Reminds me of the old Newton joke...
Q: How many Apple Newtons does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Foux! There to eat lemons, axe gravy soup.
Some say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and when you consider the history of the PDA, that statement holds many truths. While the iPhone looks set to take the market by storm, the HTC S620 and Samsung i600 were good takes on the Blackberry, and the Palm Treo range has long been tested and trusted. The Treo's roots …
From what I remember the Newton was John Sculley's big project, when he was in charge of Apple. He had a great vision of a Newton future, and like a lot of technoutopian thinking it was basically correct but years too soon. The report skims over the fact that the Newton's demise coincided with that of Sculley; I imagine Steve Jobs, who replaced Sculley, wasn't too keen on keeping the Newton around. There is room for only one creative visionary at Apple.
The Newton was also packaged in a clamshell case as the Emate, which was sold to schools so that disadvantaged pupils could have a play laptop. I'm in two minds as to whether a professional-looking Emate, with a more sober design and a keyboard, might have been a better idea than the Newton. It would still have been much cheaper than the cheapest Powerbook. On the other hand it would have been harder to learn to use it than a Powerbook, and non-standard. Perhaps Apple could have sold the Newton off to someone else.
I loved my 2100 which I bought in 98 and which gave me faultless service until 2001 when I was forced to replace it. God did I miss it and I now wish that I had kept it, if only for personal use!
For me the handwriting recognition was fine and I would guess that it was easily better than 90% accurate and only had problems when I started to ‘scribble’. I should add that when I do ‘scribble’ even I can’t read it…..
As was mentioned in the article the only real issue was data transfer which for me was only occasionally a problem but I am sure that it could be solved now, especially with better/faster processors now being available, plus of course better 'interfacing' software.
I am sure that with today’s technology it wouldn’t be that difficult for Apple to ‘bring it back’ and make it even better – just don’t make it smaller!
If Apple produced a new one now with a faster processor and maybe colour I would be at the head of the queue and, to be honest, I would even be happy to go without the colour.
The first useful PDA was the Amstrad PDA600. Cheaper, simpler, it did less, but much more usably. Input was by a simple printing recognition system, that had much better accuracy than the Newton's cursive recogniser, yet didn't require the user to learn cryptic gestures for each letter.
The UI was designed to look just like a FiloFax (TM) complete with rings and page corners. You got Notes, Diary, Address book, Calculator.
There wasn't an OS as such, just 2 Z80's running reams and reams of C code.
It died because PDA's ceased to be "must have" items, and AMstrad got bored with them.
Apple's CEO at the time was John Sculley, who had left the fast-track to the top slot at Pepsi to join the tech game. He infamously announced while demo-ing the new Newton gizmo that it would become a 'trillion-dollar' product. Alas, this prediction would have taken around 1/3 of the folks on the planet buying one, so it never quite materialized. And that would have been if it COULD recognize handwriting.
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?" (Jobs' sales pitch to Sculley to get him to Apple)
The author appears to have his Apple-blinkers on. There were numerous PDAs around before the Newton/Messagepad. I'm sure other Register readers can give more examples, but in the UK the most notable was the series developed by Psion, starting with the Psion Organiser in 1984. Look it up on wikipedia, where you'll also find out about Sharp's earlier PDAs. Casio were certainly producing PDA type devices in the 1970's, although they were of course quite primitive.
... do I have to read that it failed because of the HWR? The cursive HWR was very decent from NOS 2.0 onwards, the print-recognition even better. Heck, people would not still use the thing if it did not work properly. It does. Newton had to go because Steve had hard enough of a task on hand saving the Mac when he returned to the wreck that Apple was at the time.
IMO colour screens are still not as functional as the B&W screens of 5 years ago. My old PalmV and 6310i were fully visible in bright sunlight which can't be said for either the HTC organiser phone or Nokia 6300 I'm using at the moment. (nor do they have the battery life - i went back to my 6310 for just that reason last weekend).
Colour might be pretty (and possibly essential for web browsing) but give me a b&w organiser i can use outside anyday.
The Newton was spot on...
1995 working with 3rd party company developed our first mobile application for
Field Service Engineers it was the DB's at the time using GSM connectivity... Woaaa
Only fly in the ointment was the fact I worked for HP, caused a few glares...
But productivity was the name of the game..!!
Yes, there were. I know -- I still have a couple of the ones I had stuffed in a drawer somewhere. I do also have my MP2000 which I use everyday in my business and a brand new 2100 waiting in the wings for the 2000 to die. I'm not sure if you actually used some of these early PDAs by Sharpe and Casio, but the ones I started with and ditched were unbelievably awful. The Psion was closer to acceptable, but in the end it was really a scaled down laptop, much akin to the Windows CE efforts, albeit much better than WinCE.
The Newton, on the other hand was an integrated device that was created with pen computing in mind at every turn. A real treat to use (as I still do). It's funny to think how those awful early PDA interfaces drove the folks at Apple to come up with something more intuitive -- that is the same drive behind the iPhone. Boom? or Bust? Only time will tell -- meanwhile -- everyday my MP2000 soldiers on!
Successful innovation needs as many as possible new forms of a device to come to the fore, as often as possible. The Japanese have an inbuilt advantage with innovation, their reluctance to let any single idea or form of a product sit for very long in the manufacturing stage.
