Ok, So I Have a Wireless PDA, What Do I Do Next?

by Reads (5,991)

Here at BargainPDA, we have a really great tradition in our forums of helping people who are looking to purchase a PDA either for the first time, or to get an upgrade for additional functionality. We take that responsibility as a great service that you (the reader and visitor) have endowed us with, and try to provide you with as much information and opinion as you can handle when making your decision.

However, there was a posting in the forum not long ago that made me quiver on the inside. The person posting was pleased that we helped them narrow down their decision to purchase a particular wireless PDA. But then, they posted that they have the wireless PDA, and have no idea on how to use any of its features. It seems that in some respects that we might have dropped the ball in recommending a device that did the task, but did not inform enough on how to do that task with that new device.

So this article will set out to undo that wrong. And in the process, we hope you find some of the items here as good principals to consider not only after you have made your PDA purchase, but possibly even before.

Scenario 1: I have just purchased a my first wireless PDA, but know nothing more than the wireless service provider I bought it from, and whatever it says that it can do on the box.

If there is no other advice that I could offer you, it would be to read everything that came in the box with your device. From the manuals, to the additional promotional advertisement material. There is a wealth of information to be found about your device in those pamphlets, brochures, and PDF files.

Once you’ve done that, a good thing to do is to visit website forums like those of BargainPDA and ask questions of others on what applications they use, accessories they have, or configurations for their particular use (doctors use things differently than journalists, and etc.). Asking people who may have the same device, or who considered the device that you bought but purchased a different one will not only give you insight, but a deeper appreciation for your PDA purchase.

Scenario 2: I have my wireless PDA up and running, what are some programs that would help me get more value out of my PDA?

I will phrase this section in the sense of the application categories, as between PalmOS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian devices, the list of recommended applications can get long.

The first and most important application that you could purchase for your wireless PDA would be of a backup program. No matter if you are business traveler or a student using the Wireless Network on your campus to keep up with campus dealings, having a reliable backup solution will save you a lot of pain and heartache when the inevitable hard reset happens. While many devices are plenty fine without it, if you plan on using your device away from your syncing computer for any amount of time, a backup program that saves the backup to a memory card (that you can keep in your wallet in case you lose the PDA) is a very valuable resource. And even if you never suffer a reset, if you do any program updates, making a backup before you install the update will ensure that you have a way to get your device back to a usable state just in case the application is not quite ready for your device.

If you are one that monitors how much time you are on phone calls, or use data services, a timer program would be a good program to install. Call timers can help you monitor your minutes so that you do not incur extra charges at the end of the billing cycle.

Another type of program that many wireless users find profitable is that of a RSS news reader program. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and basically means that it is a document of the type that is able to be read by nearly any program and on nearly any device due to the structure and format of the RSS document. Without sounding any more technical, it’s basically a news reader that can download news clippings and pages from almost any website that has an RSS feed. Some RSS programs even allow for the downloading of audio and video podcasts. Podcasts are the new generation of internet programming that is basically an editorial that you can listen to on an MP3 player. Podcasts are produced by major news agencies and people who aren’t so major, so there is a wealth of news that one can download and listen to on their wireless PDA.

With the increasing influence of mobile phones and PDAs that have wireless connections, companies are going even further to make sure that you can download content and view web pages and other items on your wireless device. If you are not sure if a particular site or program is available for your wireless device, ask a question in our forum, and be ready to try a lot of new programs.

Scenario 3: I have read all the manuals, visited the forums, downloaded all the apps, and bought a few accessories; is there anything else that I am missing to help me get the most out of my wireless PDA?

About the only thing left to do is to play with your device. You have taken all of the cautionary steps now, and so you have a device in front of you that is not only good enough to work with, but will occasionally give you room to play as well.

So, what do I mean by play with your device? Well, for starters, when you have your device where you want it to be with applications and your workflow, you can then start using different applications that might do the same functionality, but differently. For example, a person might have downloaded Facer launcher for their Treo, but noticed that there is another launcher called Initiate to try. Well, once you have your base apps, go play. Have fun. And then enjoy that new purchase that you made and come into the BargainPDA forums and let us know how much you enjoy your new device.

Other Resources
PDA Buyers Guide: Fall 2005 Edition 
How to Choose a Smartphone (May Edition) 
Merits of the PDA Manual – To Read or Not to Read

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