Like a time travel scenario where you meet your own grandfather as a child, enthusiasts working with the Einstein Newton Emulator project have ported the Prodigal PDA to the iPhone. The current implementation is only available as source code and runs a bit slow, but is an actual working version of NewtonOS complete with handwriting recognition and familiar input gestures.
Developer Matthias Melcher says speed should improve with future releases, and he is porting the code to the iPad and iPod touch. It’s interesting how the Newton’s “poof” deletion effect is similar to that used in Mac OS X for dragging items out of the dock or Finder sidebar. I wonder if that’s coincidence?
Apparently a submission to the App Store is planned, but chances of approval seem slim since as Apple never looks backward; ultimately this hack may require a jailbreak to run. Regardless, emulators are a wonderful way to keep old technology alive, and the Newton was a groundbreaking device on many levels.
The circle is now complete. Obi Wan would be proud.