Newton OS 3 dubbed 'Navi'

Originally posted by AdmiralAK
actually the strongARM is fast enough to run movies. There eixst newton movies (i.e. movies for the newton, which run on a newton). If you want more current examples, on the pocketPC OS you can play MPG, MPG4, AVI and other movie formats fast enought to have them be viewable.
I agree whit AdmiralAK, the strong arm cpu is fast enough, the screen size on a pda is small enough for the cpu to deliver full screen movies.
Hmmm... what is it about this device that would make the Japanese and Journalists buy this device.

The Navi-lain connection was my first thought, but that's a little weak. Lain wasn't THAT popular, although that get's my anime-lovin' blood moving. So what do the J and Js love?

Phones. And Cameras. I'll bet it has at least one of these.

In Japan, PCs aren't particularly popular, but iMode using mobile phones are HUGE. Text messaging, gaming, and site browsing are really big with phones, far beyond using them for voice. Having a built in modem/phone on your datapad would of course be immensely useful to a journalist, who needs to send information on the go and work remotely all the time.

Of course, the quintissential Japanese tourist wouldn't be caught dead without a camera, and for a journalist it's another essential device. Building one in, with video capability, would be immensely useful to both.

Well, just a thought.


Staff member
to those discussing hardware. let me remind you that the source didn't have much information about the hardware this would run on.

i personally don't even care whether the thing will use an embedded version of a G3/G4/G5 processor or a StrongARM (Apple sold a lot of those titles to make money) or something completely different.

from what i know to be true, the device would have to be able to be a quicktime player as well as a recorder, which means it must be able to de- and encode audio and video. (well, if it lacks a camera, video encoding is less important.)

the navi-lain-japan link... does such a device HAVE to have wireless or camera equipment? as far as i know, japanese people love colorful, small things. a reason why the new ibook sells so well is osx/small notebook. but i don't think apple will ever make a product *specifically* for the japanese market. they target us market first and all others afterwards.

digital hub is still the word.
The device as I'm conceiving it would be the remote link in your digital hub. Wireless and/or 2.5g/3g network capability would be essential. And as long as you've got that, plus the recording and playback capability, you've got everything you need for a phone.

The most significant thing is putting this all in an appropriately sized package. Too big and people won't want to carry it. Too small and they won't be able to write on it. A mobile phone needs to be pocket-sized to be useful, while a PDA has to be bigger than that. I'm not sure how they'd resolve the two. All I know is that belt clips look stupid and are alkward.

Matrix Agent

Masochist Mascot
Everyone is missing the point. If it is a digital hub device, it needs to have special features that only a mac can provide.

Has anyone though about this PDA syncing with Mail or having iPhoto automatically upload specific "rolls" of film?

Not to mention, this PDA could be used as a remote for any airport enabled mac, for simple funtions like, play, pause, sleep, shutdown, ect.

A PDA with fantastic hardware isn't going to be enough for Apple, and it's efforts would be copied by other companies within a matter of months. Apple, if it releases a PDA, will build upon it's already present advantages, like it did with the iPod, which was an extension of iTunes.

The only problem is, there's no consumer program which would point torwards having a PDA as an extension. Mabey a DV camera or a digital camera, but those aren't very exciting....
Anyone who has thought about the ergonomics involved, or for that matter who has looked at the phone with a larger than dime-size display, will know that precisely the point raised above is why the combination PDA/phone doesn't work. That's reason enough for Apple to leave it be.

Another argument is that it would mean entering mature, well-defined markets to involve such things as phone or photo recording capabilities. The players on those markets - particularly the former - are suffering as it is, even if they have huge marketing and production setups. Apple, a new midget in a pro ball game? No. The MP3 market was an emerging segment, and it offered the chance of developing a new hardware combo which could then be GRADUALLY extended with new capabilities.

The need to gradually develop a position and design/production capabilities in a different field means that Apple has to either enter a recently opened market, or take the lead in gradually EXTENDING an established market. The suggested alternatives - with or without source backups - are interesting, but too far removed from the realm of reality where Apple hangs, however much we prefer to see it candied, lacquered and gilded.


Staff member
Again: Software first, hardware second.

This will be a platform, very much like Newton was one. Very extensible. So whether the hardware will finally have a miniDV cam *in* it or whether you can use a really good one with firewire, it doesn't matter in the development of the software right now. Whether you want the device to have a stereo or mono mike doesn't matter either. QuickTime will provide the possibilities.

Now on to the hardware part (which will return me to software very, very soon). Here I'm just speculating. A PDA that's bigger than an iPaq (although they're quite ugly themselves) is too big. Sony has done something great with their PDAs. They simply doubled the resolution. Now imagine a screen the size of iPaqs but not of the same resolution. Let's think 640*480. Ah no. Let's think 800*600. Hmm? Let's think 1024*768 or higher, whatever. It won't matter. The interface will be *really* different. Completely vector based - high resolution is a must for it. It'll have an analogue feeling to it. Quicktime movies will be scaled up, but it won't look bad, because the resolution of the screen might be just big enough to fool you anytime. The switch from a Palm to a Sony shows it: Suddenly type seems to be like printed on paper. All they had to do is to up the resolution from about 80 dpi to about 160 dpi. Sure, printers have much higher resolutions, but to actually double the resolution *and* use antialiasing will do more than a trick.

So the device could be about 12 cm long and 9 cm wide. It could be used horizontally and vertically (think vectors). The resolution could be anything from 480*320 (eMate) to 960*640 or even higher. Hardware buttons? What for? A power button, yes. A scroll wheel for the volume, maybe, I guess not, integrate it in the interface. So the device could mainly be a screen. Best not much around it.

