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MacRumors
Mar 24, 2012, 11:21 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/24/former-apple-tv-engineer-apple-tv-interface-5-years-ago/)


Macgasm notes (http://www.macgasm.net/2012/03/23/former-apple-tv-engineer-those-new-apple-tv-designs-were-tossed-out-5-years-ago/) an interesting tweet (https://twitter.com/#!/yipe/status/183364947227586560) by former Apple TV engineer Michael Margolis who claims that the new Apple TV interface designs were "tossed out 5 years ago because [Steve Jobs] didn't like them."

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/03/apple_tv_2012.jpg
Alongside the 3rd Generation iPad, Apple also introduced a new version of the Apple TV that supports 1080P video. With it came an updated interface for the set-top box, (shown above) with icon-based category buttons and large billboard-style artwork for content. The interface was also rolled out to previous 2nd Generation Apple TV owners in a software update.

Margolis goes on to say that "now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design", referring to Steve Jobs' passing. Some MacRumors readers have complained (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1341734&highlight=interface) about the new design, and others felt it was a paving the way for Apple TV apps in the future.

Five years ago (2007), when the design was reportedly "tossed out", Apple's product landscape was quite different. Both the Apple TV and iPhone were first introduced in January of that year, and the App Store would not be launched for another year in mid-2008.

Update: Margolis clarifies (http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/03/24/new-apple-tv-ui-uses-designs-tossed-out-5-years-ago-by-steve-jobs-says-former-apple-tv-engineer/) what he meant to TheNextWeb:The new UI shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. There is a clear effort at Apple to make everything match the look and feel of their popular iOS products - starting with Lion and increasing momentum with Mountain Lion.

To be clear - he didn't like the original grid. This was before the iPhone was popular and before the iPad even existed.

Given that the iPad is far more successful than the AppleTV, migrating the AppleTV to look more like the iPad was probably a very smart move - even if some of the users of the old UI don't prefer the new one.
Update 2: TechCrunch posts (http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/24/jobs-apple-tv-margolis/) a longer response from Margolis who seems to be downplaying his previous tweet:Steve rejecting a design five years ago isn't a huge deal. Steve was well known for rejecting ideas, tweaking them, and turning them into something even better. And that's a very good thing. One of my favorite parts of working at Apple was knowing that SJ said "no" to most everything initially, even if he later came to like it, advocate for it, and eventually proudly present it on stage. This helped the company stay focused and drove people to constantly improve, iterate, and turn the proverbial knob to 11 on everything.

Article Link: Former Apple TV Engineer Claims New Apple TV Interface Discarded 5 Years Ago [Updatedx2] (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/24/former-apple-tv-engineer-apple-tv-interface-5-years-ago/)



MultiMediaWill
Mar 24, 2012, 11:22 AM
This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.

Big-TDI-Guy
Mar 24, 2012, 11:23 AM
I still miss the Tiger-Era Front Row interface. That was wonderful, still miss it today!

mikes63737
Mar 24, 2012, 11:23 AM
Like most things, this should have stayed in the trash.

dagamer34
Mar 24, 2012, 11:24 AM
Only reason they went with this design is that it scales better with multiple apps than the old software ever did.

bedifferent
Mar 24, 2012, 11:24 AM
I didn't expect to read this today. Interesting.

I agree, I do not like this new UI. It looks unpolished and unintuitive.

I sincerely hope this isn't the beginning of the end of QA for Apple with the late Steve Jobs' sad passing. Jonny or others must know and think as Steve would in these situations as Steve put much faith in him. The next few years should be interesting.

mabaker
Mar 24, 2012, 11:25 AM
What is so bad about it? The fact that it uses the screen estate? Or that the icons are actually colorful?

DanteMann
Mar 24, 2012, 11:26 AM
I just LOVE how Apple continues to use the Pioneer Plasma as an image to represent their TV. I truly hope they are paying Pioneer for this. But the most hilarious thing about all this, they FINALLY realized the Kuro TV they were using looked so dated with it's massive bezel that they now edited the image with a smaller bezel. Oh Apple, when will you start inventing your own products.

palebluedot
Mar 24, 2012, 11:26 AM
What is so bad about it? The fact that it uses the screen estate? Or that the icons are actually colorful?

IMHO it's kind of annoying to have to scroll up and down/remember where stuff is. At least with the menu system I knew Netflix/radio/youtube were all "Internet" related things under the Internet menu.

