Below: The palmOne LifeDrive. A great looking PDA, if you’re into that kind of thing.
That means never, probably, as Apple is unlikely to ever enter a market that’s so clearly in decline. The PDA market has taken a significant hit these past few years as more and more people come to the realization that I did: as much as I used to think that these devices were absolute necessities, must-have companions for simply getting by in modern life, they really are not.
It’s been about four years since I stopped carrying around my Palm Vx, and to be honest, I rarely ever miss it. Forgetting even the headaches of synchronization, I’ve found that the convenience that a PDA offers is not truly all that valuable; being caught out in the real world without every contact, appointment or text note that I ever collected is rarely a problem, and not even much of one when it is. Put simply, I’ve been getting along perfectly fine without one.
The Hidden Value of Nothing
It’s not just a matter of PDAs offering less value than advertised, either. In fact, I’ve come to believe there’s an unquantifiable value in not having them at all. Over the past few years, I’ve come to value, more and more, the idea of having fewer devices: fewer expensive gadgets to carry, to care for, to synchronize, to fret over when they’re dropped unceremoniously on the sidewalk. It just means less to think about, and more time to devote to things I actually care about.
Naturally, as devotee of technology, there’s only so far that I’ll take this. It᾿s not unreasonable to guess that, if something about my work duties should at some point dramatically change, perhaps I could warm up again to the idea of a PDA. And every morning, I still leave for the office with my iPod and mobile phone faithfully in tow — both devices do in fact carry PDA-style data to some extent. But on the days when I absent-mindedly leave them at home, it’s kind of a nice to be free.