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Palm Pilot 1000
The original Palm Pilot revolutionized the mobile space. The handheld personal digital assistant (PDA) kept track of the owner's contacts, to-dos, and calendar.
Owners had to learn a special text input method known as Graffiti to get proficient, but millions took the time to learn it.
The Palm Pilot kept the owner's information synced with desktop computers via HotSync, a technology that made it all work well. The handheld was connected to a desktop computer via a cable, which kept all information up-to-date on both sides.
The biggest impact on mobile by the Palm Pilot was the introduction of apps, although they weren't called that back then. These little programs opened up the Palm Pilot to a lot of applications, and specialized apps appeared for most industries.
Both the company and the handheld are gone, but the impact on the mobile space is clear.
OmniSky Minstrel V
In the early days of mobile tech there were no data networks to keep devices connected. The most prevalent way to get a gadget connected was the cellular networks, slow as that was.
The Palm Pilot xv was a popular handheld, so a company built the OmniSky Minstrel V that snapped on the back of the Pilot. The Minstrel was a cellular data modem that got the Pilot xv online on demand.
The OmniSky had a rechargeable battery like the Palm Pilot. Its ability to connect via cellular networks turned the Pilot xv into a mobile email system. The speed was terrible and connections were expensive, but it brought mobile connectivity to the masses far ahead of other methods.