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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 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