In the past few years, a great number of businesspeople, professionals, and ordinary consumers have been purchasing "Personal Digital Assistants," electronic devices designed to organize and simplify one's life.
The first PDAs, which hit the market in the mid 1990s, were little more than glorified notepads, making it possible to store a record of notes, phone numbers, calendars, and day-to-day appointments on an electronic device. These devices gradually evolved over the years, and Palm Inc.'s popular Palm Pilot devices gained a loyal following of both consumers and enterprise-level users.
New features, including 3D games, multimedia applications, and even Wi-Fi internet access have become commonplace on modern day PDAs, making them both practical and entertaining.
As time goes by, however, the functions performed by PDAs are being slowly but surely integrated into the many advanced cellular phones and mobile email devices now on the market.
This has led to a significant decline in demand for standalone Palm Pilots and Pocket PCs, which are increasingly being replaced by smartphones, converged devices which integrate mobile computing with wireless communication.
Most new smartphones serve as fully functional cellular phones, while integrating many of the features of a laptop computer. Each device comes equipped with its own operating system, along with a wide range of software applications specifically designed for mobile devices. They are also capable of accessing the internet, usually over a cellular broadband connection, and can be used to check one's email when on the go.
Although the cost is somewhat prohibitive for the majority of consumers, smartphone PDAs have become an institution among enterprise users, and are now a necessity for many mobile businesspeople.
All in all, PDA manufacturers are doing a good job of evolving with new technology, and providing users with an increasingly efficient and functional experience.