The faster you let new thinking make an input and the smaller your manufacturing run, the better you can meet market perceptions with new variations of the same product.
We saw the opposite here in the UK with a fixation on trying to get the maximum length of product run for the minimum product development cost. By the time the business can see that the market is fed up with the currect product, it is too late. Some other innovator has stolen your market from right under your nose. Ergo, we lost cameras, pocket calculators, you name it.
Never try and control your market by any other means than fresh innovation of the product and always test your market by constantly revising the product to suite new perceptions.
A crack in Apple's walled garden appeared yesterday as the iPhone vendor opened up an option for alternative in-app payment processing within apps distributed in South Korea.
The commission levied by Apple for in-app transactions, which can be up to 30 percent, has long irked app developers. Epic Games famously went before US courts to protest Apple's rules and lost.
South Korea's lawmakers, however, took matters into their own hands and targeted Google and Apple with a law requiring both to open their app stores to third party payment options. Google made its update at the beginning of the year, effectively cutting its service fee by four percent.
Workers at an Apple Store in Towson, Maryland have voted to form a union, making them the first of the iGiant's retail staff to do so in the United States.
Out of 110 eligible voters, 65 employees voted in support of unionization versus 33 who voted against it. The organizing committee, known as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), has now filed to certify the results with America's National Labor Relations Board. Members joining this first-ever US Apple Store union will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
"I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," IAM's international president Robert Martinez Jr said in a statement on Saturday. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."
One of Apple's most senior legal executives, whom the iGiant trusted to prevent insider trading, has admitted to insider trading.
Gene Levoff pleaded guilty to six counts of security fraud stemming from a February 2019 complaint, according to a Thursday announcement from the US Department of Justice on Thursday.
Levoff used non-public information about Apple's financial results to inform his trades on Apple stock, earning himself $227,000 and avoiding $377,000 of losses. He was able to access the information as he served as co-chairman of Apple's Disclosure Committee, which reviewed the company's quarterly draft, annual report and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
Democrat lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google's online ad trackers, which they say amount to unfair and deceptive business practices and pose a privacy and security risk to people using the tech giants' mobile devices.
US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) requested on Friday that the watchdog launch a probe into Apple and Google, hours before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for individual states to ban access to abortions.
In the days leading up to the court's action, some of these same lawmakers had also introduced data privacy bills, including a proposal that would make it illegal for data brokers to sell sensitive location and health information of individuals' medical treatment.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have shown for the first time that Bluetooth signals each have an individual, trackable, fingerprint.
In a paper presented at the IEEE Security and Privacy Conference last month, the researchers wrote that Bluetooth signals can also be tracked, given the right tools.
However, there are technological and expertise hurdles that a miscreant would have to clear today to track a person through the Bluetooth signals in their devices, they wrote.
Apple has introduced a game-changer into its upcoming iOS 16 for those who hate CAPTCHAs, in the form of a feature called Automatic Verification.
The feature does exactly what its name alludes to: automatically verifies devices and Apple ID accounts without any action from the user. When iOS 16 ships later this year, it will eliminate the frustrating requirement to select all the stops signs in a photo or decipher a string of characters.
The news was mentioned at Apple's 33rd annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) along with the usual slew of features designed to enhance the functionality of iPhones.
A security flaw in Apple's Safari web browser that was patched nine years ago was exploited in the wild again some months ago – a perfect example of a "zombie" vulnerability.
That's a bug that's been patched, but for whatever reason can be abused all over again on up-to-date systems and devices – or a bug closely related to a patched one.
In a write-up this month, Maddie Stone, a top researcher on Google's Project Zero team, shared details of a Safari vulnerability that folks realized in January this year was being exploited in the wild. This remote-code-execution flaw could be abused by a specially crafted website, for example, to run spyware on someone's device when viewed in their browser.
Not many people are talking about Apple's recent WWDC from an enterprise standpoint. But identity and machine management tool maker JumpCloud says a "shim" to connect "the login to the device through to the Safari browser" is a notable development.
JumpCloud provides identity services, which is why chief strategy officer Greg Keller zeroed in on the feature, which his company details further in its latest IT trends report.
The result, said Keller, was "an even more powerful login experience into these devices."
Google is to pay $90 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with US developers over alleged anti-competitive behavior regarding the Google Play Store.
Eligible for a share in the $90 million fund are US developers who earned two million dollars or less in annual revenue through Google Play between 2016 and 2021. "A vast majority of US developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund," said Google.
Law firm Hagens Berman announced the settlement this morning, having been one of the first to file a class case. The legal firm was one of four that secured a $100 million settlement from Apple in 2021 for US iOS developers.
Arm has at least one of Intel's more capable mainstream laptop processors in mind with its Cortex-X3 CPU design.
The British outfit said the X3, revealed Tuesday alongside other CPU and GPU blueprints, is expected to provide an estimated 34 percent higher peak performance than a performance core in Intel's upper mid-range Core i7-1260P processor from this year.
Arm came to that conclusion, mind you, after running the SPECRate2017_int_base single-threaded benchmark in a simulation of its CPU core design clocked at an equivalent to 3.6GHz with 1MB of L2 and 16MB of L3 cache.
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