This project seems to be very much software driven right now and it may well mean that the hardware will be done later (while the software evolves). This also means that it has to be extensible. The software developers must not care what the screen resolution will be like, because higher resolution TFT (and other projects) are being developped. An embedded G5 processor is out and available, and Motorola and other developers are making progress in building yet more powerful processors for mobile devices. The important part is that when the software will be ready, Apple will take the hardware parts and make a great portable device (or more than one) and adapt the software easily.
While the iPod and the iMac cannot compete with budget alternatives on price, they are nevertheless carefully balanced hardware/price-wise. The ergonomics and styling are the obvious selling points and what persuades the buyer to pay a LITTLE extra; the hardware used is neither "unique" nor best-of-class.

Thus, any screen beyond 800x600 is also a breaking-point stretch of any imagination: it would be too expensive. Touch-screen: as already stated, Apple has no hardware-design capabilities of that kind in-house, and the color variety is also too expensive for the price range Apple wants to aim for.

Apple is dedicated to industry standards these days; the few standards they have initiated recently (FireWire, AirPort, DVI), have been developed in careful cooperation with major industry players. Which port would be standard for mounting/inserting a camera optics? The one used by Ericsson in their new GPRS model? To my knowledge, it's their own standard, not adopted by any other producer. The Handspring bus might be an option, but again it's not a widely adopted standard.

3-D interface? UI research has shown that any 3-D interface elements are a hindrance until the screen format is larger than 21" and the resolution at least 1860x1600. It is NOT useful for a PDA or near-PDA, neither with respect to screen area nor ergonomically. Why was Palm so successfull? A very basic UI - the lesson carefully learnt from Newton research. There is also the matter of hardware: it would take a better dedicated GPU - adding heat and battery drain. The interface elements which are part of QT is a much more viable option here.

The interesting speculations thus don't work at the present stage; neither G4 or G5-derived embedded chips have the general capabilities needed for a PDA, and they are still too hot, power-consuming and expensive. In three years' time, Apple may have the know-how and access to the inexpensive parts needed to build what you suggest; not now.

But I agree with Matrix Agent - the hardware combo I envision could easily become an extension to all Apple's i-software: iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes - AND mail (downloading this morning's mail and reading it on the train or metro; hooking the iScreen up to the Mac and answering it there). As for AirPort connectivity, I believe that is for a later stage as is touchscreen. Again, economics - and power consumption. But it would be lovely...


Staff member
some of you seem to forget that this is a project that will only materialize in hardware in the FUTURE. all the time... okay, i repeat: SOFTWARE is being readied for beta stage. hardware will come later. so a high res tft isn't out of league until the hardware will be discussed. and who knows that's up the tft-makers' sleeves in - say - a year? (this is not a prediction, it's just about possibilities.)


japan has already launched 3G services for iMode.
here is what the phones have/can have options for:
-head view camera
-pda functions
-running java scripts
-mp3 player
-web access

it all could just as easily be put together in one device the size of iPod (which is over twice as large in bulk as a typical iMode G3 fon is already with these features)

combine it with bluetooth and wi-fi for an iScreen (as the previous poster has coined)device.

demerits of above system+a large cap disk, etc,:
-heavy (too heavy to replace a normal iMode fon) iPod is already too heavy.
-current iMode G3 fons need battery recharge almost every other day. this would need recharge every night
-it would be slow

it would be great to think that the reason why MacWorld Tokyo was postponed by 1 month was to give time to have this device ready...

by the way, the killer app in japan is short messaging, not video,voice, pda functions, nor mp3 player.
I think that apple maybe is making a pda/cel phone. simular to handspring treo. Maybe something to do whit Apple+Ericsson+Sun. If they do, I hope that Ericsson DONT have anything to do whit the design of the device, Ericsson makes butt ugly cel phones. I live in sweden so I know :D .


Staff member
don't think hardware too soon. but ericsson is no longer alone in designing phones. and the current sony-ericsson partnership for mobile phones sounds *very* interesting indeed, since technology-wise ericsson is a leader, while sony is a design leader. so if sun, sony-ericsson and apple are teaming up for a 3G device, this definitely sounds a lot more interesting than microsoft based phones to me.


Simply Daemonic
The T68 is really nice, so are the "newer" R series phones. The T39 aint bad either. I dont know what drugs you're on :p :p :p

In any case, ericsson has contracts or agreements with M$ for the stinger cell phone OS, and with Symbian for their Symbian smartphone OS. I doubt they might be doing something with apple, but who knows.

Nokia uses symbian as well for their 92xx and 7650 smartphones.

Originally posted by Matrix Agent
Nokia makes the nicest phones.

Admit it. When you saw the matrix, you wanted it.
Hell yea... I got 7110... ericsson cel phones looks boring. nokia phones are cool :D . Maybe sony/ericsson new phones looks better.



Staff member
actually, of course, the Matrix phone was a 8110 with a snapout feature the phone never had. But the 7110 got close, and I bought one, too, after the movie.


Sony-Ericsson, I say, for mobile king. But those will be out in early 2003, so nothing to see yet except some early design studies... This summer, I guess, I'll buy the 7650. But I hope they make a version WITHOUT the camera, because it won't actually be of ANY use for children older than 20. (I consider myself a child with 27, because I buy too much electronic gadgetry.)


Simply Daemonic
The 7110 is *not* the matrix phone :p

Nokia makes *some* nice phones but they dont work in the states (take a look at the 8910, 7650, and 62xx series for examples).

until nokia makes tribands (or world phones in any case) I am not buying :p