Know what away teams damn near always carry? Tricorders for scannin’! Phasers for stunnin’! Communicators for squawkin’! Sometimes they even pack specialized tools for more potent self-defense. Know what away teams almost never carry, though? PADDs. The forgettable, un-sung heroes of the Star Trek universe.
Before 2010, anyone—even the more casual Trek fan—could be forgiven for forgetting what a PADD is. The devices represent the futuristic equivalent of a clipboard: a utilitarian, information-carrying slate no more remarkable to the citizens of the Federation than a cling-film sketch pad to us. At one time PADDs might have taken the crown of Star Trek’s Most Unremarkable Prop. That is, until humanity built a slew of more-capable devices… three centuries early.
Let’s take a look at the PADDs of today and the apps available to Trek-ify your mobile life.