macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
With the recent hype surrounding the iWalk videos... it's become apparent that a large number of Mac users have no idea what the Newton was really like. Many comments included describing the UI of the iWalk as a scaled down OS X... while it was clearly an updated Newton OS (with some aqua features).

The final straw, however, was this comment by a Go2Mac user which made it to the main Go2Mac page. This was part of his "evidence" that the iWalk is a fraud:

Lastly, the unit would not handle cursive handwriting (rather than printing) that well, especially having no time to 'learn' the handwriting of the user in the video. The dot written over the 'i' is also unlikely, as is the prototype's ability to recognize the end of each word (and written anywhere on the screen).

Sadly - this person is completely ignorant of the technology that existed about 9 years ago - which peaked around 5 years ago. The handwriting of the Newton worked exactly like that (could do cursive, didn't have to be trained). And to try to educate the Mac faithful, I generated a few of movies depicting an actual 1997 Newton in action. You can dissect these videos if you like - but I assure you - they are a real (5 year old) product (Newton 2000).

Say Hello to Newton
Newton Assistant
The Newton Clipboard
Newton Trashcan

(note: I 'printed' in this video - mostly because I stopped writing cursive in middle-school... but the Newton is very capable of recognizing cursive)<>


macrumors member
Jan 4, 2002
I forgot how much newtons rock in comparison to todays PDA's. apple certainly does rock.


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001

I made those videos, btw...

things to note:

In the Newton Assistant video. Blake's full name/contact info is automatically pulled from the addressbook app, and placed in the datebook app. It also knew that lunch would happen around noon.



macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2001
All I can say is WOW!!!! I didn't know PDAs could be so cool. WTF is up with all the other PDA manufactures. This many years later and they still haven't gotten on the ball.


macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
is a pda in apple best interest

everyone knows the newton failed because it was ahead of its time but is apple too late to get back into the pda game. palm is looseing market share to pocket pc can apple seriously make a run at the pda market??


macrumors member
Jan 4, 2002
most impressive

if we don't get an apple branded handheld/tablet on monday i'm buying a newton on ebay and throwing out my stupid handspring. who needs to hotsync anyway.


macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2001
Small note

This is a bit out there but look at the first video, then look at teh spymac picture/video (s) of the so called "iWalk" the Stylus (s) seem to be the same, flared base... etc, very interesting, this might give a bit of credibility, don't bash me I am just throwing this out there.


macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2001
In the shadow of the Space Needle.
I used to use a Newton to fax in orders through a cell phone back in 1994 (maybe 95?). It was nice to be able to do that, but for me it and all PDA's are just not as flexible as pen and paper. Case in point was always a note about a phone number...had to put that soemplace else. The Newton was close and if they had kept it up maybe it would be an amazing product now, but the current PDA's are mostly glorified address books.
The PDA market is shrinking these days and I think it will be overtaken by hybrid phone/PDA devices like the Danger hiptop. The perfect PDA would be about the size of a cell phone, BE a cell phone, have addresses, a mini keyboard, internet, and be affordable. Combine all those features like the Danger does, and then why do you need a PDA at all?
I'd rather have a cell phone with more features than carry a cell, wallet, keys, and a PDA...even with cargo pants it's too much stuff, maybe I need a "European Man's Carry-All."


macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
WestCost, USA
Ive been thinking

...of getting a PDA... but all the ones out there just dont do it for me. The few that look really cool... are really expensive. I wouldnt sepent $500 on a toy that I coundt syic with my Mac. If Apple came out with one... then I might just get one. Sharp is comming out with one soon that runs a verion of Linux. That one looked pretty cool. It has a pull out keybord built into it. Sleek body and great potential for lots of apps. They are running a contest right now for Linux developers $20,000 is first prize for the best App for this new Sharp. Im almost temped to get one... but I really want one from Apple. I know its probably not going to happen but those iWalk movies did get me a bit exited. I hope that they are real. Too bad spyMac is kind of a crappy site and they have been envolded with hoaxas before. They did a dam good job of a hoax this time... if it is a hoax.


Not "the one"

iWalk is a walkman prototype. I agree, a PDA is coming but iWalk is a hoax using beta hardware.

Ever seen a color PDA with a grey screen at power off?
What color are apple's LCD displays at power off?

The 'iWalkOS' we saw was running on hardware with a grey screen at power off, then becomes white with colored graphics at boot up.

PDA is coming.. It won't be called Newton cause of the whole Scully is a dirtbad thing :)


Newton OS dead and buried

The iWalk fake video takes many cues from the Newton OS in the way it looks and works. But do not jump to the conclusion that the iWalk is thus more likely to be real. It only means that someone was inspired by the awesome tech of Apple in the early 90's when making their fake video.

Notice how the disclaimer on the website addresses all of the major problems with their video's credibility (the inconsistent action between human and object, German voices and Euro-style outlet on the surface of the desk - how convenient).

