Everytime I see an “i” prefixing some word, I can’t help but think of how Apple created a naming convention that, to this day, continues to attract marketers and product designers. What began as the iMac turned into iMovie, iTunes, iPod, and eventually products ranging from that other iPhone to the iTrip and iToilet.
Now, with the iPhone, the “i” prefix continues to spread – this time to games and applications on the (get this) iTouch platform. We now have games like iDracula and apps like iBird Explorer Plus. It even extends to Mac apps like iStat Menus.
Apple is good at this kind of thing. If you think about it, Apple’s naming conventions go back as far as the “FirstNext” names for apps, like HyperCard and MacWrite, where the words are smooshed together with the second word retaining its capitalization. This naming convention has stuck all these years.
Like the ubiquitous “i” prefix, Newton product and app developers had their own prefix to work with: Newt. Just about everything that works with the Newton begins with “Newt” as a prefix.
There’s Newtris, the Tetris clone, or NewtTacToe. The web browser Newt’s Cape (say it fast for a variation of Netscape). Newtendo lets you emulate the Nintendo. Newtways let you connect peripherals. Stick “Newt” on the front of anything and you have a product for the Newton.
The prefix makes naming a product or application easy for the Newton. Take a bit of glue, glob it on the back of “Newt,” and attach it to whatever relates to the thing you want to promote. It’s easy because it doesn’t take much imagination or forethought. Like the “i,” you can throw it on anything and have a familiar-sounding yet brand-new product.
Some Newton developers used the “Newt” prefix in witty ways. Newt’s Cape is one of my favorites. Newtendo rolls of the tongue well.
But some are downright lazy. NewtGrocery? Really?
Thankfully, the “Newt” naming style didn’t last as long as the “i” prefix one has. We’re about 11 years and counting with that one, ever since Apple released the original iMac.
Maybe we could combine the two. iNewtToDo, anyone?