PDAs Work
Synchronize With PCs
Because PDAs are designed to complement your PC, they need to work with the same information in both places. If you make an appointment on your desktop computer, you need to transfer it to your PDA; if you jot down a phone number on your PDA, you should upload it later to your PC.

Synchronization software on the PDA works with companion software that you install on your PC. Microsoft Pocket PC devices use ActiveSync and Palm OS devices use HotSync synchronization software. On your computer, you also need an application like Microsoft Outlook or the Palm Desktop that holds PIM information on the PC side.

The beauty of synchronization is that you always have a backup copy of your data, which can be a lifesaver if your PDA is broken, stolen, or completely out of power.

Common Functions
Today, most PDAs incorporate wireless and multimedia functions of some type. Functions found on most (but not necessarily all) devices include:

    Photo courtesy

  • Short-range wireless connectivity using Infrared (IR) or technology IR is found on most PDAs and requires a clear line of sight. It is commonly used to sync with a notebook computer that has an IR port. Bluetooth wirelessly connects (it's a radio frequency technology that doesn't require a clear line of sight) to other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as a headset or a printer.

  • Internet and corporate network connectivity through and wireless access points

  • Support for Wireless WAN (Wide Area Networks); the cellular data networks that provide Internet connectivity for smart phone devices

  • A memory card slot that accepts flash media such as CompactFlash, MultiMediaCard, and Secure Digital cards (Media cards act as additional storage for files and applications.)

  • Audio support for MP3 files and a microphone, speaker jack and headphone jack

Bells & Whistles
High-end PDAs offer multimedia, security and add-on features not found on less expensive devices:

  • A Secure Digital Input/Output (SDIO) card slot for add-on peripherals contained in an SDIO card, for example, a Bluetooth card, a Wi-Fi card, or a (global positioning system) card

  • A built-in for snapping digital images and capturing short videos (The quality will not be as good as that of a dedicated camera.)

  • Integrated security features such as a biometric fingerprint reader.

  • Built-in capabilities

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