According to PCMag, the golden age of personal digital assistants (PDAs) ended in 2007. See the pattern here? Smartphones wasted no time in churning out fewer and weaker gadgets — they are the main predators in the digital jungle, and PDAs were just another meal. Ironically, some of today’s most popular personal assistants are on your smartphone. What’s special about the PDA case is that it’s probably the closest thing to a smartphone that exists in the pre-smartphone world.
PDAs really did it all: email, web browsing, calendars, address books, note files—some even functioned as phones. They were entitled to evolve into smartphones themselves, but instead, they’ve been replaced. How did that happen?
Well, for PDAs, it was more about form than function. PDAs are covered in buttons, and this means that every application has to find a way to work using the same interface, whether or not it provides the best experience. Smartphones got rid of all this, and instead used touch screens that could endlessly adapt to any application. Perhaps the most famous feature of a PDA — the stylus — has been replaced by the oldest pointing device in history: the human finger. Despite this, the Samsung Galaxy Note series has done a great job of bringing back the pen with a great deal of success — for Samsung phones, if not the rest of the smartphone world.