Where in the world is Steve Capps?

Forget the fast-user-switching history rewrite, what’s interesting about this patent application from Apple is the name attached to it; Steve Capps.

Capps was the principle UI architect of the Newton OS, which (as you may have gathered) I still consider to be the best general-purpose interface I’ve seen. Yes, better than Macintosh. When the Newton was canned and the group dissolved, Capps left Apple, resurfacing quietly in the UI group at Microsoft.

Then all went quiet. We never really heard what he was up to, and it’s been years. Windows XP doesn’t exactly exhibit much of the Newton’s elegance or simplicity; it seems inconceivable that, if Capps had anything to do with it, he’s particularly happy with the result.

And now this latest twist. Is this patent based on new work (which would suggest that Capps is back at Apple) – or is it merely a result of Apple trawling back through the dusty files labelled ‘Newton,’ and giving due credit?

Maybe I should have set up that ‘Cappswatch’ website I mooted a couple of years ago. Heh.

3 Comments on "Where in the world is Steve Capps?"


  1. I had the good fortune to have Steve in Hillside School many years ago when he was a student…He was(and certainly and still is)bright star. I have often used Steve as a model when the parents of some kids told me their child is “bored”- I said one the brightest kids I have taught was never bored. Meaning, of course Steve..
    Mr. Grady

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  2. I had the misfortune of also having Mr. Grady as my Math teacher at Hillside School. He teaching style consisted of filling out endless multiplication tables, while he sat at his desk. I can see why the students were bored. Steve Capps lived in my neighborhood he was nice enough, drove a horribly ugly and cluttered car, possibly a ‘stude.

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