It manages your contacts! It has a to-do list! It tracks expenses! Yes, the PDA was a handy contrivance back in the day when a 25-pound desktop PC and a 50-pound CRT monitor seemed welded to every workstation. But as cellphones began to acquire PDA capabilities in 2001, it became obvious that the phoneless digital assistant's days were numbered. Today, the term "PDA" sounds as anachronistic as "Pocket PC." Then again, today's smartphones are pocket PCs, aren't they?
Ever see a twenty-something rocking a wristwatch as a necessity, rather than as a fashion accessory? Probably not. The smartphone has become the 21st Century pocket watch, while the wristwatch has become, well, your father's timepiece. This may change, however, if tech-savvy watchmakers succeed in rekindling consumer interest in the arm-ready timekeeper. In fact, the wristwatch's resurgence may already be underway, at least in some geek circles. Sony introduced an Android-based wristwatch last year, and some clever techies have managed to turn the multitouch iPod Nano into a watch.
When's the last time you bought a paper map? Do you still use them? A smartphone devotee may unfold a map every now and then, but only as a navigational tool of last resort. Mobile map apps from Google, MapQuest, and Bing provide directions, satellite images, and search tools that paper can't match. But it's wise to keep a paper map on hand as a backup, especially if you're driving in an area where wireless signals are weak. And GPS mapping tools have been known to give bad directions every once in a while.
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