Re: [NTLK] Gadgeteer interview [WAS: "Re: PDF reader. Also, MobiPocket?"]

From: Ryan Vetter <>
Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 19:24:26 EDT

Christian said:

"It makes me nuts to think what the Newt could havebeen if it had enjoyed 10, almost 11, years of development and updates."

Hi Christian:

While the cancellation of the Newton may have stymied development, it did not stop it all together. Apple has over 4000 Engineers working on existing and new products, and their PDA/Tablet research was alive and strong at the beginning of this decade. They scaled back for a few years after Jobs returned, but still researched and developed an Apple PDA. Shortly after killing this, they started their research on an Apple Tablet, and, while that has yet to surface, we have a mobile version of it - the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Apple's multi-touch on the iPhone and iPod Touch are mini, next generation Newtons: that I am finally convinced of. Referring to the running Safari Pad thread, OS X contains many of the elements that would make a multi-touch tablet possible. I do hope that they scale OS X to for the Tablet (i.e. a beefed up iPhone interface, yet not a full fledged OS X tailored for a keyboard and mouse/trackpad). For instance, like I already mentioned, have a feature whereby when the user's finger is X distance from the screen, icons, buttons, etc. - whatever is directly below a user's finger - will enlarge to attenuate spurious inputs.

And had they continued with the Newton, we would have been given a Palm like PDA, something that proved to be a failure anyway. So as much as people mourn the ending of the Newton, I am happy to have a 2100, and feel it probably would have been the best of bread had they released other products thereafter. The main reason is that everybody followed Palm, and Apple was going to too (shrinking the Newton to a Palm sized device on the advice of many within the company). But Jobs pulled the plug. Yes, a thinner, more powerful 2100 would have been great, but that's not what was in store for the Newton.

Turns out smaller PDAs were pretty much a disaster though: people quickly learned that, for instance, spending 5+ minutes inputing 1 business card on a tiny silk screen was just too much of a waste of time. So I'm glad they did not go down that road, and because of the lack of utility of such a device, I am sure they saw it that way too, which is why they never released it.

But PDA and Newton do not necessarily go together: the 2100 is a mix between a PDA and a tablet. From this, I see that any tablet Apple releases is simply a logical extension of the 2000/2100: a product that finally goes all the way to tabletville, and does not stop short on account of being infused with PDA form and function.

The one thing I am hopeful for is that, building off the foundation of the Newton, which I have no doubt they are, and all of these years of research, their tablet will be leaps beyond anything, including the Newton.

We just have to keep waiting....

----- Original Message ----
From: Lord Groundhog <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2009 12:02:09 PM
Subject: [NTLK] Gadgeteer interview [WAS: "Re: PDF reader. Also, MobiPocket?"]

~~~ On 2009/05/01 08:45, Tony Kan at wrote ~~~

> Saw your great interview on the Gadgeteer
> (

Nice one Marisa! I admit I was surprised at the estimate of 10 posts a day,
but you put the case for the Newton well. Is it really too much to hope
that someone at Apple saw it and has started thinking?

I liked the precision of your answers in highlighting the features of the
Newt. If I didn't already have my own I'd be buying one now.

I was in an Apple store yesterday and had the complete attention of two of
the guys there. Neither had ever seen one before though one of them had
heard about it, and they loved watching my digitized scribbles turning into
print before their eyes.

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Received on Fri May 1 19:24:35 2009

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