Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad inspires mobile revolution

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The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

August 2: Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad launch inspires mobile revolution 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.

Rare Apple WALT prototype combines phone and fax machine

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Apple WALT prototype
This is one Apple device you’ve probably never heard of.
Photo: Sonny Dickson

Apple had plans to deliver a phone long before Steve Jobs took to the stage of Macworld 2007 to show off the iPhone.

Around 14 years earlier, the company previewed a prototype device called the Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone, or the WALT, which combined a telephone and fax machine into one.

Here’s a rare look at the prototype that shows just what WALT can do.

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad reaches new heights

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The Newton MessagePad 2000 brought many upgrades to Apple's doomed PDA line.
The Newton MessagePad 2000 brought many upgrades to Apple's doomed PDA line.
Photo: iFixit

March 24: Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad 2000 takes Apple PDA to new heights March 24, 1997: The Newton MessagePad 2000 brings major upgrades to Apple’s PDA line, including a far better display and a much faster processor.

The best MessagePad yet by a wide margin, it quickly becomes a critical and commercial success. But it won’t be enough to save the doomed product line.

Google Inbox will be wiped out next month

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Google Inbox iPhone
We don't need two Gmail clients anymore.
Photo: Google

It’s nearly the end of the road for Google Inbox.

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.

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad makes its last stand

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The Newton MessagePad 2100 was the last hurrah for Apple's Newton line.
The MessagePad 2100 was the last hurrah for Apple's Newton line.
Photo: Moparx

November 7: Today in Apple history Newton MessagePad 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: It will be scrapped by Steve Jobs, who has just returned to Apple, within months.

Love Notes to Newton tells story of Apple’s most important failure [Review]

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Love Notes to Newton
Both the MessagePad 120 and eMate devices grew out of the Newton project.
Photo: Love Notes to Newton

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?

Newton, Bias Amp 2, Overcast privacy, and other amazing apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

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.

Newton kills the ‘Sent’ folder to make email as easy as instant messaging

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Newton True Inbox
Newton’s True Inbox reinvents the way you do email.
Photo: Newton

Awesome email app Newton has killed off the “Sent” folder to make email as easy as instant messaging.

When using Newton, your sent messages now appear right inside your inbox alongside everything else, making it easier than ever to keep track of your conversations. Here’s how you can start enjoying this new feature today.