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Apple Newton

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Newton MessagePad 2000

The Apple Newton product line consists of a few PDA style handheld models, plus the Apple eMate which is based on the Newton OS but in a laptop style form factor.

General Information



Third-Party Newton Units

Why Newton?

It's simple. In designing Newton hardware and software solutions, engineers and developers concentrated on how people on the move work and how they could become more productive. As a result, Newton mobile computers and software applications are as diverse as the people who use them. And these people are performing their communications and information tasks more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and more easily thanks to Newton technology!

Individuals on the Go

The Newton operating system is deployed on mobile computing devices that give individuals access to whatever information they need from wherever they happen to be. In fact, data access tasks that can take days to turn around can now happen easily and instantly from anywhere. From remote locations, business professionals can access corporate intranets and the Internet for text files, price lists, customer records, and other proprietary data. Or simply drop an e-mail to a friend.

Without the bulk of a laptop, individuals enjoy a more personal, lighter, flexible, easy-to-use computing experience with the range of robust functionality they need. In particular, the MessagePad 2000 is the ideal Newton computer for mobile professionals. With core business applications built-in – such as word processing, e-mail, Internet/intranet access, wireless paging, note taking and more – it's easy to maximize time away from the office. The MessagePad 2000 also features a 160 MHz RISC processor, offering up to five times the performance of other handheld devices. And with a real, useable keyboard and battery life of 3-6 weeks, the MessagePad 2000 just works like no other handheld computer.

Because of the Newton platform's large base of third-party developers, a wide variety of connectivity and productivity solutions enable data to be exchanged with both Windows and MacOS-based computers. There's even a growing number of "extra-curricular" applications to complement the more serious business applications. Individuals might take a break from their day to track their exercise regime, play games, or be reminded that it's time to pay the bills.

In and Out of the Classroom

Newton technology has made it possible for students to learn wherever they go, and still be able to bring their thoughts, ideas and notes back to the classroom. When educators, students, and information specialists first focused on the unique challenges associated with a distributed learning environment and the way children work, they identified these keys to a successful experience:

  • Access to information
  • A forum for discussing and working with others
  • Materials that appeal to the senses
  • A simple, flexible way to carry around work

As a result, the Apple eMate 300 was designed to fulfill these requirements in a simple, affordable way. A logical extension to the technology investment schools have already made in the classroom, the eMate 300 provides every student with a cost-effective, durable personal computing tool to complement the desktop multimedia-capable computers already in place.

In addition to the built-in word processor, spreadsheet, drawing application, graphing calculator, address book, calendar and more, the eMate 300 can run software for teaching, learning, surfing the Internet, creating art, analyzing data and organizing information. Currently, educators are learning how to incorporate Newton technology into the classroom...even administering tests on an eMate 300 and having their students "beam" the answers back to the Infrared ports and infrared printers.

The Newton Solutions Guide describes applications designed specifically for Newton devices to aid educators and students – from tracking student progress to collecting and analyzing scientific data.

And for parents interested in complementing the school's curriculum at home, the eMate 300 is an ideal solution, especially as a second computer to the family PC. The eMate 300 also runs the hundreds of business, productivity, communications, game, utility, and lifestyle programs already created for other Newton devices.

Newton and the Internet

Millions of people already depend upon the Internet to perform research, keep current, and communicate with one another. As the decentralized workplace continues its evolution, mobile professionals are relying more readily on the information they obtain from the World Wide Web, and the tools and applications that help them stay connected. Newton mobile computers give you access to the Internet for e-mail and browsing the World Wide Web.

Accessing a World of Information

By using a wired or wireless modem, you can connect to the Internet from your Newton device. With more available Internet applications than other mobile devices, the Newton platform enables you to efficiently integrate and manage both your personal and work-related data.

Today, critical information resides on web servers or remote databases, and the Internet is a logical gateway to public and corporate data. The Newton operating system incorporates the standard TCP/IP protocols for accessing the Internet and many corporate networks. So with Newton devices, you can take a wealth of resources anywhere you go, with the added benefits of their robust connectivity and powerful applications.

Real Life Solutions

Being "always reachable" has quickly become central to doing business today, along with the expectation of an immediate response. With the ability to communicate and access a wealth of information instantly, you can turn your competitive advantage into tangible results. That translates into substantial savings of time, money and manpower for you and your company.

You can use your Newton device to:

  • Read and reply to e-mail about a developing situation before it spirals out of control.
  • Access unlimited information resources at your fingertips such as search engines, directories and libraries.
  • Visit a client's Web site for in-depth knowledge about their products, personnel, and operations on your way to a first-time meeting.

With access to your private corporate network as a professional out in the field, you can:

  • Read text files, price lists, customer records, bulletin boards, product information, and other proprietary data.
  • Place orders and manage inventories while keeping the home office informed of your transactions.
  • Refer to online product documentation, quality control and procedure instructions, in addition to staying in touch with your dispatcher.
  • Instantly relay your data for immediate analysis, action or billing.

Newton Internet Capabilities

The Newton architecture is designed to provide you with a range of Internet capabilities to access e-mail systems, corporate World Wide Web servers, and intranets.

Using most Newton mobile computers, you can:

Browse the Web

Browse the World Wide Web for critical information, maps, stock quotes, sports scores and more. From outside the office, you can also call into your company's intranet for access to corporate systems and databases. Included with the MessagePad 2000 is NetHopper, an easy-to-use Web browser that provides you with a way to navigate the Internet, intranets, and worldwide information resources.

