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Apple Businesses

Apple PDA? 484

Posted by michael
from the we-love-the-leader dept.
An Anonymous Coward writes: "Pictures of what would appear to be Apple's forthcoming PDA, the "iWalk" have slipped onto the net, and this time they don't seem fake, as evidenced by the quicktime movies also included. Those interested can check out the pictures here, apparently courtesy of SpyMac."
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Apple PDA?

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  • by sebi (152185) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:21AM (#2778336)
    Everytime something like this happens you can judge how real the thing is based on Apples reaction. If they request it to be taken of then it's probably real.

    But then spymac.com is supposed to be run by Germans and Canadians. Maybe that would protect them a bit from Apple legal.
    • Apple is hyping up MacWorld San Francisco more than they've ever hyped anything up. I don't think they want to give anything away, so I don't think they'd ask anything to be taken down. They've even acknowledged the rumor sites, saying:

      "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond."

      yesterday on their website. I dunno - originally, I'd agree with you, but I really don't think Apple wants to tip their hand right now. To put it another way: 2 months ago, I laughed at the iWalk. Now I wouldn't be surprised if it was unveiled soon.
      • by bribecka (176328) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @09:21AM (#2778578) Homepage
        "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond."

        I figured out what it is. Jobs was so enamoured with the IT/Ginger/Segway, he's integrating everything into it. It's a scooter that can hold 1000 MP3s but only has one button.
    • In the turnaround video, you can hear someone say something in German. ... bitte. I'm not sure what it is, and there's no audio aounds in the other 2 videos.
    • by Pfhor (40220) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @11:32AM (#2779206) Homepage
      Apple acknowledged the rumor sites. Maybe it is feeding them not full correct information. Something like the iWalk from Apple is a very big thing indeed, but as it has been mentioned before, Apple claims the keynote "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond."

      Look at all the more probable rumors right now: LCD iMac, PowerMac G5, iWalk, possible iBook updates, continual server / big iron rumors. Friend and I were talking about it last night. What if Apple released a bunch of stuff. All of the above (but a not lame version of the iWalk) along with a co-branded items from Sony. Here is the scenario: iWalk type thing is a $250 PDA with color screen, firewire, built in wireless (802.11b card capped at 2mbits, for power saving), 64 megs of ram. Can be jacked into an iPod and use it for storage. iPod price drops to $350. Now for $600 you can get the most kick ass pda/mp3 player on the market, and they work seamlessly with each other. Sony has a digital camera out with firewire on it, that works fine with the iWalk/iPod. Apple has been talking about the "digital hub" design for a while now, they could in one great keynote, announce all the key component blocks and unite them.

      Apple has been hinting towards the digital hub setup, but most of the time saying this is what you can also use ____ for. But now they could say "here is a complete digital hub / lifestyle solution" that works seamlessly. tv components with firewire / wireless, PDAs that can control them, etc. Apple doesn't make all of them, apple just co brands them.

      Whatever is going to be announced the 7th is going to be big. the tru7th will be revealed. I'm just glad I have planned to visit the Apple store near by the 12th and play with whatever has been announced (as they should have the new toys out to play with by then).
    • The facts don't support this being an authentic product. Let's look at the observations, facts, and trends:
      * Apple always asks sites to remove content which actual foretells coming products
      * Spymac is not the most reputable rumor site
      * Apple.com pronounced the spendor of their coming announcements after Spymac and others had made all of their conjectures of coming products--photos &videos came after this, but the iWalk name was no surprise to Apple.
      * Photos & videos at Spymac have "irregularities"--see the PunkxRock comments at MacSlash [macslash.com] for all the details
      * with audio I/O ports, what it is the iPod for?
      * No tech specs are available on the device despite someone supposedly handling and photographing the device -- every rumor I can remember that turned out to be an actual product contained significant detail on tech specs, or at least offered a range of probable features.
      * Visuals show login, web, writing recognition, and startup, but no other apps, graphic/video/audio capability are shown or detailed.
      * Too thin for a the new 2.5" HD that's in the iPod, so nothing groundbreaking in terms of storage--and so you'd need firewire why?
      * Bad functional design
      + huge port on top with no apparent function (resembles a serial port but what PDA syncs up-side-down in its dock?)
      + start up button on bottom edge--people will compare their rates of erroneous startup/shutdowns per minute
      + functionless jog-dial -- a HUGE button that only rotates the screen? That's like mounting a steering wheel on my back bumper to open my trunk when a key or even keyless remote will do.
      + too big for pockets, those handy sleeves inside your bag/briefcase, and most purses--except my mom's big 'ss carry-on size "totes"

