[NTLK] Back to Normal!

tonykan at xtra.co.nz tonykan at xtra.co.nz
Tue Jan 14 01:33:40 EST 2014

Yeah, that is almost the way handwriting is implemented in Windows. On a Tablet PC there is usually a larger screen area available so the handwriting Input panel can be persistently activated without obscuring too much content.  The Panel is activated by tapping an icon on a "button bar" at the bottom of the screen.

Microsoft's HWR accuracy is surprisingly good, even for cursive writing. In fact I'd venture to say that it is about 5%-10% more accurate than that implemented in NOS 2.x.

Although the Tablet PC's user experience is definitely not as good in many ways as that provided by the Newton, I reckon  any one of the smaller Windows Tablets could be the closest thing to a modern Newton Replacement at the moment.

HWR is provided by the OS and made available wherever text input is required

As with the Newton, users can choose to turn off HWR conversion and ink instead. However this is only available within apps that support it.

Most tablet pcs have a silo to house a stylus.

Although functionally equivalent to all the gestures in the Newton, the Windows gesture vocabulary is quite different. for example, erasing  a word involves drawing a flat horizontal line through a highlighted word.

Although not as convenient as the Newton Notes app, I suppose OneNote or Evernote is the closest thing.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the UI is as good as the Newton. Only that a Windows Tablet provides the nearest thing. "Nearest" may not necessarily be close in absolute terms.

Having said that about the Newton, I do like Microsoft's idea of being able to share information such as calendars and contact lists across many different devices and present it all in one place.

For example, their People Hub not only holds the usual Names information, but also brings together Facebook, Twitter and email notifications in one big uber wall. All the information is synchronised with a central repository and no matter whether I more to my desktop, a tablet or my phone, I can pick up from where I left off.


From: Chris Browder
Sent: ‎Tuesday‎, ‎14‎ ‎January‎ ‎2014 ‎4‎:‎38‎ ‎p.m.
To: Newtontalk


Last night I was in a Best Buy to purchase a Chromecast for our TV. While I was there I tried out the new Samsung Galaxy Note III. I was so terribly excited! THIS could be the Newton replacement! However, this contraption made me realize three things:

1. Android is like Windows, and I’ve been a Mac user most of my life (reads: I absolutely hate it).
2. The handwriting is actually very good, when you can figure out how to trigger it
3. I’ve become a cantankerous old man at the tender age of 31

In the half hour I spent with this device, it took a much younger employee to explain how you press this button on the stylus and tap the screen while holding your left leg up so your thigh is parallel to the floor to activate the pen menu, at which point you can make a special note that can be translated into a contact or an address to be mapped! I told him this is nice but I’d like to use the handwriting to do things like enter comments on facebook, compose emails, and enter text in other social apps that I use. He asked if the apps I used had been customized for the Note III, and I asked why isn’t this a system-wide function? *crickets* 

He then began to tell me about my iPhone’s “crippling weaknesses."

In the end it turns out Handwriting Recognition -is- a system wide function on the Note III, an icon briefly appears when you tap into a text input box. If you stab it fast enough you get a whole half the screen to write on. It was clunky, and felt like an afterthought.  Couldn’t tell you how many times I tried scrubbing out a word. I’ve been spoiled.

Anyone else care to share their thoughts?


PS: Glad the list is still here.
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