What you need to know
- For All Mankind season three includes a handful of Newton MessagePad devices.
- The popular device was a precursor to the current iPad.
- Characters in the show use MessagePads for video calling.
For All Mankind is the talk of the town thanks to a big return for a third season that is already shaping up to be one of the best yet. And viewers of the latest episode will have spotted one Apple product getting a lot of air time — the awesome Newton MessagePad 120.
Mild potential spoilers incoming — those who haven't seen For All Mankind Season 3, Episode 2, take note.
This isn't the first time that a period-specific Apple product has popped up in the Apple TV+ show that's based on years passed, but it's one of the most notable. Multiple MessagePad 120 devices are used across a scene that sees two characters take part in a video call — one on the Moon, one back home. Real MessagePads from the early 1990s couldn't do that obviously, but that's the beauty of sci-fi! For All Mankind is set in an alternate timeline, after all.
Another scene has the yet more MessagePad devices used for a similar video call, although over a more modest distance — an Earth to Earth call across a few thousand miles seems pretty mundane in the For All Mankind universe at this point!
We also briefly saw someone handling digital mail on a similar MessagePad in the first season, too.
As for the Newton MessagePad itself, it was first released in 1993 — in our timeline — and was eventually killed off for good in 1998. Some argue that this was the precursor to the current iPad lineup and they might have a point. This thing even had support for a stylus and was suitably costly with a starting price of around $900.
This third season of For All Mankind might just be some of the best Apple TV viewing to date and we're only a couple of episodes in. We've also seen some Apple hardware that even the most nostalgic of fans will benefit from as well. I can't wait to see what comes next!
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.