      So as another person once said, "To conclude, I will eat my hat if Jobs unveils this very machine tomorrow. No, wait - I'll eat my hockey puck mouse." (Hopefully I won't be doing this and going offline as this poor predictor once did.)
  • by Electric Angst (138229) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:21AM (#2778337)
    This comment on MacSlash [macslash.com] has a big list of possibly problems with the "evidence" for the iWalk. (Hell, someone's gonna get a five for posting this, might as well be me.)
    • by sg3000 (87992) <sg_public@noSPAm.mac.com> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:38AM (#2778412)

      I agree that it seems to be a fake. In the iWalk_Still10.jpg [interfacestudio.net], it shows the Apple logo on the job wheel, something that looks kind of retarded. If look at an iPod, it's clear that their industrial design goes for more of an understated look -- for example, there is no Apple logo on the front of an iPod. [apple.com] In fact, I'd expect an Apple PDA today to look more like an iPod.

      The screen looks kind of odd in that shot, too. it looks like the scroll bar on the right doesn't quite line up with the tool bar on the bottom. I'd also expect the UI to look more like Aqua.

      If this thing plays MP3s, Apple will be canabalizing sales from their successful iPod. They've been pretty good about marketing recently, and I'd be surprised if they pulled an obvious blunder like that (particularly since they're still stinging from the poor marketing they did with the overpriced Cube).

      Finally, if I understand correctly, Steve Jobs hated the Newton. I believe he called it a "damn scribble toy" before he killed it a few years ago. It would be odd for him to resurrect it.

      In short, I think this is likely another hoax.

      • by crayz (1056)
        Check out the bootup movie and the other stills - the logo is there to let you choose how you want the OS oriented on the screen(vertical or horizontal). Watch the bootup movie to see how he changes the orientation by spinning the wheel and pressing the button on the bottom.

        People have a lot of reasons why it's fake, but I think this is just way too elaborate. It's gotta be the real thing.
        • by Triv (181010)
          Watch the bootup movie to see how he changes the orientation by spinning the wheel and pressing the button on the bottom.

          Look at it really closely. See how easy the finger moves the wheel to change the orientation? It's way too...loose. It looks like there's no resistance at all, and without that resistance there's very little you can do keep it's orientation from slipping the moment your hand bumps a little. Besides, would YOU want a huge, single function button on the front of your pda?

          Nice try, but not at all real. Good try tho. Just my view.

          Triv
      • Just going on past experiences, like the G4 Cube, I would rate it difficult to judge the likelyhood of Apple releasing this based on it's appearance. I remember everyone on /. going off about "how dumb the design is" and then what do you know, the cube is for sale...
        That being said, wait till Monday, I'm sure Apple has plenty in store.
    • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:41AM (#2778429) Homepage Journal
      The commenter referenced has a number of points that refer to his/her personal feelings about Macs that probably don't apply. The MessagePad 2xxx had a big ugly connector in the bottom for syncing (although it didn't have Firewire) and given that my MessagePad 120 uses a 0.7A charger, its possible you might not want to draw the current off of a Firewire port.

      Other problems they have might be entirely overlooked by actual Mac hardware and software makers; the MessagePad doesn't look very much like a Mac at all and the bottom group of buttons was screened on in earlier versions but turned into a floating dock in later versions (that looked the same).

      ... etc.

      I don't know if its a fake or not, but Apple's got to feel stupid for discontinuing the Newton right before Palm did so well (considering Palm wrote Graffiti for the Newton at the time).