Dalgarnif
Mar 24, 2012, 11:27 AM
I would have to agree. The new interface is tacky and crude-looking and certainly not consistent with the "zen" look that Jobs so ardently insisted upon. There is no question this would never have made it past Jobs.

zweigand
Mar 24, 2012, 11:27 AM
Wirelessly posted

"now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design"

Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.

URFloorMatt
Mar 24, 2012, 11:28 AM
Apple has 60,000 employees, and Steve was the only person qualified to say "no" to bad design? Give me a break.

Joshwawilson
Mar 24, 2012, 11:28 AM
Wirelessly posted

I like this new interface personally, it's less boring than the old one and it's easier to see all your options

Big-TDI-Guy
Mar 24, 2012, 11:29 AM
Apple has 60,000 employees, and Steve was the only person qualified to say "no" to bad design? Give me a break.

Steve did not run a democracy, his obsessive nature is what made Apple the company it is today. Just read all the confessions / biographic memos, he sounded like a scary individual.

Padraig
Mar 24, 2012, 11:29 AM
It is a terribly UI. Apple's been slipping for some time now, where once they had extremely consistant and intuitive design we now see the awful skeuomorphic junk even in OSX and ugly interfaces such as that of AppleTV.

jonnysods
Mar 24, 2012, 11:30 AM
I'm not saying anything new here, I really don't like it. Just updated my ATV last night. It's definitely an out of character move for Apple, given their love for user interfaces.

b166er
Mar 24, 2012, 11:32 AM
I think we can all agree that the current apple tv is really just a transitional product. When the actual Television they are working on comes out it is likely to have a different interface than this. I'm sure apple will continue to make the boxes alongside the TV's, but the TV will get the glory. Just like the iPhone stole the iPod's thunder- same situation in my opinion.

I don't even hate the current interface- it is way better than that of the bluray player I picked up last year just so I could stream netflix to the tv.

admanimal
Mar 24, 2012, 11:32 AM
IMHO it's kind of annoying to have to scroll up and down/remember where stuff is. At least with the menu system I knew Netflix/radio/youtube were all "Internet" related things under the Internet menu.

With one quick scroll you can see every single content option on the device represented by big, colorful icons. I don't see how this makes it more difficult than the old software.


This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.

Right, because no one ever complained about the old Apple TV interface that Steve did approve. Not that we even know whether Steve saw and approved this design the second time around.

roland.g
Mar 24, 2012, 11:33 AM
There are elements of the first Apple TV OS which was essentially Front Row that I miss and while I got used to the Apple TV 2 OS as well, I can also see how this one leads the way for apps. I don't know how I feel about the icon based design. Ironically, even though they changed the front page interface each time, the sub level design (especially within Computers) has not changed. I can't bring up my movies in billboard. And I still don't know how I feel about the Computers categorization instead of My Movies, My TV Shows, My Music under each of the respective headings.

jbkalla
Mar 24, 2012, 11:33 AM
This is my first AppleTV since the original, and I don't like it much. It's annoying to get to My Computer through an 'app', and it's not organized well once you do get there. Also, it seems to disconnect with no warning from My Computer, where the original ATV doesn't. It's almost faster to search for podcasts through the store than it is to start the same, already downloaded podcast from my computer. Very annoying! More clicks to get to the same content! Still, 1080p is nice. And it hasn't needed to be unplugged every so often (to restart) like the original ATV. I still haven't decided whether to keep the old one plugged in or not. The 1080p is really the only thing keeping me from using the old one.

Kilamite
Mar 24, 2012, 11:33 AM
I hate it. They should buy Plex.

What I hate most about it, is the whole iOS appearance. The glowing blue for a selected item, iOS style icons. It is boring and looks childish.

This is the opposite of sleek.

50548
Mar 24, 2012, 11:34 AM
It is a terribly UI. Apple's been slipping for some time now, where once they had extremely consistant and intuitive design we now see the awful skeuomorphic junk even in OSX and ugly interfaces such as that of AppleTV.

As long as they fix the absolutely HORRIFIC iTunes for iPad UI, I will be fine with this ATV update...I really don't know how anyone at Apple could've approved that POS.

But in what pertains to the ATV interface, I actually have always had difficulty finding where a certain type of content was under multiple menus...this seems better for now.

Big-TDI-Guy
Mar 24, 2012, 11:34 AM
It is a terribly UI. Apple's been slipping for some time now, where once they had extremely consistant and intuitive design we now see the awful skeuomorphic junk even in OSX and ugly interfaces such as that of AppleTV.

