Q

Do PDAs have spell checker?

Do most PDAs have a spell checker all ready installed on them?
Until recently, spell checking was never considered an important feature to build into PDA-based applications because spelling is not easily corrected in calendaring and contact management applications where names of people and places are involved. Also, PDAs were primarily designed to display content -- not act as data creation terminals. Aside from the occasional entries that users pen-in with the stylus, the majority of a device's content was intended to be synched over from the user's desktop, where spell checking is typically automatic in most applications.

However, as the industry tries to remake the usage models around handheld devices through such features and applications

like attached and integrate keyboards as well as email and instant messaging applications, spell checking on PDAs is becoming more relevant. While you can still spell someone's name incorrectly, or any other word for that matter, in the contact manager, calendar or notes/memo applications in either a Palm or a Pocket PC without the device knowing the difference, spell checking is available in the word processing applications.

In Pocket PC, its Pocket Word has included spell checking since its inception. In Palm-based devices, word processing is added through downloadable applications. The most popular is "Documents to Go" from DataViz, Inc., which is a suite of Palm compatible Office applications, and which Palm Solutions Group bundles with devices in its Tungsten line. Spell checking within PDA-based email clients is also becoming more common, but certainly not standard issue. RIM Blackberry, the standard by which most mobile email applications are measured, will not correct your mistakes. It does, however, attach the tag line "Sent via Blackberry," to every email sent, which allows users to blame the miniature keyboard for their poor spelling skills.

This was first published in July 2003

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