      People also seem to not realise that the printed text recognition in the Newton OS 2.x devices was almost perfect; so if you could bear to print your text instead of cursively writing it, the recogniser did very well, as well as being able to store the vectors of handwriting to be recognised later when you had more time to turn up the CPU usage.
      • Realistically... Cursive is a pain in the ass anyway. I don't know about most people, but I always found it harder to read and a waste of time to learn. Teaching a tenth-grader calligraphy in art class is IMHO a far more productive way of educating someone than teaching the same kid cursive in fourth grade.

        /Brian
    • by zsazsa (141679) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @10:00AM (#2778766) Homepage
      I remember the last so-called Apple product fake - the G4 Cube. The now-defunct site The Mac Junkie [themacjunkie.com] claimed that the leaked photo of the Cube was an utter fabrication. He gave some "evidence" of why he thought he was right, such as "Photoshop fingerprints."

      Courtesy of archive.org's cached copy [archive.org]: "To conclude, I will eat my hat if Jobs unveils this very machine tomorrow. No, wait - I'll eat my hockey puck mouse."

      The following morning, after Jobs announced it at MacWorld, the site went down temporarily and then permanently not long after. Oh well!

      Ian
      • by msouth (10321) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @10:55AM (#2779020) Homepage Journal
        The following morning, after Jobs announced it at MacWorld, the site went down temporarily and then permanently not long after. Oh well!

        Geez, what do you expect? He's going to be in any kind of shape to keep a website running after eating a mouse? Even a translucent cute one? And just what would he be using to update his website?

        That guy is probably sitting there right now, integrity intact, mouse in digestive system, with no way to interact with his iMac. You should be honoring him, not flaming him.

      • No, the last big Apple product fake was... the iWalk, which SpyMac claimed was what Apple would unveil when they unveiled the iPod instead. They even had alleged photos of the device, which turned out to be bogus, by their own admission. It looked completely different from the iWalk they're hyping now.

        Furthermore, spymac has *no* credibility or track record. They were completely unknown when they released their fake iWalk pictures last time, and since that time they've spent most of their time continuing to hype the iWalk. They simply have never broken a major story, so I see no reason why anyone should trust them.

        On the other hand, the Cube story came from AppleInsider, the only rumors site with a decent record of rumors that have turned out to actually be true. Even back in summer 2000, AppleInsider already had a long track record and had actually posted a few rumors that turned out to be true.

        This is a hoax. The video looks and feels like a hoax. The web site seems like a fake. They have no track record or credibility. Steve Jobs is said to have disliked the Newton, and Apple has recently done its best to quash talk of an Apple-branded PDA. And even if true, a rebirth of the Newton would not be a big enough deal to justify all the hype Apple's whipping up unless it has some really amazing specs.

        I'm disappointed that slashdot linked to them, giving them traffic and credibility they don't deserve.

    • I think those videos are fudged. (Take a careful look at sayhello and watch the screen stay steady as the unit shakes...)

      But that doesn't mean that the product isn't real. How many demos have we all fudged in our time? It's possible that the screen doesn't take well to video recording, and that they needed something to wow people at MacExpo.

      If the whole thing is a fake, then, well... damn, that's a nice hoax.
    • Movies seem fishy. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nobodyman (90587)
      Admittedly I'm a conspiracy theorist, but with one hoax [slashdot.org] after another [slashdot.org], I've become a bit gunshy. Some points:

      -Okay, about 7 seconds into bootup.mov, the guy starts turning the jog dial... for about 4-5 frames, his finger is turning the jog dial, but the Apple logo on the dial *ISN'T TURNING* as well. Then all of a sudden on frame 6, the Apple logo appears rotated 20 degrees. At first I thought it could be a simple glitch in the compressed video, but the guys hand which should be moving in sync with the jog dial does not suffer the same glitch. It seems like somebody spliced to pieces of video together. Why?

      -There's a video of the guy handling the device(picking it up, flipping it over, etc..) and videos of him using the device (turning it on, writing on the screen), but no videos of him handling *and* moving the device. Bluescreening would be a pain in the ass if the device were moving.

      -This point is purely an ergonomic issue, but wouldn't you constantly be moving the jog dial if you were holding the thing in your left hand and writing with the stylus with your right hand?

