Learnlets
Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

8 April 2014

The death of the PDA greatly exaggerated?

Clark @ 8:29 am

A colleague wondered if the image on the cover of the new book was a PDA, and my initial response was that the convergence of capabilities suggested the demise of the PDA. But then I had a rethink…

For what is a PDA?  It’s a digital platform sans the capability of a cellular voice channel.  My daughter got an iPod touch, but within a year we needed to get her a new phone, and it’s an iPhone.   Which suggests that a device without phone capability is increasingly less feasible.

But wait a minute, there are plenty of digital devices sans voice. In fact, I have one.  It’s a tablet!  It may have cellular data, but it certainly doesn’t have voice.  And while people are suggesting that the tablet is done, I’m not interested in a phablet, as I already have a problem with a phone in my pocket (putting me in the fashion faux pas category of liking a holster), and I think others want something smaller that they can have all the time.

So, I’ve argued elsewhere that mobile devices have to be handheld, and that tablets have usage patterns different than pocketables.  But I think in many instances tablets do function as personal digital assistants, when you’re not constrained by space.  There are advantages to the larger screen. So, while I think the pocketable version of the PDA is gone (since having a phone and a PDA seems redundant), the non-phone digital assistant is going to persist for the larger form factor.  What am I missing?

1 Comment »

  1. > mobile devices have to be handheld, and that tablets have usage patterns different than pocketables

    Yes. Can share some now, but soon there will be an eLearning Guild report that merges new research with my old ones, and shows pretty clear differences in use between phone, phablet, small tablet, large tablet. You will, I am sure, like it.

    Probably too late to make the new book, but if you need it before the report comes out, tell me and I’ll get the info to you.

    Comment by Steven Hoober — 8 April 2014 @ 8:37 am

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