Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Feb 2013 09:04 UTC
Apple John Gruber illustrates the dangers of not having a clue about history: "The utter simplicity of the iOS home screen is Apple's innovation. It's the simplest, most obvious 'system' ever designed." Thanks for playing.
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Oh the dangers of History.
by bowkota on Wed 20th Feb 2013 09:31 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

This is a picture of the Newton OS (which predates the Palm OS):
http://www.guidebookgallery.org/pics/gui/extra/newton/controlpanel....

I'm pretty sure can find something that predates that and maybe something else that predates that etc.

I believe once again you're missing the point and the point is Apple's philosophy to make iOS simple and usable; the limit of what should be there and what shouldn't.
Piling on endless features that just adding complexity and going to extremes (larger and larger displays) is the easiest thing you can do.

Regardless, you've credited Palm countless time with the "invention"(?) of the mobile platform. Let's assume you're correct. Don't you find it sad then, that Palm who were the first ones to come up with this great idea, never really produced a great product with it?
Palm devices were a joke.
When the iPhone came out Colligan (Palm CEO) said "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in". Well, they did.
And the WebOS, we know what happened there.

Edited 2013-02-20 09:34 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's a picture of the control panel of the Newton. This is what the Newton's home screen looked like:

http://admintell.napco.com/ee/images/uploads/appletell/_NEWTON_thum...

The Newton used a notebook metaphor, like PenPoint OS. A paradigm that nobody wanted.

Also, I never credited Palm with the invention of the mobile platform - don't put extremist words in my mouth just to make you look smart. I credit Palm with creating the mobile platform upon whose concepts and ideas all other platforms after it were built. Newton and PenPoint were dead ends - a metaphor nobody wanted and nobody bought. Palm's mobile platform was the first successful mobile platform, and showed the industry what people wanted out of a mobile device - everybody else has followed and built upon that platform ever since.

A sneak peak into my upcoming massive Palm article:

So, what is Palm OS' legacy? What mark did it leave? How did it influence the industry?

Palm OS showed the industry what a mobile operating system for the average consumer should look like, how it should work, and what it should - and more importantly, should not be capable of. Consumers didn't want MS-DOS with a stylus input overlay. Consumers didn't want the confusing notebook metaphor GO and Apple used. Consumers didn't want a desktop operating system's interface shoehorned into a small screen. Consumers didn't want to have to deal with managing multitasking and the associated complexity.

They wanted a minimalistic, single-tasking operating system that allowed them to focus on a single task, and do so fast, without having to wait for programs to load or go through endless confusing dialogs and setup screens. Users wanted an operating system with a graphical user interface that was designed specifically with its primary input method in mind. They wanted an operating system that didn't require all the manual fiddling that the desktop operating systems of Palm OS' day required. They wanted an operating system that didn't drain the battery in a few hours. Users wanted an application-centric device.

Add all of these together, and 15 years ago, you got Palm OS.


Edited 2013-02-20 09:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 13

bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

That's a picture of the control panel of the Newton. This is what the Newton's home screen looked like:

I think it was kind of obvious that it was the control panel, it was in the url. You were disputing historical facts and credibility about design. You could very easily argue that the Legencary Palm OS Home Screen (TM) was influenced by the Newton.

However, you're still missing the point. Apple's iOS and home screen has had been a phenomenal success and has had great influence on the current mobile market. Both the iPhone and the iPad were laughed on when released.
Look were we are today.
Were Apple designers/engineers influenced by Palm in the process? I'm pretty damn sure they were.

Edited 2013-02-20 09:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It's not a Newton, it's a MessagePad. Newton is the name of the operating system, MessagePad is the name of the device that runs the Newton operating system.

Another device running the Newton OS is the eMate 300. It does have a home screen with a grid of icons. I have one right here.

The MessagePads also had icon grids to launch apps, but it defaulted to a notepad application when you turned it on. I have one right here.

I don't think it really matters what you see when you turn it on, Newton based devices and Palm devices all used icon grids to launch apps.

