Some info on the next Apple Newton?

28Dec07

The next version of the Apple Newton is a device that will be found in the far future on store shelves, but that won’t stop people from speculating today. At Computerworld they have a (rather generic) Photoshop of what the next Apple Newton may appear as. The device is shown as an iPhone turned sideways with buttons on both sides and a desktop similar to the latest version of Mac OS X.
 
The rumors surrounding the new Apple Newton insist that the screen will be a 5.2″ touch screen (diagonal). The Newton 110 had a 4.52″ diagonal screen – the same size as the iPhone – while the 2X00 series had an approx. 5.9″ diagonal screen. So if Apple will utilize a screen it will feature a slightly smaller and enlongated surface. This makes sense when you consider the rumor that Apple is going forward with an on-screen keyboard in lieu of a hard keyboard, an upgrade from the original which had a limited on-screen keyboard, which should make little difference if the the new Newton utilizes a pen-driven interface. The joy I had from using the Newton came from the straight forward interface developed to be stylus driven; handwriting recognition, one handed menu operation without the need to move back and forth between multiple hands, the ability to be flexible in how items are selected – tapping items, erasing mistakes, dragging and dropping. The problem with having an on-screen keyboard will limit your ability to interact when you are required to switch between a two handed text input method – the keyboard – and one handed selection process.

Of course this device is a long way out and things will change. I would be interested in what changes they would make to the Newton and very interested in picking on up – but – I’ve never been a fan of the iPhone – my biggest, and maybe only, complaint is my inability to type quickly using it’s on screen keyboard. So now I have to wait to see if I can lose that thumb weight that is holding me back from being able to type and also to save my money, if the Newton has a second stigma attached to it – the first being poor hand writing recognition – that would be cost. I remember how long I had to wait until I could afford one and hope that isn’t what holds me back from what could possibly be a great piece of technology that will hopefully have some new features beyond my ability to speculate.

[original item from Computerworld.com]

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