopia/utopia books/movies) was becuse they did read it in a magazin or watch a promo/documentary abut how computer and comunication would be in 10-15 years... like ppl now hear abut hologram computers and glasses that are build in internet conections murakami 82.147.33.187 (talk) 14:56, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

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is/was[edit]

Every device listed in the "Popular consumer PDAs" section of the article is at least 5 years old.

I wonder, when exactly "is a mobile device that..." in the first sentence of the article should be changed into "was a mobile device that..."? 37.0.68.80 (talk) 00:50, 11 January 2014 (UTC)