My Psion 3a uses a row of icons. If an app has user files they are listed under the app icon and can be opened directly from there.

It's not strange Apple went for this grid solution as it's easy to do, easy to use and the Macintosh in a way also had icon grids. Sure, you could move the icons and break the grid, but the basic idea was a screen with little icons that launch apps.

Reply Parent Score: 7

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

That's a picture of the control panel of the Newton. This is what the Newton's home screen looked like:


Hold on... as someone who actually owned a Newton Messagepad 120 and used it quite a lot, you are wrong. The NewtonOS had an app drawer where all of your installed apps lived. That is what looks identical to the earliest PalmOS devices. It was a tray with a grid of icons. Yes, the NewtonOS opened in the notepad app (because it was a "notepad", DOH!), but if you wanted to use any other apps installed (and the Newton had a pretty vibrant 3rd party app community at one point), you opened the app drawer and launched them from there. So, yes, the Newton "launcher" looks exactly like the PalmOS home screen. There you go. This doesn't even take in to account that later versions of the NewtonOS didn't even launch the notepad by default and instead showed you the launcher straight away (e.g. eMate 300.)

EDIT: Some could also argue that the way the Newton filtered the apps in to categories was wholesale stolen by Palm for PalmOS 3.0, because PalmOS 2.0 (and prior) sure as hell didn't do that, they instead scrolled (rather awkwardly) the launcher up/down to get to the app you wanted. I also owned (and still do) a Palm Pilot Pro, so I could probably even get pictures, if proof was required. I used to install third party launched on my PP just to be able to manage the mess that the launcher was in.

Edited 2013-02-20 12:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

They wanted a minimalistic, single-tasking operating system that allowed them to focus on a single task, and do so fast, without having to wait for programs to load or go through endless confusing dialogs and setup screens. Users wanted an operating system with a graphical user interface that was designed specifically with its primary input method in mind.


you are ignoring psion
there definitely was a huge market for multitasking devices

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Oh the dangers of History.
by MOS6510 on Wed 20th Feb 2013 11:21 in reply to "Oh the dangers of History."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I liked Palm devices. They were great to play Hearts on when traveling by train.

Over time they became better and worse. The OS became better, as did the hardware, but the feeling increased it could and perhaps should have been better. This feeling was fed by competing products, like the Windows CE and Symbian powered devices.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Oh the dangers of History.
by JAlexoid on Wed 20th Feb 2013 11:29 in reply to "Oh the dangers of History."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And since when is iOS home screen is simple? It's much more complex as a whole, than any other platform.

Icons that change(and some don't - calendar vs weather) and the notification bubbles are not simple.

Reply Parent Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Errrr... yes they are with more than a days usage, I guarantee you'll understand them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

This is a picture of the Newton OS (which predates the Palm OS):
http://www.guidebookgallery.org/pics/gui/extra/newton/controlpanel....

I'm pretty sure can find something that predates that and maybe something else that predates that etc.


...then why bother?

Regardless, you've credited Palm countless time with the "invention"(?) of the mobile platform.


They are within the framework of Apple fanboy logic, where "popularise" == "invent". Devices running the Newton OSes don't count because they were spectacular failures as commercial products, and the fact that Newton devices were unpopular automatically means that they were crap. And obviously Palm wouldn't have taken inspiration from a pathetic failure like Newton, so all of PalmOS' features must have been created completely-independently & any similarity with Newton is clearly just a coincidence.

I could spell out the joke there, but I think it will be much more entertaining to watch iFanbois take that statement and argue against it.

Let's assume you're correct. Don't you find it sad then, that Palm who were the first ones to come up with this great idea, never really produced a great product with it?
Palm devices were a joke.


Not nearly as sad as the fact iOS is still playing catch up... to the old PalmOS, half a decade after it was discontinued. Sad in a pathetic kind of way, that is.

When the iPhone came out Colligan (Palm CEO) said "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in". Well, they did.


