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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 and E-Mail

As people increasingly depend on e-mail as readily as the telephone and fax, electronic messaging becomes even more valuable when accessible from a portable device. Challenged by busy schedules, travel, and the need to manage vast amounts of information, today's 100 million mobile professionals worldwide require a more productive way of working. Newton computer devices enable you to communicate at the point of activity, whether it's at your desk, a client site, on the road, in a meeting, hospital corridor, or courtroom.

Staying in Touch

Now you can easily send and receive e-mail messages, use information services, and access data on corporate networks, databases and servers through both wired and wireless services with a Newton mobile computer. Because the Newton operating system is tightly integrated with personal computer and enterprise environments, you can reach both colleagues and customers using internet e-mail and your intranet client/server applications of choice. Its robust architecture has encouraged hundreds of third-party developers to provide you with a multitude of e-mail solutions that offer the functionality and flexibility you need.

The Newton Advantage

Whereas other mobile devices are limited by their small screen size, limited memory, and poor battery life, robust product solutions for e-mail are available on Newton OS devices. Newton mobile computers feature faster processors, and on the MessagePad 2000, two slots provide double the functionality, speed and storage space to perform your tasks. For example, you may use one slot for a modem and another for a storage card, enabling you to download your e-mail files without running out of memory. You can also plug an external keyboard into the serial port for easy input if you don't already have a keyboard built in. And the MessagePad 2000's 3-6 week battery life makes mobile e-mail usage possible in a package under 2 lbs.

With so much processing power in a light-weight, compact, user-friendly, instant-on machine, why carry a laptop when Newton devices deliver everything you need and more as a mobile professional? And with built-in communication capabilities, plus a host of available e-mail solutions, you can stay connected no matter where your day takes you.

Newton E-Mail Capabilities

You can use your Newton device to send and receive e-mail from others connected to the Internet via a variety of e-mail systems, using public commercial providers and private corporate networks. Public commercial providers include internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as EarthLink, Netcom, and SpryNet, or online services such as America Online. In these cases, you as an individual or small business require an account from an outside provider for e-mail services. For your convenience, the software needed to access more than 20 ISPs is built directly into the MessagePad 2000.

Private corporate networks refer to Internet or intranet services that reside on a company's internal network, most typically using e-mail clients such as Eudora, Netscape Mail, or Microsoft Internet Mail. Private networks also include LAN-based e-mail with remote access where you use third-party client applications such as cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, or QuickMail for functionality. Thanks to enterprising third-party developers, Newton devices support a vast range of e-mail solutions and tested modems that are available to you.

For more specific information about implementing e-mail on your particular Newton device, please refer to Setting Up E-Mail Service on the Apple MessagePad 130 or MessagePad 2000.

What You Need

To begin using e-mail on your Newton device, first you'll need to gather the hardware and software needed for the e-mail solution you choose, including:

  • E-mail software for the Newton OS
  • A compatible modem
  • An Internet service provider to provide you with an e-mail account for internet access

Already included with the MessagePad 2000 are:

  • EnRoute i-net (a full-service e-mail client)
  • Modem setup files
  • The Newton Internet Enabler (NIE)
  • ISP templates for more than 20 ISPs

Newton Connectivity Solutions

For each unique work situation, there is a variety of connectivity solutions on Newton computers. Newton Connection Utilities (NCU) and a number of third-party applications let you choose exactly how you want to connect with your desktop computer. Perhaps you use a Windows-based system at the office, a Newton device on the road, and a Macintosh at home. You need creative, reliable ways to enable your computers to "talk" to each other. Whether you want to update Personal Information Managers (PIMs) such as calendaring or contact software, or create a file and move it from one computer to the other, the Newton architecture supports connectivity solutions that help you do it all.

Whereas many mobile devices connect with only one platform, more and more developers are integrating Newton cross-platform connectivity capabilities directly into their applications. And if your ideal corporate solution doesn't already exist, it's easy and cost-effective for systems integrators and VARs to build customized applications that communicate exactly what information you need with developer tools such as Newton Tool Kit for both Windows and Macintosh.

Connectivity solutions on Newton mobile computers include:

  • Newton Connection Utilities (NCU)

Newton Connection Utilities is an Apple software product that provides communication capabilities between your desktop or notebook computer and your Newton mobile device. NCU facilitates translation for certain PIMs that don't already have their own unique Newton client. Please visit Newton Connection Utilities to learn more about its capabilities.

  • Third-Party Connectivity Applications

Many third parties incorporate connectivity features that support Newton into their desktop applications, for direct and easy data synchronization. For specific third-party connectivity solutions, please refer to the Newton Connectivity FAQ and Newton Solutions.

Connectivity FAQ

How do I transfer files between my Newton device and my personal computer?

There are several easy methods to choose from. Both Newton Connection Utilities (NCU) and third-party software solutions for Newton allow the most popular file formats to be moved over serial cable directly-connected between a desktop computer and a Newton device. And depending upon the specific desktop application you want to move files from, there may be even more solutions. Many files can be transferred using Newton Connection Utilities software. Other files may be moved from the desktop version of an application to the Newton version of the same application. And lastly, many files and data can be synchronized between a desktop application and a different Newton application.

How does connectivity software work?

There are three different ways that applications can connect Newton and desktop computers for file transfer: via direct synchronization; data exchange; and document sharing or publishing via Newton Press or other third-party software.

Direct synchronization is a process that lets you easily keep information updated using parallel applications that run concurrently - one on the desktop, and one your Newton device. This process presents information in the format you'd expect, allowing you to work with most of the data fields. There is a direct exchange of information so that your files are literally "in synch" with each other. NCU and many third-party applications employ direct synchronization.

Data exchange enables you to get information from one computer to another, extracting data in a usable format. In some cases the original formatting of the information will be modified in the move from the desktop application to a different application on the Newton device. In general, great effort has been made to permit accurate data transfer between the most popular Windows and Macintosh applications, and applications on Newton computers.

Lastly, document-sharing or publishing applications let you take your Macintosh or Windows documents and convert them into a Newton document, via an application like Newton Press or other third party software, that can be viewed and annotated on the Newton device.

How do I get e-mail from my primary computer on my Newton device?

The MessagePad 2000 and eMate 300 support e-mail clients. The MessagePad 2000 comes with a POP3 internet e-mail client. Full e-mail support for many e-mail services can be added to both the MessagePad 2000 and eMate 300. The MessagePad 2000 and eMate 300 provide you the capability to send and receive e-mail without needing a connection to your primary computer. This allows you to remotely connect to your service provider to send or receive e-mail when out of the office without the need to have your primary computer turned on all the time and connected to a modem and telephone line.

If you want to have internet e-mail delivered to both your desktop and Newton device, set the Newton device to "Leave Mail on Server" and set your desktop to "Ignore already read messages".

NCU does not synchronize e-mail on your desktop with that on your Newton device.

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+.


Press Releases

See Also