In spite of the impending fall on the bottom right of our posts - I'm inclined to agree with you 100%. The design that drew me in, and made work efficient, has yielded to style dictating the experience, rather than the other way around.

bushman4
Mar 24, 2012, 11:34 AM
Design is simple and boring. Its something that should have been given to the competition because it definitely does NOT belong on an Apple product.

spatlese44
Mar 24, 2012, 11:34 AM
I didn't expect to read this today. Interesting.

I agree, I do not like this new UI. It looks unpolished and unintuitive.

I sincerely hope this isn't the beginning of the end of QA for Apple with the late Steve Jobs' sad passing. Jonny or others must know and think as Steve would in these situations as Steve put much faith in him. The next few years should be interesting.

+1; new interface is crap.

What were they thinking?

Andronicus
Mar 24, 2012, 11:35 AM
I think it looks great.

danny_w
Mar 24, 2012, 11:35 AM
I'm not saying anything new here, I really don't like it. Just updated my ATV last night. It's definitely an out of character move for Apple, given their love for user interfaces.
Agreed 100%

Thunderhawks
Mar 24, 2012, 11:35 AM
What is so bad about it? The fact that it uses the screen estate? Or that the icons are actually colorful?

Yes, all of it!

Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

RemE
Mar 24, 2012, 11:38 AM
I won't say it's horrible, but the fact that I can't delete icons and organize them IS horrible. It does take more real estate and there are so many apps that I have no interest in that I'm forced to scroll around.

I also agree that Steve can't be the only one with taste at Apple, and if it was his taste that defined the look of the Calendar and Contacts apps in IOS, I would say I'm looking forward to some fresh input as they pain me to look at.

LFMNX
Mar 24, 2012, 11:38 AM
Once you get past the big icons I like the UI. Especially after playing with samsung smart TV apps and the interface for roku xs.

danny_w
Mar 24, 2012, 11:39 AM
With one quick scroll you can see every single content option on the device represented by big, colorful icons.
Right, big colorful icons that are very difficult to tell which one is currently selected. I hate it!

Kebabselector
Mar 24, 2012, 11:40 AM
I don't mind the new layout to be honest, though I'd like the ability to delete stuff I don't want (MLB, WSJ etc). I found the old menu system o.k. at first, but the more they add it the more of a pain it was to scroll down to find the option you wanted.

WeegieMac
Mar 24, 2012, 11:40 AM
This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.

It was, sadly, always going to be the case. I get slated by friends for this, but I keep saying I miss the Steve era, it was a hell of a ride. Even though he said he didn't want people to ask, "What would Steve do", I still liked to think that somehow they'd keep to his principles. I can see only two people at Apple keeping Steve's principles, and that's Jony Ive and Scott Forstall. They're in the Steve "mould", the same mindset.

Tim Cook, I'm sorry, is not inspiring, he's God awfully boring on stage, too slow, too pedantic, almost robotic. He may well be a great CEO, but there's nothing to suggest that without Steve he'll be nothing but another Gil Amelio. Especially if he begins selfishly and forcefully thinking his visions are what "Steve would want" when they're actually far from that.

ouimetnick
Mar 24, 2012, 11:40 AM
At least the icons aren't all greyed out like iTunes is.

Avatar74
Mar 24, 2012, 11:42 AM
I think instead of saying that there's no one to say "no" to bad design, I'd put it this way: There may not be a singular person currently at Apple who has the fundamental instinct for discerning elegant design from bad design in an instant.

The danger this presents for Apple is that if they don't retain someone who does possess this kind of insight, and entrust that person with final authority to can a bad design, they may turn back to consumer testing...

The moment Apple starts designing by committee again, it's hello Pippin, hello Newton, hello Performa... hello garbage... all over again.

oliversl
Mar 24, 2012, 11:43 AM
Wirelessly posted

Of this is true, I'm scared.
I do get loss in the new UI because the blue aura around the icons is too thin.

WeegieMac
Mar 24, 2012, 11:44 AM
I think instead of saying that there's no one to say "no" to bad design, I'd put it this way: There may not be a singular person currently at Apple who has the fundamental instinct for discerning elegant design from bad design in an instant.

The danger this presents for Apple is that if they don't retain someone who does possess this kind of insight, and entrust that person with final authority to can a bad design, they may turn back to consumer testing...

The moment Apple starts designing by committee again, it's hello Pippin, hello Newton, hello Performa... hello garbage... all over again.

Agreed.

People keep saying that Scott Forstall is the next CEO in waiting.

