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How PDAs Work

PDA Software
PDA software programs let professionals
PDA software programs let professionals
© Photographer: Elena Elisseesa | Agency: Dreamstime

Most PDAs come with a sync program that synchronizes and updates information on both your computer and your PDA. Microsoft Pocket PCs use software called ActiveSync; Palm OS products use HotSync; and BlackBerry has Desktop Software.

For all PDAs, the process of downloading and installing new software is more or less the same:

  1. Download the software file onto your computer's desktop.
  2. Connect your PDA to your computer, either through a cradle or directly into a USB port.
  3. Run your sync software: press a button on your PDA, a button on the cradle, or open the sync program on your computer.
  4. On your desktop, double click on the downloaded file you want to install on your PDA.
  5. The software will open an installation wizard that'll walk you through the process.

PDAs have always been an essential tool for the busy executive. Today's PDA software allows professionals to say organized as well as connected. They can work no matter where they are.

Most PDAs come standard with an office application suite (word processor, spreadsheet, etc.), a Web browser and an e-mail program. Traveling executives can open e-mail attachments with their PDA, edit documents and send them back to associates while on the road.

Now that most PDAs have Internet connectivity, PDA software applications allow access to real-time online data.

Some of the professionals using PDA software applications are:

  • Travelers
  • Shipping managers
  • Salesmen and real estate agents
  • Doctors and nurses
  • Lawyers
  • Police officers databases

[Sources: Handango, Sage Software, CollectiveMed and Orbitron Technologies]

But PDAs aren't used just for business. The same software can be used to download and play games like chess, Sudoku and backgammon.

There's also PDA software that allows you to record DVDs for playback on your handheld device, and other programs that turn your PDA into a portable photo album, MP3 player or eBook reader.

So, if you use your PDA for business or pleasure, just remember that there's software working behind the scenes to make it all possible.

For more information about PDA software and related topics, check out the links on the next page.