November 7, 1997: Apple releases the Newton MessagePad 2100, the last and best iteration of the company’s early line of handheld devices.
Among its improvements over previous generations, the MessagePad 2100 packs expanded memory, enhanced speed and upgraded communications software. Nevertheless, the Newton’s fate is sealed. Steve Jobs, freshly returned to Apple, will scrap the product line within months.
An incredibly rare Apple VideoPad 2 prototype is headed to auction after it was purchased from an Apple engineer back in 1999. It comes with a black leather carrying case that features the Newton logo, and is expected to fetch $12,000.
The VideoPad, which was scrapped by Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple in 1997, was a personal digital assistant (PDA) similar to the Newton that would have allowed users to carry out video calls. But it never made it to market.
August 2, 1993: Apple debuts the MessagePad, the first product in its Newton line of handheld personal digital assistants.
The most unfairly maligned product in Apple history, the Newton is a revolutionary device. It predates Apple’s push toward app-based mobile devices 14 years later. Often dismissed as a failure, the Newton ranks near the top of the list of Apple’s most influential creations.
A recent online conference dedicated to Apple’s much-maligned Newton drew dozens of fans from around the world — including Steve Wozniak and other Apple alumni.
After the 2020 Worldwide Online Newton Conference — the first gathering dedicated to the groundbreaking PDA in a decade — event organizer and Newton superfan Paweł Piotrowski marveled at the lasting impact of the handheld, which Apple discontinued almost 25 years ago.
“It is unbelievable that this old technology still connects people who make friendships because of their shared love of a small green device,” Piotrowski, who works as a college lecturer and live-stream technician in Edinburgh, Scotland, told Cult of Mac. “I’m glad this conference was able to build on that.”
A new popup that has started appearing inside the Inbox app confirms it will be closed down on April 2. Fans of the email client have just two weeks to find an alternative, but Google recommends another of its own.
The Newton MessagePad is simultaneously one of Apple’s biggest flops and one of the company’s most underrated products.
A series of PDA devices available during the 1990s, today Newtons are much-sought-after relics among a group of enthusiastic Apple fans. These collectors recognize the devices for the forward-looking gadgets they truly were. The Newton product line is now the subject of a new feature-length documentary, titled Love Notes to Newton. Can it do justice to its beloved subject matter?
This week we look at the amazing new Bias Amp 2 for guitarists, which looks just awful on the big-screen iPad Pro, we see how the Newton email app has banished the “sent” mail folder, we check out the new privacy features in the Overcast podcast app, and find out how to duplicate our entire Instagram history on our own microblog.