[NTLK] [OT] [iPh] What I think of Newtons and iPhones

From: Joshua Cearley <joshua.cearley_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri Jul 13 2007 - 17:01:10 EDT

Barring the fact that synchronization is a bit unruly (which is a sign
of age, for the most part), I still think the Newton is ahead of the
iPhone as far as functionality and features go. Here are some key
points about my opinion I would like to outline, and possibly discuss
(if this can be done sanely) between the iPhone and the Newton.

iPhone: Up-link.
The iPhone is usable *right now* for phone calls, call conferencing,
and generally all of the normal uses you would expect in any phone. So
in this aspect, the iPhone is readily usable for Internet-based
information right from the beginning. Newtons don't officially offer
this capability, and to my knowledge it hasn't been hacked in yet.

Newton: Expandability
The newton has a PCI card slot (and the MP2*00 have two) which
could/could've been use for virtually anything. For example, a GSM
modem could be built for the Newton which would allow it to have the
ability to handle what the iPhone does in the phone capacity. This is
why I think the Newton is technically better, because while it isn't
exactly in the original scope of the device it is possible (should you
convince a company to aid you with the protocols, etc) to make the
device do this. The iPhone can't be expanded, you just have to pay in
to the slush fund and buy another phone to get any kind of new
hardware functions.

iPhone: Media
Newtons can't do this because of space, CPU, and display restrictions.
It's really one of the only things they just *can't* do without
building a new model entirely. So in this regard, I think the iPhone
is better /if you are content with just music and movies/.

Newton: Software and Data
Newtons store all of the data on local storage media and memory card
slots, whereas on an iPhone the only data kept is media files
side-loaded from your computer and also any PIM data you may have on
it. On a Newton, I can also write a small game and install on it (or
just put one already made) and play it when I'm bored. Or I can
install finance software to track dining expenses, etc. Financial data
is particularly sensitive for many people, so having this on a hard
access point is a bonus.

iPhone on the other hand, currently (though we hope that they will
soon) does not even allow you to install your own software (let alone
write your own) for it. Apple has done a good job venting this
argument with the [somewhat complete] Web 2.0 support in the phone's
browser, but this doesn't really fix the problem. On an iPhone, if you
don't have a connection (like on a plane or in a subway) you ONLY have
what's been side-loaded on to the device (or what has been entered in
to the PIM or Notes program).

So in short, the way I figure up these devices:
The iPhone is just a smart phone with a "cool" presentation. There are
quite a few locked phones out there that don't allow custom software,
but it's almost a given that smart phones can have them put on via

Newton is a future-proof PDA. Whether they meant it to live as long as
it has or not, it's still alive today and they will probably stay
alive until they all hit max entropy. And through OpenEinstein it's OS
will outlive the devices. As with anything, we will have to see how it
turns out. Even with an opened SDK though, the iPhone still has no
expansion slots. :P

P.S. I hope this doesn't end up as flame bait, since I really do not
mean it to be. Comments and new points of view would be greatly
welcomed and thought over in this discussion.

This is the NewtonTalk list - http://www.newtontalk.net/ for all inquiries
Official Newton FAQ: http://www.chuma.org/newton/faq/
WikiWikiNewt for all kinds of articles: http://tools.unna.org/wikiwikinewt/
Received on Fri Jul 13 17:01:12 2007

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