      If it is a hoax, spymac.com definitely had their hand in it.. but why would a rumor site cash in credibility in the future for 15 minutes of fame? I guess we'll all find out in a few days.
  • by bjb (3050)
    It will be interesting to see what Apple has in store for us on Monday at the Mac Expo. Apparently the rumor mill has been reporting the large purchase of flat panel displays by Apple (read: flat panel iMac?), a large purchasing of G5 chips (read: faster boxen) and the recent trademarking of the term "GigaWire" (new FireWire standard?).


    As for the G5 chips, Apple seems to like to offer 3 speeds of processor. Supposedly Apple will offer 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8GHz speeds. If the production of 1.8 chips doesn't work out very well, then they might make the 1.5 the high end and make a 1.0 the low end.


    Still, whatever comes out is my next computer purchase :-)

    • But it's BORING!! People have been talking about flat-panel iMacs for like a year now. I understand Apple is doing marketing with all their "way beyond the rumor sites" stuff, but they should be smart enough to know they have to live up to the hype. If they don't, they'll get slaughtered in the press. If they get slaughtered in the press.... well, its something they don't need right now.

      Faster CPU? Ho-hum. Gigawire? yeah, cool, but FireWire is fast too. Is GigaWire SO MUCH FASTER that I will have to run out and buy a new machine? I already have lots of USB/USB2 and FireWire devices, why would I want to buy a new machine for Gigawire? Nothing I have has it.
    • I would think its Gigabit SCSI.
      OTOH 30 years ago I though I would be able to go to the moon for vaction by now.
      • SCSI (Score:3, Offtopic)

        by No-op (19111)
        I should point out that 'gigabit' SCSI would be 125Mbyte/sec, well below the current speed holders (the Ultra3 standard at 160MByte/sec, and the upcoming Ultra320 [adaptec.com] at 320MByte/sec.)

        For what it's worth in the real datahauling business, firewire is a laugh :)
    • Apparently the rumor mill has been reporting the large purchase of flat panel displays by Apple (read: flat panel iMac?)

      Actually, this isn't a rumor. Check out their last SEC filing. They've signed a contract for delivery of an additional 100,000 15" LCD displays per month.
  • by Trajan's Horse (543334) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .oedsual.> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:31AM (#2778379)
    the same folks who had a mockup picture of the 'iWalk' back in October. These guys lack all credibility in my book, and were very clever back then at getting the Apple community all excited. Even Slashdot reported it in October. Check out their archives on http://www.spymac.com on and around October 23rd for the first run at this hoax.
  • Call me crazy but I still maintain 'the next big thing' from Apple is going to be a port of OS X to an Intel platform.

    Jobs' NextStep OS, which forms the foundation of OS X, was at one time ported to the Intel platform. Since many of Apple's latest innovations are an extension of failed ambitions at NeXT, it's not a stretch to imagine this product being announced on Monday.

    • I doubt it... Consider the fact that Apple and Microsoft have been odd bedfellows since the mid 80's, that Microsoft owns some Apple stock, and yet the most poetic of revenge... Apple LIKES Microsoft's monopoly basis, as long as it can get the company shut down...

      So why would they release ANY mainstream OS when it could ensure MS being able to wriggle out of such claims? That's like fighting the war against Nazi Germany and handing them the A-bomb (godwin be damnned)...
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:38AM (#2778406) Homepage
    I still use my Palm IIIx. I have thought of changing or upgrading several times. But nothing can add any useability or real functionality to my Palm IIIx. the color screen is nothing more than a gimmick. and make the unit un-useable outside, and forces you to charge it everyday. The neat-o add-on gadgets are only toys, and the mp3 player add-on for the handspring is lame and more expensive than buying a seperate mp3 player.

    the only palm device that has my interest is the Sharp Zaurus running linux. but only for a few of the neat-o features. as for productivity? it offer's nothing, and will actually hamper my productivity by forcing to learn a new interface, no Linux sync and probably a much shorter battery life.

    So what can apple offer to this world that would entice me to drop my palm-pilot for their peoduct?
    • I would disagree with your comments on Zaurus useability.

      Some of the things that I find very useful are as follows:

      The ability to mount an nfs drive (the max I have had is 61Gb on my PDA ;-)

      The ability to log into any of my servers using ssh via an infrared connection to my mobile. I am not sure whether this can be done using a palm.

