How For All Mankind created the color Apple Newton that never existed

How For All Mankind created the color Apple Newton that never existed

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How For All Mankind created the color Apple Newton that never existed
A color Apple Newton that can make FaceTime calls is just a dream.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

An episode of For All Mankind features some retro Apple tech that real people in the 1990s could only dream of: an Apple Newton with a color screen. And one that can make video calls!

A producer for the show explained the clever trick.

Tricky! Color Apple Newton in For All Mankind is really an iPhone

When it debuted in 1992, the Apple Newton MessagePad was way ahead of its time. The handheld device had a touch-sensitive screen, handwriting recognition, a hard disk and other advanced features.

What it didn’t have was a color display. And it certainly couldn’t make video calls – the first version of Wi-Fi wouldn’t come along until 1997.

But viewers of a recent For All Mankind episode saw a color Newton used for video chatting. It fits with the show, which is alternate history science fiction that has people in the 1990s colonizing Mars.

And now we know how it was done. Producer Ben McGinnis revealed the secret on Thursday via Twitter.

“Tech advances faster in 1990s @forallmankind_alt-history!”McGinnis said. “All us @Apple nerds had a blast creating (& playing with) our modified Newton’s removable camera & video calls! Props even fit an #iPhone 12 Pro Max inside.”

He also posted pictures showing the prop Newton MessagePad that’s really just a casing around the iPhone.

It’s not really surprising that For All Mankind would bring back the Newton. The show is on Apple TV+, after all. Season 3 of the sci-fi drama is playing now on the streaming service, and is drawing strong viewer numbers. But how many of them recognized the MessagePad?