Archivos maio 2009

maio 6, 2009

Apple Newton VS iPhone

I've recently got an iPhone 3G. This is my second Apple product, my first was a Newton MessagePad 130 that I barely used. But using the iPhone triggered memories of the Newton and most of them were actually good memories. So I decided to pit them together and compare feature-by-feature these two devices.

Newton's screen is absolutely huge - 4.7". No competition here. You may think that its main drawback is the lack of multitouch, until you observe that it would actually be very hard to use two stylus. Unless you are ambidextrous, of course. But even ambidextrous people usually don't write with both hands at the same time - remember, in Newton you can actually handwrite things, no more dealing with tiny keyboards.

The real drawback is Netwon's somewhat limited number of colors - two, to be precise. But consider this: 7% of the population is colorblind. Hence, iPhone's full palette is useless (and detrimental) for at least 7% of the population, while Newton is fully usable for everyone.

iPhone has the possibility of using the screen in landscape mode. Newton leave nothing to be desired here. Plus, in Newton you can actually select when you want the screen to rotate. Everyone knows how annoying it is when iPhone's screen automatically rotates itself when you are trying to surf the web while lying in bed, standing upside down, or riding the Enterprise.

iPhone uses a capacitive screen for all of its input. You can't use a regular stylus with it. You can't use it with your gloves on. Heck, you can't even use it with your nails. Newton uses resistive technology and you can use pretty much anything that can cause a slight pressure. This includes your fingers and nails, but also baseball bats, forks and knives. You may even use it from a distance with a good aim and a set of pebbles - the huge screen makes this altogether easier. Newton scores!

Newton uses 4 AA batteries that you can buy in any store in any street corner. It will even work with rechargeable batteries - put four of those 3000 mAh in it and it will probably run for ages! iPhone, of course, has an unremoveable, non-upgradeable, battery. That means an easy win for Newton here.

Communication and Expansion
Newton is able to connect through a cable to the computer in order to transfer files and applications. Unfortunately, it does not feature Bluetooth for wireless file transfers. However, Newton does feature an infra-red port. Hence, wireless transfer are possible, seamless and secure (no more worrying about bluetooth eavesdropping!). While the iPhone supposedly does have Bluetooth in it, no one has ever seen it or done anything with it. Applications and songs bought on iTunes and App Store may be transferred through either 3G network or Wi-Fi, but user files, like documents, pictures and those ripped mp3, must be transferred through a cable.

This would be a draw right here if it was over, but Newton supports PCMCIA cards in an expansion slot. This is nowhere to be found on the iPhone. More than allowing extra storage and easy file transfers through PCMCIA flash cards, the slot allows hardware expansions. That's right, you can even add a modem connection to the Newton and connect to your favorite BBS with blazing 56Kbps speeds. Can you connect to a BBS using the iPhone and a regular phone line? I didn't think so. One more star for Newton!

Copy and Paste
Newton can do copy and paste. You heard it. Just select any part of a text and drag it around to copy/move. Granted, you can't copy things between applications, but still this is more than the iPhone can do right now. Go Newton!

iPhone does not do video. Apple's reasoning is that a video using the iPhone's crappy camera would be absolutely horrible, possibly even worse than its photos. And no one wants to have to face the decision of taking a crappy video or no video at all. Hence, Apple decided that for you and kept video out of the iPhone. Newton features no camera whatsoever for the same reason, saving us all from an invasion of blurred photos of things no one care about. Following Apple's reasoning, Newton nailed it again!

Newton handles multiple applications running simultaneously. And that's with only 2.5MB of RAM! iPhone still can't do that even with 50 times this amount of RAM.

If only I could pocket my Newton, the iPhone would be a goner.

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