Definitions Made Simple

Definitions Made Simple
I rarely hear the word ‘PDA’ anymore. Even in the business world PDA’S are now considered smartphones or tablets. So I looked up the definitions as found in Webster’s dictionary and found the following.

Definition of PDA

.....a small handheld device equipped with a microprocessor that is used especially for storing and organizing personal information (as addresses and schedules)
.....personal digital assistant
First Known Use: 1992

Definition of SMARTPHONE
.....a cell phone that includes additional software functions (as e-mail or an Internet browser)
First Known Use of SMARTPHONE: 1997

The definition for smartphone seems to be lacking. A smartphone does have a processor and is used for storing and organizing personal information such as addresses, images, songs, schedules and so much more. Even warehouse personnel have begun using smartphones for various jobs.

Definitions are important. They keep everyone on an even foundation. For example, just because a mobile phone can access the internet, it does not make it a smartphone. Not understanding definitions cause frustration and miscommunication. Let me give you a few more definitions.

Definition of CELL PHONE
.....a portable usually cordless telephone for use in a cellular system
.....a small telephone that people can take with them and use outside their homes
First Known Use of CELL PHONE: 1984

Many call a ‘cell phone’ a ‘mobile phone’ because it is mobile. ‘Mobile phone’ is not in the dictionary. Just with these three definitions we can see how the industry has changed and the direction it is moving.

There is a few other definitions we need to understand when considering the PDA/Smartphone paradigm shift is that it is a computer.

Definition of COMPUTER that computes; specifically : a programmable usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data
First Known Use of COMPUTER: 1646

The definition of computer is important because all smartphones are actually tiny computers inside a cell phone that is being used as a PDA. A cell phone is not just to make calls with anymore and until you realize that they are actually computers you will be overwhelmed. Many older adults are struggling with this concept because a phone is not just a phone anymore. Land line phones are becoming extinct in homes and many older adults are having to migrate to cell phones.

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