      The Zaurus screen is higher definition than the palm and it should be possible to do a Solaris install via a serial connection once serial cables are available.

      Web browsing is much better using opera and is very usable even via a mobile phone.

      Compact flash ethernet for mobile connectivity around the office is fantastic :-)

      At present I think for a laptop / portable replacement I am missing gpg and imap (though ssh, screen and pine works well)

      On the trivial side I have got it playing videoCDs at about 3 frames a second.
  • Discussion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by webslacker (15723) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:38AM (#2778410)
    Here's [infopop.net] an ongoing discussion at Ars Technica about its validity...
  • Mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by sebi (152185) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @08:39AM (#2778414)
    mirror [stovalldesign.com] to the quicktimes. just in case.

    i just read that apple did not register a iwalk related domain. can anyone confirm this? they registered ipod.com before that was released...
  • e-walk, but some guy named Lucas threatened to sue. (Also couldn't get NSYNC to agree to perform at product launch.)
  • There is no way that apple would put their badge on such a shoddy product, not these days anyway. Compare the "iWalk's" design with the iPod's. Come on people, if Apple wanted to break into the Pocket PC market (ie. more than just an organiser) it would have to be at least as good and look at least as cool as an iPaq. This doesn't even come close. Hell, it probably IS an iPaq under that god-awful case.

    The poor design (that's a jog wheel?!) makes this an obvious fake.

  • Its a fake. Something the poster DIDN'T mention was the screwy cursor in the upper-left corner corner during the handwriting demo, which is what sold it for me; someone obviously didn't check closely enough before releasing.

    Another thing that got me was the jog dial. It was OBVIOUSLY bolted on. Look at the iPod's dial: it lands perfectly under your thumb, and it is grouped closely with the controls. It is about 3/4 of the way up the device, putting it everything perfectly in reach. This thing, its on the bottom, and it PROTRUDES. In any configuration, it's in the wrong place, because you have to use the bottom button thing to actually anything. At least the iPaq's bottom-center button is a 4-way hat thing.

    I wish it was true. Like the Ars Technica articles, "I want to believe".
  • I think this is bogus. See all the other posts as to why.

    The rumor I'm getting is that the big announcement is the 'IDock'. An LCD screen with a keyboard/mouse and a wireless connection back to the PC. Take it anywhere while your Mac sits safely in a closet. Doubt that it's Bluetooth, probably 802.11a[b?]. Could also be a pen driven thingy instead of the keyboard. At least that's what I've heard. Don't know what the limit on range is, but it should take you out to the pool or patio. Sounds pretty sweet.

    Along with OS X and the IPod, I'm thinking of going back to Apple. My IIe needs company. :)

  • by briggsb (217215) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @09:10AM (#2778540)
    It's not a PDA or a giant robot that's going to be revealed at the expo. Finally Apple will be taking the wraps off the next generation dMac [bbspot.com]. There's pictures on this site an everything.
  • People get real. If it's just another pocket PC (real or fake), it's just more of the same. I would like to see a company really "think different" and come up with a totally new idea that really changes how people use computers. The things coming out of MIT impress me more than "yet another pocket pc."

    Considering it is technically feasible to have a pocket pc that has broadband wireless and stylish heads up display today, all these devices are a bit primitive and stupid. I'll be impressed when pocket pc's have good voice recognition, a small footprint rules engine, 1 gig of memory, 50gig hard drive, heads up display and supports multiple wireless standards for secure transaction.

    • I'll be impressed when pocket pc's have good voice recognition, a small footprint rules engine, 1 gig of memory, 50gig hard drive, heads up display and supports multiple wireless standards for secure transaction.

      No, you won't, because anyone who would make a statement like this is inherently disinterested in any product that is within 2 years of possible. So, at the time such a device comes out, you'll be noting that it is underpowered, without sufficient RAM, and doesn't have a quantum processor anyway.

  • by kawaichan (527006) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @09:17AM (#2778563) Homepage
    Guys, go download the sayhello.mov video (the middle one) and enlarge it to full screen.

