Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad makes its last stand

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Do you remember the Newton MessagePad 2100?
Photo: Moparx

Nov7November 7, 1997: Apple releases the Newton MessagePad 2100, the last and best iteration in its early line of handheld devices.

Among its improvements over previous generations, the MessagePad 2100 packed expanded memory, enhanced speed and upgraded communications software. Nevertheless, the Newton’s fate is sealed: It will be scrapped by Steve Jobs, who had just returned to Apple, within months.

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad inspires mobile revolution

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Remember the MessagePad?
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

July 2August 2, 1993: Apple debuts the MessagePad, the first product in its Newton line of handheld personal digital assistants, at its Macworld Expo.

The most unfairly maligned product in Apple history, the Newton is a revolutionary devices which pre-dates Apple’s push toward app-based mobile devices 14 years later. Often wrongly dismissed as a failed product, the Newton easily ranks near the top of the list when it comes to Apple’s most influential creations.

What is Apple’s most underrated product? [Friday Night Fights]

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FNF Apple's most underrated
Which Apple product do you think deserves more respect?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Not every Apple product has been a runaway success, but that doesn’t mean those that weren’t were complete failures. Products like the Newton MessagePad, the G4 Cube, the Macintosh TV and even the iPhone 5c — which were all considered flops — brought great features and innovations that weren’t appreciated.

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we butt heads over Apple’s most underrated product to date.

It’s a type-off: Here’s how Apple’s Newton PDA fares against the iPhone

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Photo: Wohba/YouTube
Photo: Wohba/YouTube

Almost two decades after Apple shuttered its Newton MessagePad platform, a new video compares the device’s handwriting recognition to today’s touchscreen-based typing on the iPhone.

The fact that you had to plug your Newton into your Mac to manually transfer information makes it seem incredibly outdated. But the handwriting recognition, which was way ahead of its time in 1993, still impresses in terms of speed, as shown in the video below

9 astonishing Apple ads you probably missed

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From sledgehammer-tossing freedom fighters to misunderstood teenagers at Christmas, Apple’s TV commercials have hit us with some truly iconic imagery over the years. But when a company has been around since the 1970s, it’s no great surprise that a select few ads would slip our collective memory.

After scouring through hundreds of big-time commercials and tiny TV spots that promoted Cupertino’s products over the years, here are our picks for the Apple advertisements that time forgot. All of them are worthy of a second look — and almost all of them for the right reasons.