PDA Phone: the ultimate handheld paperless device

A PDA phone is one of the most versatile and multifunctional information and communication technology (ICT) devices (or gadgets). It is basically a handheld computer (or personal digital assistant; PDA) with cellular phone and wireless internet capabilities. Some PDA phones are also equipped photography/video capabilities, and are mainly used to:
– Communicate through wireless phone, email, chat, sms and text messaging (you could even do fax through an Internet service).
– Access the Internet and almost all services provided on the World Wide Web.
– Perform common PDA enabled tasks, such as time and task management with electronic calendars, contact management, and a variety of third party software applications that can range from word processing, financial analyses, games, medical dictionaries and even GPS based geographic orientation.

PDA phones have also evolved into powerful multimedia and entertainment devices since they can be used for photography, video and audio. A range of different games exist for the different PDA phone operating systems, and some have even radio and TV capabilities.

The most useful attribute of a PDA phone is probably the combination of PDA and wireless communications capabilities since this permits mobile real-time synchronization of time management, contact and other types of data between the PDA phone and other ICT devices (desktop and laptop computers) that are linked to the network.

Let’s look at the following example to better illustrate the usefulness of having many functionalities integrated into one handheld device: You have just been called on the phone by a new client and he gives you his contact information. You use the PDA phone audio recorder to record the part of the conversation which contains the address. After the call you link the number that called you with this contact name and address in the contact list. You open the internet browser and do a simple search on your client’s (or his company’s) name to obtain more background information which you then can paste onto his contact entry. Then you take a picture of yourself and attach it along with your contact information to an email which you send. Shortly thereafter, he responds per email with an attached file that contains a document that you have been asked to edit. You use the PDA phone’s word processing software to open the document and read it. Later you link a foldable and portable keyboard to the PDA phone through a Bluetooth connection and edit the document almost as conveniently as it would have been using a laptop. You finally email the edited document back to your client.

A Smartphone is different from a PDA phone in that it is mainly a cellular phone with some limited PDA capabilities. A Smartphone usually lack editing capabilities and only enable viewing of for instance PDF documents or even Internet pages.

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