    Now Play the video, notice as the guy writes, the "PDA" is moving around (which is normal) but the screen is NOT moving along with the PDA at all (which btw, is abnormal)

    Oh well, next rumor ->
  • ... then it wouldn't surprise me if Apple makes this Mac only like their iPod. Which would strike me as being the second dumbest thing they've done (the first being making the iPod Apple only).

    Why? Well yes, I can sort of understand why they are doing it, after all, the iPod is very sexy and no doubt the iWalk would be too. But if you consider the target audience for iPods/Walks you suddenly realise that they are the sort of people who already have a personal computer or laptop for which they use to listen to MP3's or syncronise with their favourite PIM.

    Making them Apple only in an attempt to say "hey, if you want these cool things you have to have a Mac" is all very fine and well, but since the target audience is going to be happy with their PC and Windows or Linux, they're not going to ditch it quite yet and spend a couple of hundred pounds on a spanky new iMac just for the sake of one thing.

    Or are they?

    ps. Thankfully a company called MediaFour is creating an application called xplay [mediafour.com] (the new name for XPod) which will allow iPods to communicate with Windows.

    • Or are they?

      I know three people that did. The real question is does Apple make more money convincing a few people to buy a Mac so they can use an iPod (or whatever), or from selling lots of iPods (or whatever) to PC users?

  • by BWJones (18351) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @09:42AM (#2778668) Homepage Journal
    Dudes (women included), relax. It always amazes me when I see the time and effort people put into rumors sites. What's the point? Products will be ready when they are ready and there is no point speculating about them. If the "iWalk" is a fake, its a fake. If it's the real thing then great. You knew about it four days in advance of the introduction. What are you gonna' do? Tell all of your friends "Hey, I knew about is X weeks in advance!!!" Yeah, that's cool.

    Spend time doing productive things, like volunteering the time you would have spent on such a rumors site in a local charity. Or read something NOT online.
  • This rumor has an unfair monopoly; we all know how much monopolies [microsoft.com] suck! So all you free market champions out there: I challenge you to produce evidence of an equally compelling new Apple product that is going to change the face computing. Whip out your Gimps, Photoshops, and other varied authoring tools and whip up a new and improved rumor! We can't in good conscience let this one take over the market ;-)!

    -ghostis
  • by bdavenport (78697) <spam@sellthekids.com> on Thursday January 03, 2002 @10:13AM (#2778827) Homepage
    Username: iwalk5198

    Password: Xv74mS2
  • by supabeast! (84658) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @10:35AM (#2778917)
    http://www.spymac.com/iwalk/ [spymac.com].
    Username: iwalk5198, Password: Xv74mS2
  • [note: obviously, this is just MHO and entirely speculative]

    1) The PDA market is stagnant. Most everybody who was going to buy a PDA has already bought one. PDAs aren't deprecated as quickly as PCs and its not uncommon to keep one for two or three years. (I still have and use my originial Pilot).

    2) PDA prices have fallen through the floor. You can buy a pocket organizer [weathertools.com] with functionality that's equivalent to a Franklin Day Planner for about $100. I would guess that an Apple PDA would cost around $300-400, more than most every PDA on the market.

    3) The grass is greener elsewhere. The iMac has been hugely profitable for them and the demand for these is strong. If they were to introduce a next-gen iMac (with LCD, etc), they would most likely hit a home run.

    4) Apple has always been an innovator. PDAs are not new. I don't see a lot of room for innovation with them. Recall the Newton. That was an Apple innovation. Nobody had ever really seen a PDA before the Newton. Why would Apple, who abandoned the Newton at the start of the PDA boom, go back to handhelds?

    5) Apple has no true rackmount server offering. If I had to bet, I think we'll see a (relatively) low-cost 1U G4 server that will come in somewhere around $1800-$2000 retail. Who knows...we might even see a 4-way server, as well. (okay, that was wishful thinking, but still...)
  • Here are Pictures (Score:2, Informative)

    by MontyP (26575)
    For those who haven't seen it yet... Here are some of the pictures:
    http://www.theapplecollection.com/design/macproto/ iWalk.html

    and..
    http://www.rol.ru/news/it/news/01/10/26_014.htm
  • by artemis67 (93453) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @11:43AM (#2779286)
    Here are some more pictures [ipoding.com] to fuel the fire... Steve Wozniak playing with a device that looks very similar to the mystery unit...

