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Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are handheld devices with features such as calendar, notes, and so on.


The first PDA was introduced by Apple Inc. with the release of the Newton in 1993. The CEO at Apple at the time, John Sculley, coined the device a "Personal Digital Assistent" at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He claimed that PDAs would become "ubiquitous tools that would hold telephone numbers, keep your calendar, store notes, plus send and receive data wirelessly". While the Newton could not do all that he predicted at the time, his claim would ultimately become a reality many years later.

While the Apple Newton went practically unnoticed in the consumer market, the introduction of the Palm Pilot by Palm, Inc. in 1996 started the popularity of the PDA. The device was a highly effective method of information management because one could store calendars, to-do lists, notes, and address book all in one simple handheld.

With the advent of faster processors and better displays, PDAs gained more features, such as improved handwriting recognition, music and video playback, and Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. Palm OS's stronghold in the PDA operating system arena was challenged by the release of alternative PDA OSs such as Symbian, Windows CE, Microsoft Windows Mobile, and Linux. New devices, such as Research in Motion's Blackberry, redefined the way that individuals stayed in touch with one another. The proliferation of cell phones into the majority of households around the world has also created the Smartphone, which integrates the traditional functionality of phones and PDAs into one device.

Current Popular PDA Operating Systems

PDA Forensics