If you think iPhone is too closed for the developers, you could give a shot at Newton OS.
During the 3rd Worldwide Newton Conference held in Tokyo, Dr. Paul Guyot has announced “Open Einstein”; the open source version of his famous Newton emulator licensed under GPLv2.
“Open Einstein” project is available immediately at Google Code:
As a fruit of this announcement, Matthias Melcher has released a port to Windows + Cygwin + X11 environment.
Beside that, “Open Einstein” runs on Mac OS X (ppc and x86), Zaurus (with OpenZaurus), Nokia Internet Tablet 770 and 880.
As it is the case with most of the other emulators, you will need to have the ROM image from Newton running Newton OS 2.1 (i.e. Newton MessagePad 2000/2100 or eMate 300).
By making the platform open, Guyot expects accelerated development in performance optimization, device support and utilization of hardware resources on host computers.
Guyot is also working on another project called “Relativity” to integrate Einstein with host OS environment.
Using “Relativity”, Newton OS running on Einstein can control programs running on host computer such as iTunes.
He has also suggested using Japanese input method on host computer to enter Japanese characters to Newton environment and to use Newton’s handwriting recognition as an input method for the host OS.
During WWNC, there were several other announcements that would help revive the Newton technology in the 21set Century.
Makoto Nukui, a Japanese Newton developer has demonstrated Newt/0, a NewtonScript byte-code interpreter and NewtView which would run Newton programs on Mac OS X’s native window environment.
Matthias Melcher has demonstrated DyneTK, an open source developer kit for Newton (i.e. a Newton ToolKit clone) .
During the closing panel, Guyot pointed out that there are no conflicts among the several projects discussed during the conference and they all can complement each other and accelerate the integration between Newton and latest generation of hand held computers including iPhone.
iPhone was another topic of interest during the conference. While everyone showed some interest with it, Nukui stressed Newton devices were much more useful. Borrowing Steve Jobs’ very own word, he compared the two Apple mobile devices.
“Steve Jobs once said “You watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.” Using that metaphor, I’d say “You use iPhone to turn your brain off, and you work on your Newton to turn your brain on.”
Many of the twenty some attendees shared the dream of having the Newton capability on an iPhone; Guyot believes by making “Einstein” open, those dreams could realize much sooner than when he was working alone.