Send and Receive E-Mail

Send and receive e-mail from many types of e-mail systems. Newton devices support e-mail from:

  • Internet Service providers (ISPs) - like Earthlink, Netcom, Sprynet, AT&T WorldNet
  • Online services - like America Online
  • LAN-based e-mail networks using cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, Notes Mail, or QuickMail
  • wireless mail services - like RadioMail and WyndMail
  • Internet mail - like Eudora, Netscape Mail, and Microsoft Internet Mail.

Please refer to Setting Up E-Mail Service on the Apple MessagePad 130 or MessagePad 2000 for specific information about implementing e-mail on your particular Newton device. E-Mail applications are also available for the Newton platform thanks to a broad base of third-party software developers.

Access Information Services

You can access a range of information services using your Newton device and third party applications, including:

  • Telnet
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Newsgroups
  • Internet-Related Chat (IRC)

Because Newton mobile devices are compact, light-weight, and feature such powerful communications capabilities, you can easily stay in touch and informed wherever you go -- without the burden of lugging around an expensive, cumbersome portable computer or being tethered to your desktop machine.

How to Connect to the Internet

Connecting your Newton device to the Internet is easy. Newton devices work with the Internet service provider you already have, and an internet application, such as e-mail or a web browser. Once you've configured the Newton Internet Enabler software and plugged in a modem, you're ready to go. For internet access, you'll need:

  • A compatible wired or wireless modem
  • The Newton Internet Enabler (NIE)
  • An internet service provider or dial-in account from your corporation
  • Enough storage space to perform your desired tasks while connected
  • Internet software, such as an e-mail application or web browser

Newton Operating System

About Newton 2.0

A number of significant improvements to the Newton platform have been implemented in the latest version of the operating system and through complementary add-on solutions from Apple and third parties. While advances in the Newton 2.0 platform include improving overall functionality, the focus has been on responding to customer feedback from both users and developers and implementing changes that improve capabilities in the areas of information organization, local and wide area network (LAN/WAN) communications, access to the enterprise environment and integration to both Windows and Mac OS-based personal computers (PCs).


The advanced, built-in information management applications in Newton 2.0 are designed to improve productivity and overall information management and include the following features:

  • Data Capture
    • New handwriting recognizer for printed words and improved cursive recognizer
    • New Apple external Newton Keyboard offers additional input method
    • Improved ink text can be used in all applications, easily edited and converted to typed text at any time
    • Smart lists provide the most commonly entered information for easy selection
    • Onscreen keyboard and pop-up menus readily available to speed data entry
  • Built-in Applications
    • Significantly enhanced Names and Dates applications with user interface improvements and tighter integration
    • New Calls application for tracking phone calls
    • Improved Notepad with integrated Outline and Checklist stationery
  • User Interface
    • New screen rotation enables users to change the screen view from portrait to landscape mode
    • Caret icon indicates where text will be placed and provides a quick way to enter punctuation marks
    • "New" button available in all built-in applications for rapid creation of new documents
    • Customization features such as the ability to add fields, label files and group contacts together, allows users to personalize their Newton personal digital assistant (PDA)


Newton 2.0 takes advantage of an open system architecture, which accommodates a variety of communications options. The platform is designed to allow users to communicate through both wired and wireless methods--implementing direct connections to computer networks via a serial port, or with a PC card modem and cellular phone. Communications features include:

  • Faxing
    • Built-in fax send and receive
  • Built-in E-mail Client
    • Send and receive e-mail via:
      • LANs such as CE QuickMail, Lotus cc:Mail, and Microsoft Mail
      • public e-mail services such as America Online, CompuServe and eWorld
      • wireless mail services such as RadioMail and WyndMail
      • Internet mail such as Eudora
  • Internet Access
    • In addition to third-party offerings, Apple plans to deliver a TCP/IP software package in the first half of 1996
  • Database Access
    • Access databases on PCs, servers, and corporate networks using a Newton PDA
  • Universal In/Out Box
    • Centrally locate all incoming and outgoing communications
  • Wireless Messaging
    • Send and receive wireless messages with a variety of third-party PC cards and software
  • Printing
    • Print documents to a variety of office printers
  • Beaming
    • Beam information to other Newton PDA users who are in close proximity via the built-in infrared technology

For developers, the communications architecture of the Newton platform supports a variety of hardware, services and protocols allowing independent software vendors (ISVs) and in-house developers to more easily build in the communications features they need. In the first half of 1996, developers will have TCP/IP software to enable them to deliver applications that expand Internet access to Newton PDA customers.


An important function of PDAs is the ability to synchronize with personal computers, import and export data and provide access to information. The Newton 2.0 platform offers customers these capabilities, enabling them to keep important information current and close at-hand. Several new Newton 2.0 products from Apple help simplify the process of exchanging information with a personal computer. Apple's new desktop integration utilities and applications for Newton 2.0 include the following:

  • Newton Backup Utility
    • Allows users to back up and restore Newton 2.0 information to a personal computer
    • Installs software packages from a personal computer to a Newton PDA
  • Newton Press
    • Provides a drag-and-drop method for creating electronic reference documents, or "Newton books." Created by simply dropping text files onto the Newton Press icon, Newton books are easily imported from a personal computer into a Newton PDA for viewing, faxing, printing or annotating
    • Imports graphics, e-mail, text and word processing documents such as travel itineraries, meeting agendas, price lists, user manuals and maps

For developers, Apple has created a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) called the Desktop Integration Libraries (DILs), which will enable direct synchronization between personal computer applications and applications running on Newton PDAs. Examples of developers taking advantage of this technology include Now Software with their Now Synchronize solution and LandWare with Sync+ for Microsoft Schedule+.


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