    -----
  • I'm not saying that there photos aren't faked. Let's think about what this could mean though.

    I got an iPod for christmas, and I'm already using it quite a bit. Both as an MP3 player, as well as for shuttling files from work the home and back. It's great for that type of thing. Download the latest patches at work and take them home on the iPod.

    One thing i did try, was exporting my wife's addressbook to LDIF and transferring it to my iBook. I wasn't all that successful, but it got me thinking. I've already got this cool stripped down iTunes, wouldn't it be cool to be able to take the whole address book thing with me in a form factor the size of the iPod?

    That's why the iWalk is so appealing. You can fit a 5 GB drive in that space, along with a decent tft display, with enough cache battery life should be good. If they could squeeze a low power 802.11 chip in there....

    This could be something like what PDA's SHOULD be like. The microdrive and low power 802.11 could revolutionize the whole industry. And just think it (would|could) be all built on top of a BSD kernel.

    I dearly hope that Apple decides to do something like this. With the iPod they've shown us how an MP3 player SHOULD work. Easy, quick, and with a decent memory. The iPod IS insanely great, despite what others will say to drag it down. Something like the iWalk would just continue that tradition.
  • What convinced me.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by D_Fresh (90926)
    There's no trademark for iWalk under Apple's name anywhere. Try it yourself. [uspto.gov] Note that "iPod" appeared as a trademark on October 18, 2001 - not long before that device was announced.

    Apple is very good about trademarking their brands. If this product even exists, it's a sure bet it's not called the "iWalk." And there's nothing else (aside from "Gigawire", which seems unlikely) that even suggests a PDA among the Apple trademarks.

    Thank God.

  • What use is an audio in port on a PDA? The only application I can think of that would use the port would be voice recording, which would require a lot of memory. Seems like it wouldn't be worth the cost of including the port on such a device. (Powerbooks don't even have audio in)
    • no, but the newton did. it had (or has, if you still have one) a built-in microphone. and it had all of 4 megs (more or less, depending on whcih version you had)

      voice recording is a major feature if you ask a newton user, and i'd be disappointed myself if there wasn't some way to do it in a new apple PDA

      a built-in mic would be preferable if all you're doing is taking voice notes, but a real audio-in could capture music and anything else you can plug in, so that's an improvement (i guess)
      • voice recording is a major feature if you ask a newton user

        Pure crap. Voice recording didn't come along until the last (and poorest selling) Newton, the 2000. It wasn't even an issue when I bought my 130. It was never seen as a 'killer app' and is overblown these days.
  • Maybe when Nelson jots down "Beat of Martin" on an iWalk, it won't translate it to "Eat up Martha."
  • people are falling all over themselves to make clear that apple doesn't have "iWalk" trademarked or whatnot.. maybe that's just the leaked name.

    remember Apple still owns all the trademarks and copyrights to the Newton and the Newton OS.

    though the new product (if it's indeed the real mccoy) likely has no roots at all in the venerable ol' Newt, it may still carry the name. who knows? stranger things have happened in cupertino...
  • The device has a great screen compared to any other PDA around, and it seems to work well held horizontally. The rest of the engineering seems a little more dubious: jog dials are horrible from a usability point of view (what is it with Apple and lousy input devices?), the device can't make up its mind whether it wants to be horizontal or vertical, and whether free handwriting recognition is the way to go seems questionable given the history of the Newton and the Palm.

    Whether this makes it may depend entirely on the software. If it runs a stripped-down version of OSX, it stands a chance. If it runs yet another oddball proprietary system, it will likely fail.

    I think there is a good chance it's real. Video is harder to fake, and this is the kind of device Apple would produce: nice looking, great in some ways, giving the appearance of being intuitive ("natural handwriting"), and so-so in other ways. A fake video would probably have gone overboard on features. If it's fake, kudos to the creators: they did a good job with whatever they did.