The Newton was an awesome product that was too bulky and expensive for its time. A thinner Newton or even a cheaper model could have competed with the absolutely pathetic first Palm Pilots and Sharp Wizards and whatnot.

Newton was trully a handheld computer, not just a glorified electronic address/datebook a la Palm.

That being said I will probably get a Visor Edge with my tax refund (among other things). Tre-Star Trekian.

Of course Steve Jobs can get my money if they intro a PDA/Newton for the 21st century Monday.


macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2002
What is coming!!!

iWalk won't make a single step:

Their text about how they secured everything to prevent the source to be blown is doubtfull. If you look just a little harder you can make out a time and date on the screen of the so-called iWalk (Apple would never ever use such a lame name!, at least for a PDA) which, if not temperred with, could give Apple a clue who had possesion of this device(s) at that time and day, IF IT EXISTS. Me?, I do not believe (I don't want to believe). Also it is extremely big for something most people put in there pocket like you do with a PDA (I would have to buy a new coat just for this thing).

But my point, everyone is staring themselfs blind on this supposed new hardware. Oké the new iMac will be shown, but the thing nobody talks about might be the thing Apple is hyping. SOFTWARE! Don't be surprised if Apple's got a beauty like iTunes or iMovie up their sleeves.


macrumors member
Dec 26, 2001
I was hopeing that someone would show off a real newton, thank you arn. Also I was hoping that somone would point out the fake-ness and impossability of the bronze/grey display turning white at startup. if it's colour and from apple it aught to be black at startup like the visor and Sony pda's. I'm not saying that that device itself doesn't exist I'm saying that that device doesn't run that OS at least not that beautifuly.


Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
Based on Newton

I have a Newton 2000 right now. Let me tell you, that screen on the iWalk video looks EXACTLY like Apple upgraded the Newton's OS to look more modern and match with their OS X. If you haven't used a Newton 2000/2001 recently, go find one and use it. You'll see how similiar it is to the iWalk's screen. I just don't see how the iWalk's OS is completely false. Maybe the hardware, but the screen just looks too much like an updated Newton. EXACTLY like an updated Newton. Trust me, I was just using my Newton and it's soooo similar to the iWalk. Including the actual size of the hardware.


macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2002
Newton fake...

GREAT pictures of the Newton, but did you notice how all the video is shot while the unit's not moving around (much easier to fake) and there's absolutely no way Apple would ever make a BLACK device! LOL... people seem awfully sure of themselves that the iWalk stuff is fake. We know that Steve said he wouldn't release a PDA, but what about something similar in form, but expanded in feature? Like a thin client version of your desktop that fit in your pocket? Taking 'computers where they've never been before'...???

One can only dream (and squirrel cash away in rabid anticipation;)

I'm gonna go get re-acquainted with my ol'2100- the flurry of posts lately is making my eyes water.


white screen and such...

actually, having the white screen at startup is possible. I've been talking to some people who got to see a full color, larger newton right before it was canned, and they're telling me that this iWalk spy video acts and looks (screen wise and concept, not design) just like the color newton did.
There are a ton of things that Apple has done in the past that never got released to the general public, so don't assume that just because you've never seen it, doesn't mean it can't exist.


macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2002
South Pole

I have heard that the hand writing recognition in the Pocket PC is by the same programmers who pioneered the Newton's.

BTW, it works very well and includes support for some cursive letters. Check out an iPAQ some time.

I hope Apple does a PDA/Tablet!


macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2001
i agree with you, a lot of prototypes had been made in the last few years in order to evaluate the PDA possibilities, and most of us have never seen them. so could be possible that some engineers decided to take one off the Apple campus, and actually made a real movie ( as far as we know). However, it doesn't mean the movies we saw few days ago, which are no longer available, at least online, may already reveal the next Apple PDA. But, for sure, I admit that could be such a great thing to release soemthing like that. With a MacOS X-like interface, AirPort built-in, also could work as a Mp3 Player, Quicktime addapted for. After all, this is not a so bad idea. Now let,s see if they will do the same as I said.

[Edited by samy85114 on 01-05-2002 at 12:57 AM]


macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
Seattle, WA

Thank you for this thread! It has become painfully clear that we have a whole generation of Mac users who are not familiar with how great the Newton was.

I think when people think PDA, they think of the flimsy toys that have passed themselves off as PDAs over the past 5 years. Everything from Palm is a joke.

I even think that Steve Jobs must never have actually spent any time with a Newton. Maybe he hated Sculley (sp?) so much that he just refused even to look at a Newton.

I think the i'walk, fake or not, hit a nerve with those of us who fell in love with a real PDA. We know how valuable such a device can be...and how well done the Newton was. I still believe there is a market for a well-made device.

If Apple chooses to brand a Palm device, it will indeed be a sad day...I'd rather they stay completely out of the PDA game if they plan on using the Palm OS as a base for it. This would be somewhat like Porsche deciding to market and sell Yugos. But, I think Steve's ego is so blown out of proportion on this one issue that I think he doesn't see reality...

Anyway...I want my Newton back!
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.