[NTLK] Using Newton - Simple Pleasures

Joel M. Sciamma joel at inventors-emporium.co.uk
Tue Oct 26 13:10:38 EDT 2010

Bob wrote:

> So, why is it then that no one has developed an "app" for that?  Why is it we have no decent HWR app for the iPad/iPhone?  I don't understand the lack of a device that could be a Newton and more.  Are we expected to believe people would rather type on a touch screen than write and have their handwriting recognized and turned into text?  Oh, if I were only 40 years younger.

A friend of mine who has an iPad (as well as his Newts) showed me an HWR app for it that does the recognition very well in various modes and quickly, so the engine is there. You can use the special stylus or a finger to record the ink strokes but neither feels quite right. The correction facility is not quite as elegant as the Newt but its well done nonetheless. What is very apparent is how much screen real estate is required for this method compared to the Newt.

The problem of course is that you have to copy and paste the text that is recognised out into the other app. where you need it and then have to format the data. I can't see HWR ever becoming a system-wide resource unless Apple build it into the OS, and they probably wont do that or allow it to be done.

As a result, the HWR app. is a nice technology demonstrator but, like everything in the iPad, is isolated on it's own lonely island.

The severity of application centricity in the iPad is what makes it feel to me like a 70s computer instead of a 21st Century one. Actually a 70s computer without any decent file management.

How retro can Apple go? If the Mac is basically a polished 80s concept solving 80s problems and the iPad is more like a 70s mini computer without the control, could they bring out a 60s inspiration with a teletype front end and make it sexy?

The Newt was the last bit of innovation they managed to produce. We'll have to spot the small company that has some really new ideas that move computing along and forget about it coming from the likes of Apple, who ran out of them years ago.


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