iPad mini Newton’s Final Nail (iPad Mini 5)

bensisko

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For me, the iPad Mini 5 is a personal milestone - it represents the final nail in the coffin for the Newton: an Apple mobile device in the same size category with a stylus.

I was a gigantic fan of the Newton MessagePad and used it daily up until the release of the iPad. I used it primarily for Notes and drawing. While it was a bit thick, it was the perfect machine for me to be able to write down ideas and sketch anywhere and everywhere. Sure, I had smaller devices that performed more of the PIM functionality (including, eventually, the iPhone), I spent more time on the Newton than any other mobile device.

For me, it wasn’t the iPhone that started my Newton’s road to oblivion, it was the original iPad. By the release of the iPad 2 I had stopped using my Newton, but there were still things missing. The next nail in the coffin was the original Mini, which filled a HUGE gap the Newton left behind: a device with a smaller screen that also fit in a suit coat pocket. I was an instant fan of the Mini because no matter how big phone screens got, the Mini was that perfect size.

There were still two holes: stylus and notes. I won’t document all of my struggles to get these two gaps filled (including the MANY 3rd party stylus, which never got beyond “meh”), but what I will say is it required a multitude of devices. For Notes, I had been enjoying and getting addicted to OneNote, which eventually saw it’s way over to iOS (I started, and still do, using it with Windows tablets). When Apple released the first iPad Pro, I was immediately on board and eventually followed the Pro releases (12.9, 9.7, 10.5, 11).

I love the iPad Pro 11”, but that size still called to me - wanting to have a pocket size device with a stylus for hand written notes and drawings. I had been using a Dell 8” Windows tablet for that function - it was okay, plenty of issues, but it somewhat fit the need (though most of the time I ended up carrying the 11” Pro).

Now, with the release of the Mini 5, Apple has finally delivered a device that checks all of my (personal) needs in one package, that happens to also meet my evolved needs. The iPad Mini 5 brings back the spirit of the Newton by meeting those needs while also melding with the spirit of the iPad.

I will always love (and keep) my Newton, but this Mini is the final, personal, nail in Newton’s coffin.

I am VERY excited about this device!
 

emembee

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2013
229
53
Surrey,UK
Downside is where to stash the stylus lol.

Seriously though, the newt was great in its day and some of the software has IMO not being surpassed, e.g. DateMan or MoreInfo which allowed you in one screen to see todos, appointments, contacts and notes and then link to them, all so easy, I think this was because they had a shared data area called soups. Let's not forget this was in 1997. There was also the backdrop so you could make an app of your choice be visible whenever you turned it on, ready for your input.

Back to the mini and what software if any do you think gets closest to the newt with instant writing and drawing and conversion to text? I use NoteShelf 2 and GoodNotes 4.
 

HeadphoneAddict

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
921
727
For me, the iPad Mini 5 is a personal milestone - it represents the final nail in the coffin for the Newton: an Apple mobile device in the same size category with a stylus.

I was a gigantic fan of the Newton MessagePad and used it daily up until the release of the iPad. I used it primarily for Notes and drawing. While it was a bit thick, it was the perfect machine for me to be able to write down ideas and sketch anywhere and everywhere. Sure, I had smaller devices that performed more of the PIM functionality (including, eventually, the iPhone), I spent more time on the Newton than any other mobile device.

For me, it wasn’t the iPhone that started my Newton’s road to oblivion, it was the original iPad. By the release of the iPad 2 I had stopped using my Newton, but there were still things missing. The next nail in the coffin was the original Mini, which filled a HUGE gap the Newton left behind: a device with a smaller screen that also fit in a suit coat pocket. I was an instant fan of the Mini because no matter how big phone screens got, the Mini was that perfect size.

There were still two holes: stylus and notes. I won’t document all of my struggles to get these two gaps filled (including the MANY 3rd party stylus, which never got beyond “meh”), but what I will say is it required a multitude of devices. For Notes, I had been enjoying and getting addicted to OneNote, which eventually saw it’s way over to iOS (I started, and still do, using it with Windows tablets). When Apple released the first iPad Pro, I was immediately on board and eventually followed the Pro releases (12.9, 9.7, 10.5, 11).

I love the iPad Pro 11”, but that size still called to me - wanting to have a pocket size device with a stylus for hand written notes and drawings. I had been using a Dell 8” Windows tablet for that function - it was okay, plenty of issues, but it somewhat fit the need (though most of the time I ended up carrying the 11” Pro).

