definition of Wikipedia
|Company / developer||Apple Inc.|
|Source model||Closed source|
|Latest stable release||2.1 / March 21, 1997|
|Supported platforms||Apple Newton|
|Default user interface||GUI|
Newton OS was the operating system for the Apple Newton PDAs produced by Apple from 1993-1997. Newton OS was written entirely in C++ and trimmed to be low power consuming and use the available memory efficiently. Similar to the original Apple Macintosh, many applications were written in the ROM of the Newton to save DRAM and flash space for user applications.
Newton OS featured many interface elements that even Mac OS didn't have at the time, such as drawers and the "poof" animation. An animation similar to this is found in Mac OS X, and parts of the Newton's handwriting recognition system have been implemented as Inkwell in Mac OS X.
Shortly after the Newton PDA's release in 1993, developers were not paying much attention to the new Newton OS API and were still more interested in developing for the Macintosh and Windows platforms. It was not until two years later that developers saw a potential market available to them in creating software for Newton OS. Several programs were made by third-party developers, including software to enhance Newton's initially disappointing (in OS 1.x) hand writing recognition technology.
The basic software that came with Newton OS:
|Date released||OS version|
|August 3, 1993||1.0|
|October 30, 1993||1.1|
|March 4, 1994||1.3|
|March 14, 1996||2.0|
|March 21, 1997||2.1|
The earliest versions had weaknesses that resulted in bad publicity and reviews. However, with the release of Newton PDAs based upon version 2.0 of the OS, the handwriting recognition had substantially improved, partially being a product of ParaGraph and an Apple-created recognizer pair: Apple's Rosetta and Mondello. Newton's handwriting recognition, particularly the print recognizer, has been considered by many reviewers, testers, and users to be the best in the industry, even 10 years after it was introduced. It was developed by Apple's Advanced Technology Group, and has been described as "the world's first genuinely usable handwriting recognition system".
The Newton could recognize hand-printed text, cursive, or a mix of the two, and could also accept free-hand "Sketches", "Shapes", and "ink text". Text could also be entered by tapping with the stylus on a small on-screen pop-up QWERTY keyboard. With "Shapes", Newton could recognize that the user was attempting to draw a circle, a line, a polygon, etc., and it would clean them up into "perfect" vector representations (with modifiable control points and defined vertices) of what the user was attempting to draw. "Shapes" and "Sketches" could be scaled or deformed once drawn. "Ink text" captured the user's free-hand writing but allowed it to be treated somewhat like recognized text when manipulating for later editing purposes ("ink text" supported word wrap, could be formatted to be bold, italic, etc.). At any time a user could also direct the Newton to recognize selected "ink text" and turn it into recognized text (deferred recognition). A Newton Note document (or the notes attached to each contact in Names and each calendar event) could contain any mix of interleaved text, ink text, Shapes, and Sketches.
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