  • Video Compression (Score:2, Informative)

    by Frobozz0 (247160)

    Some people have been saying the video is fake because certain portions are not "moving" with other elements. While I am just as skeptical as others it is important to note how temporal compression works in video codecs. Essentially, areas that do not change location or value by enough, based on a given threshold or compression rate, will not change. In general, this is done in square chunks. So if that text is small enough and not moving enough, it will not move in the movie-- thus saving space in the movie size by not changing redundant pixels. The reason why the outside may be moving is because it's larger on screen and has a higher contrast between the edges... and may lie on the "box" edges of the compression codec.

    Then again, it could be a fancy video editing trick. I saw the videos and it appears strange why the clip the video's when they do. If they wanted to make a stronger case they would have longer clips and continuous UI change. It could be a series of composites...

  • Of course, being an avid Mac fan, there is just one more device to add to the list of Mac rumors...

    It's the iPad! You may have seen this baby before, but it is definately something I personally would love to see, except for the fact that it might just break easily, you can find pictures and specs here:

    The iPad with specs. [mac.com]

    True? Doubtfully, but it would definately be excellant.

    1GHz, 133 MHz bus, 256 MB to 1 GB RAM
    38 to 80 GB hard drive, DVD/CD-R combo drive
    Touch-sensitive pen-driven 14" TFT
    nVidia AGP 4X [not with ATI anymore?] with 32MB
    2 FireWire, 4 USB, Gigabit Ethernet
    [here's a hell of a kicker] Integrated Webcam and Microsoft
    Airport and BlueTooth included.

    As they say, Your home, wherever.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @03:41PM (#2780924) Homepage
    If this thing *is* real and it's based on the same software technology as the Newton MessagePad line, it's worth $1,000+ to me as a PDA, easily. I'm using a Newton 2100 right now -- I finally re-invested in one at eBay prices ($250 or so) and I will be using it forever as far as I'm concerned.

    I had a Newton MessagePad back in the mid '90s and it got killed by a falling phone (screen smashed). At that point, I went to Palm. After a while using Palm, I switched to Windows CE. It still didn't seem right. Then I bought a full pen-based PC last year and ran Linux+xscribble on it. These other PDAs and pen-based computers were all just wrong.

    When it came right down to it, the Newton *software* and NewtonOS was what I was missing. Nothing else yet manufactured comes close for the PDA paradigm. The hardware is a little bulky, and is expensive for its age, but I finally just broke down and bought a Newton 2100 last year to see if the Newton magic was still there...

    And it was like a revelation. I hadn't really appreciated my early Newton as well as I could have... It was my first PDA, it was early technology, and all I could do at the time was see things wrong with it. It's only after using other PDA devices for a while that I realized just how important and wonderful NewtonOS was and just how sad that it was discontinued.

    If Apple DOES ever release another PDA, I pray that it will use NewtonOS technology. If instead Apple goes with Palm or some such nonsense, I hope to God that they release the NewtonOS code for StrongARM as open-source so that we don't have to try to copy [sourceforge.net] it ourselves. Imagine a modern, open PDA hardware platform running open-source NewtonOS!

    As for right now... I've stocked up on several Newton 2100 machines which will hopefully last me well into the century. I've taken to hand-replacing their dimming backlights and manually repacking their rechargeable battery packs just to get them running well again. At least for the next few years, it looks like we will be dominated by weak software like Palm and Windows CE -- only the few lucky (like me) who are aware of what has gone before and can maintain the machines will be able to depend on something as advanced as NewtonOS for our information.
  • GUI Standard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stylewagon (197083) on Thursday January 03, 2002 @04:51PM (#2781409) Homepage Journal

    1. Do you seriously think that with all the effort Apple has been putting into GUI conformity in OSX that they would at least try and keep the GUI at least similar (if this thing is indeed real - which it isn't) to the OSX look-n-feel.

    2. Also, I severely doubt that they would make their own browser - that looks like a whole lot like iTunes... If they had gone to the trouble of producing such a browser - why isn't it included with OSX now?

    3. Also the widgets at the bottom of the screen look much to similar to those used by the linux Sharp Zaurus.

    4. Apple would never put a big cheesey logo on the front of the thing. Does the iPod have a huge logo on the front?

    Think Different, Think Minimalist.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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