Now, with the release of the Mini 5, Apple has finally delivered a device that checks all of my (personal) needs in one package, that happens to also meet my evolved needs. The iPad Mini 5 brings back the spirit of the Newton by meeting those needs while also melding with the spirit of the iPad.

I will always love (and keep) my Newton, but this Mini is the final, personal, nail in Newton’s coffin.

I am VERY excited about this device!
I am surprised that you kept up with a Newton for that long! It never occurred to me to consider the 2010 iPad the actual replacement for the Newton that was killed around 1997.

I probably gave up the Newton about 7-8 years before the iPad came out, several years after Steve Jobs killed Newton - I was very upset at that point. Up until about 2 years ago I still had some of my PC Card memory cards for my Newton sitting in my desk drawer. I think at the time my 2MB and 4MB cards were huge - MB, not GB.

I used mine in my medical practice in conjunction with software called MediMac which was initially used for billing, and I added the module for electronic medical records years before that was a thing. I could use Apple Remote Access to visit the office Mac and read up on my patients note's to help solve a medical problem that might come up after hours, and it allowed me to have a remote clinic once a week in another city as well.

I often used the stylus to write out an "appointment to go to medical board meeting at 8AM on Monday" and it would be set, and I often took notes in my own handwriting and it could convert it perfectly into text (cursive worked better for me than individual letters as used in a Palm device).

I eventually ended up migrating to Palm devices when it was no longer feasible to keep using the newton, where the Z71 was pretty decent (2003) and I never bothered to sell it. But I have no recall of what I did with my old Newtons. The Trio Palm phone was another I used before I moved to Windows CE phones a little later, and then the iPhone 3G in 2008. That lead to me down the long and winding road to an Xs Max and iPad mini 5.

It's funny, I set up my printer stand in my kitchen area about 10 years ago, and after typing this I went to check, and my Palm Zire Z71 is STILL PLUGGED INTO THE CHARGER INSIDE THERE!

The battery must be toast by now. I had still used it for reading eBooks and as an IR universal remote for my TV, since my iPhone 3G didn't have an IR port. Then I forgot about it.

IMG_8540.jpeg
 

Minimalist_Tech

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Yeah, spoiler alert. Production on the Newton ended literally over two decades ago.

Pretty sure that was actually the final nail in the coffin for the Newton.
 
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Greenmeenie

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Jan 14, 2013
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I agree. But it’s not quite perfect yet. For me, the ipad mini will reach that milestone when it adopts the flat edged design & apple pencil 2 support. Then it will truly be perfect. Don’t get me wrong, the mini 5 update is a great & welcome update... and i do plan to buy one to replace my 5 yr old mini 2. But i will be looking forward to the day when Apple redesigns the ipad mini to accomodate the Apple pencil 2. The awkward & inconvenient charging method of the first gen pencil is so unApple like.
 
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bensisko

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Yeah, spoiler alert. Production on the Newton ended literally over two decades ago.

Pretty sure that was actually the final nail in the coffin for the Newton.
Which is why I said it was personal. TLDNR?
[doublepost=1553467943][/doublepost]
Back to the mini and what software if any do you think gets closest to the newt with instant writing and drawing and conversion to text? I use NoteShelf 2 and GoodNotes 4.
Lack of stylus storage doesn’t bother me, especially since it’s optional (unlike the Newton).

For notes, i’ve Migrated to OneNote. I don’t use the HWR especially since OneNote searches my handwritten notes and it syncs across platforms.

I do miss being able to write something in Newton’s Notes and make it into a To-Do. It’s a feature in the Desktop version but not the mobile version.

Before OneNote came to the iPad, I had tried a number of apps, including NoteShelf, Good Notes, and EverNote.
[doublepost=1553469149][/doublepost]
I am surprised that you kept up with a Newton for that long! It never occurred to me to consider the 2010 iPad the actual replacement for the Newton that was killed around 1997.

I probably gave up the Newton about 7-8 years before the iPad came out, several years after Steve Jobs killed Newton - I was very upset at that point. Up until about 2 years ago I still had some of my PC Card memory cards for my Newton sitting in my desk drawer. I think at the time my 2MB and 4MB cards were huge - MB, not GB.

I used mine in my medical practice in conjunction with software called MediMac which was initially used for billing, and I added the module for electronic medical records years before that was a thing. I could use Apple Remote Access to visit the office Mac and read up on my patients note's to help solve a medical problem that might come up after hours, and it allowed me to have a remote clinic once a week in another city as well.