Seriously? Never heard the expression about stones and glass houses, I take it... which reminds me, have you and the rest of the Apple Defense Brigade figured out how to rationalize-away Apple's flip-flop over 7" tablets? Or are you just using the strategy of "if we never bring it up, then maybe people will just forget"?

And the WebOS, we know what happened there.


Yes, it was superior to iOS in every way (except to the "durrrr, there's an app for that, durrrr" chimps) & only lost out because it was developed by a company that was already circling the drain, then sold to a company managed by special education drop-outs.

But hey, I hear webOS is Open Sores now. Maybe Apple could warm over the remains and then take credit for it, just like they did with the corpse of NeXT. They could call it "iOS Pro"...

Reply Parent Score: 3

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

They are within the framework of Apple fanboy logic, where "popularise" == "invent".


No, no, no. "invent" == "innovate" in your usage. Please look up the difference if you are unaware. If you listen to any Apple keynote or read Apple Propaganda/copy, they never claim to "invent" anything there is a definite prior art for. I'd go as far as saying they never use the word "invent", but I can't be 100% sure about that, so I won't make up facts.

Devices running the Newton OSes don't count because they were spectacular failures as commercial products


If that was true, a lot of later Palm devices (i.e. most of the late Garnet and almost all of the WebOS) are also in that category. As are most of the early Microsoft Windows CE devices and the later 6.5 ones, and all of the Windows Phone 7 and even all the Meego based phones (and the other Maemo devices.) In fact, there are plenty of devices that exist today in a cult like status, even though they were extremely unpopular at the time of manufacture (Vectrex, NeoGeo MVS both spring to mind, and the PCEngine/TurboGrafx in Europe - as it was never released here.)


and the fact that Newton devices were unpopular automatically means that they were crap. And obviously Palm wouldn't have taken inspiration from a pathetic failure like Newton, so all of PalmOS' features must have been created completely-independently & any similarity with Newton is clearly just a coincidence.


I dunno. The Newton reached cult status, and when I was on the "scene", there was still a lot of development going on (maybe 4 or 5 years ago) and the later Newtons were going for stupid money ($200+ for a 10 year old PDA is pretty ridiculous.)

Not nearly as sad as the fact iOS is still playing catch up... to the old PalmOS, half a decade after it was discontinued. Sad in a pathetic kind of way, that is.


I'm not sure they are.

.... figured out how to rationalize-away Apple's flip-flop over 7" tablets? Or are you just using the strategy of "if we never bring it up, then maybe people will just forget"?


Humans are fallible. I guess "Android first", "GoogleTV everwhere" and "Windows Phone dominating", or really anything else out of Balmer's mouth in interviews, proves all of that.

Yes, it was superior to iOS in every way (except to the "durrrr, there's an app for that, durrrr" chimps) & only lost out because it was developed by a company that was already circling the drain, then sold to a company managed by special education drop-outs.


Sorry, no it wasn't. The API was cute, but it was hard to write any real apps for until they released a native SDK, because with all the will in the world, native without native you can't leverage all of the third party libraries available and make performance king.

But hey, I hear webOS is Open Sores now. Maybe Apple could warm over the remains and then take credit for it, just like they did with the corpse of NeXT. They could call it "iOS Pro"...


*sigh* Flame bait aside, WebOS is a slow OS that requires quite fast hardware and a lot of optimisation to run well. The fact that the Palm guys proved this by porting the WebOS tablet stack to iOS and making it run "better" was pretty telling. Basically, you completely missed the *real* reason Palm failed with WebOS, and the reason they would have failed again - even if another company had bought them. Their initial hardware was slow and underpowered. There you go.

The sad thing is that you don't even seem to understand what happened with Nextstep and Openstep. It's still alive and well. It runs on ARM and PC, as well as PowerPC. It's now called Mac OS X and iOS. It's the same underlying OS, same underlying API's and well, had Apple not bought Next Inc, it would be a largely forgotten now.

Reply Parent Score: 2