Using an Apple Pencil with the Newton

21 November 2015, 03:10

Software developer Jake B provides photographic proof (above) that the new Apple Pencil is compatible with the Apple Newton, Apple’s first attempt at a handheld tablet-like device.

The last version of the Newton was released in 1998 and it was one of the projects canned by Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple.

We note the wires and diagnostic equipment in the photo – maybe Jake has figured out a hardware hack? However, the truth is perhaps simpler – the nature of the touch sensitive screen of the Newton theoretically means you can use ANY pen-like object with a nib to write on the screen. People used to use old ballpoint pens when they inevitably lost their Newton’s stylus.

Jake’s also managed to get the Einstein Newton emulator running on an iPad Pro, which allowed him to scribble on the Newton interface with the Pencil and have it recognised/converted into text. He almost certainly had to sideload Einstein onto the iPad Pro because it’s not available in the App Store.

BONUS YOUTUBE: Here’s what Apple’s vision of tablet and stylus computing looked like in the mid-1990s – note the use of the Apple Pen:

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