I often used the stylus to write out an "appointment to go to medical board meeting at 8AM on Monday" and it would be set, and I often took notes in my own handwriting and it could convert it perfectly into text (cursive worked better for me than individual letters as used in a Palm device).

I eventually ended up migrating to Palm devices when it was no longer feasible to keep using the newton, where the Z71 was pretty decent (2003) and I never bothered to sell it. But I have no recall of what I did with my old Newtons. The Trio Palm phone was another I used before I moved to Windows CE phones a little later, and then the iPhone 3G in 2008. That lead to me down the long and winding road to an Xs Max and iPad mini 5.

It's funny, I set up my printer stand in my kitchen area about 10 years ago, and after typing this I went to check, and my Palm Zire Z71 is STILL PLUGGED INTO THE CHARGER INSIDE THERE!

The battery must be toast by now. I had still used it for reading eBooks and as an IR universal remote for my TV, since my iPhone 3G didn't have an IR port. Then I forgot about it.

View attachment 827991
Kind of funny, but I never used the Newton as a PIM (outside Notes) - I always used a Palm or Windows CE / Pocket PC for that kind of stuff. One of the biggest downsides of the Newton was it’s ability to sync with a desktop/laptop - and HotSync / Active Sync worked so well (on a PC).

The main reasons I kept using the Newton for so long:
  • My Newton was a stand-alone device and basically just a digital notepad.
  • It took a long time for another device to catch up to what I used the Newton for.
    • I had hopes for Pocket PCs but the screens were just too small
    • I also had hopes for the UMPC, but the promise turned out to be an expensive, sub-par Windows machine
  • The Newton was incredibly sturdy and reliable
    • 4 AAs lasted well over a month with heavy use
    • Leaving the device without power kept the memory intact
  • I really liked Newton OS - it felt more personal than Palm or Pocket PC.
 
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Minimalist_Tech

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Which is why I said it was personal. TLDNR?
The days of the PDA died with the dawn of the smartphone. Suggesting that you you can finally retire your Newton because the iPad Mini 5 supports the Apple Pencil is like saying you can finally retire your beeper because you discovered the Apple Watch.
 
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trifid

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2011
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The days of the PDA died with the dawn of the smartphone. Suggesting that you you can finally retire your Newton because the iPad Mini 5 supports the Apple Pencil is like saying you can finally retire your beeper because you discovered the Apple Watch.
I do agree any use of Newton in 2019 comparing it to current products might be a bit of a stretch, but you have to admit it's also true it's the first time a small form factor 'pad' from Apple now has a stylus and its implications. The comparison to Newton I find interesting and worthy of reminiscing where Apple started, and how it finally came full circle (of sorts). Of particular irony was Job's hate of the stylus, and how Apple finally gave in to it and now is featuring it on all iPad lines ie for the rest of us, and not just for the 'pro' market.
 

HeadphoneAddict

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Sep 16, 2007
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The Newton was great as a digital notepad, and like I said, I used it for electronic medical records and for handwritten notes but the Contacts and Calendars function was quite useful. I remember how awkward it was to use with a 56k baud modem over a phone line, but it got the job done in a pinch.

What I hated the most about a newton was the screen durability and stylus, where I'd be hand writing on the screen and a small spec of dirt would land on the tip of the stylus and it would drag a long obvious gouge into the screen. I'd end up selling it right away and buying another because it drove me so nuts. I must have gone through 7-8 of them for this reason alone, more of the 1st generation than later ones, and I owned every model except for the eMate.

Also, I just noticed that my Palm is a Z72, not a Z71, but I don't have software that works anymore to sync it with my MacBook, as they were all 32 bit apps. So, it's of little use to me now except as nostalgia. My current SyncMate app only syncs with android devices like my Fire HD8, for calendars and contacts. When I bought SyncMate to put stuff on my Fire HD8 I didn't know it couldn't sync my URLs on newer Android OS than 3.0, and all I cared about was contacts, calendars, and URL's + eBooks. In the past, to sync the Zire and tree I've used the Palm software, and DocsToGo, and iSync, something from Markspace that was really quite good, and a couple of others over the years that have all gone away.

PS: It was Missing Sync for Palm and Windows CE that I used last to sync my PIM data to my non-apple devices - it looks like I last used it in 2012.
 
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