I have been hearing lots of murmuring about this what the difference between a PDA and a Smartphone really is. Well, to put it simply, not much these days! A few years ago there was a wide gap between the two. In fact, I am not sure Smartphones were really called a Smartphone.
Smartphones began with the phone. From their conception it was about the phone and making/receiving phone calls. Then additional tools became available, like cameras, video, email, and web browsing just to name a few. Finally, smartphones can now add 'applications' to the list of additional tools. This is what made the lines between Smartphones and PDA's to become blurry.
PDA's, or Personal Data Assistant, began with the data. And data is held in applications. So their conception began was all about data and how to transfer, receive, view and adjust data. In reality, PDA's had nothing to do with cell phones. They were micro computers small enough to fit into a pocket or briefcase easily. PDA's were designed to run applications with limited processor requirements. The additional phone element brough the PDA to a different level, but still focused on the data. PDA's brought phones applications that otherwise would never have made it to a cell phone.
What seems to be happening is both the Smartphone and PDA are becoming a new creature. Now, both of these creations includes so many new 'features' that no one really knows what to call that little cell phone you carry with you everywhere. It's no longer about the phone calls, but about the applications. Texting seems to have taken over emailing and your laptop or iPod is your only option for storing and listening to your music. And let us not forget television, movies and U-Tube!
So what should we call our cell phone? A smartphone? A musciphone? A pdaphone? A textphone? A videophone? Your guess is as good as mine! All that I know is that when I go to upgrade I better know what I want in a cell phone besides making phone calls. For me I like gadgets, so that means the ability to add applications. To get this today I may have to forgo getting the best camera quality picture.
There are many PDA's around that have nothing to do with cell phones. UPS and FEX use a type of 'PDA' each time they ask for your autograph when delivering a package! So do not confuse the term PDA as being only a cell phone term because it is not. Business uses many different kinds of PDA's that mainstream would have not use for. Mainstream should thank the business PDA's for bringing applications to the cell phone and mainstream world!
So how do you know which is right for you? Below are a few questions that should help you with your decision.
1.....Do you want to download and install a lot of 3rd party applications? Then you might want to consider a phone that has Windows Mobile PDA.
2.....Do you want to spend most of your time browsing the Internet? Then you want a phone that has fast connection time.
3.....Do you plan on spending most of your time checking email or talking on the phone? Then go with a BlackBerry or a Windows Mobile smartphone.
4.....Do you want to just talk and text? Then you can probably go with one of those starter phones.
Those questions are still relevant for consideration of business activities but will probably take a back-seat to requirements imposed by your employer's IT department. Some companies support BlackBerries; others support Windows Mobile. As a side note, today, most IT departments generally do not support iPhones because Apple has not opened the phone up to third-part software.
One thing you do not have to worry about is the name. The lines have become blurry and it is not the name of a cell phone as much as it is in your wants, needs and desires. The PDA and Smartphone are both cellular phones with differnt functionality and features, so all you really need to know is what you want, need and desire!