I hope he is, he's got that Steve-esque arrogance and the personality to match. On stage, he's enthusiastic, he's almost arrogantly mesmerising, he holds attention, he makes things interesting and shows a real passion for his product.

damir00
Mar 24, 2012, 11:45 AM
I hate it. They should buy Plex.


No thanks - don't like the Plex interface.

Each to their own, I guess.

danny_w
Mar 24, 2012, 11:45 AM
Wirelessly posted

Of this is true, I'm scared.
I do get loss in the new UI because the blue aura around the icons is too thin.
Exactly right, it is too hard to tell which icon is currently selected. Plus you can't delete icons for unused applications.

adztaylor
Mar 24, 2012, 11:46 AM
The old UI was just as bad and Steve did approve that one.

Eves apple
Mar 24, 2012, 11:47 AM
I preferred the older version, the new one is a bit clunky but I do like the colours.
And it's not a Pioneer plasma.

CupertinoRat
Mar 24, 2012, 11:47 AM
It is becoming very clear that without Steve in charge things are going downhill rather quickly.

I'm sorry but you can't call milking same old designs (see 4S or iPad 3) innovation. And now bringing back old UI rejected by Steve.

Shame.

URFloorMatt
Mar 24, 2012, 11:49 AM
I think instead of saying that there's no one to say "no" to bad design, I'd put it this way: There may not be a singular person currently at Apple who has the fundamental instinct for discerning elegant design from bad design in an instant.

The danger this presents for Apple is that if they don't retain someone who does possess this kind of insight, and entrust that person with final authority to can a bad design, they may turn back to consumer testing... You say this like the old Apple TV design was genius and in the few months since Jobs' death, Apple completely revamped the design by committee. Fact is, the interface has always been a problem, and the Apple TV has never been a success. The new design is lipstick on a pig--lipstick, in all likelihood, approved by Jobs himself.

My point is simply this: it's one thing to say that the Apple TV interface sucks. It's another thing to say it sucks because Jobs isn't in charge anymore. The former is perfectly reasonable; the latter is bordering on Cult of Jobs nonsense.

It seems highly unlikely to me that the production pipeline allows for the possibility that someone other than Jobs approved this revamp of the interface. This thread is a case study in people seeing what they want to see (namely, a decline in decision making at Apple following Jobs' death).

nagromme
Mar 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
In other words, this reminded him of something Jobs didn’t like 5 years ago. It has something in common.

It’s obviously not the same thing that was rejected 5 years ago.

There’s probably an interesting nugget of Apple historical trivia hiding here, but I doubt we’ll find it.

verniesgarden
Mar 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
There are elements of the first Apple TV OS which was essentially Front Row that I miss and while I got used to the Apple TV 2 OS as well, I can also see how this one leads the way for apps. I don't know how I feel about the icon based design. Ironically, even though they changed the front page interface each time, the sub level design (especially within Computers) has not changed. I can't bring up my movies in billboard. And I still don't know how I feel about the Computers categorization instead of My Movies, My TV Shows, My Music under each of the respective headings.

I totally agree, I want my content to be intuitively in there respective spots, as long as they are on my homeshared macs. less clicks to get to content better UX.

dethmaShine
Mar 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
I for one don't like this design majorly because of the stale icons. They obviously are colourful but look ridiculously simplistic without an appropriate gradient. The rest of the UI is fantastic. It's just the icons that bug me.

adztaylor
Mar 24, 2012, 11:51 AM
It is becoming very clear that without Steve in charge things are going downhill rather quickly.

I'm sorry but you can't call milking same old designs (see 4S or iPad 3) innovation. And now bringing back old UI rejected by Steve.

Shame.

Interesting, seeing as Steve did work on the iPhone 4S and probably knew something about the new iPad (of course that's just conjecture)

Some people need to get a grip.

:rolleyes:

Reach9
Mar 24, 2012, 11:52 AM
Wirelessly posted

I.e. without Steve, Apple will lose that sense of design and perfect UI experience? Ouch.

Lek
Mar 24, 2012, 11:53 AM
I just LOVE how Apple continues to use the Pioneer Plasma as an image to represent their TV. I truly hope they are paying Pioneer for this. But the most hilarious thing about all this, they FINALLY realized the Kuro TV they were using looked so dated with it's massive bezel that they now edited the image with a smaller bezel. Oh Apple, when will you start inventing your own products.

I have a Kuro and I LOVE the bigger bezel, it's the most elegant TV ever designed. I'll keep it and its perfect picture quality over I'm sure Apple's forthcoming average picture quality with I'm sure great ergonomics and ease of use.

nagromme
Mar 24, 2012, 11:54 AM
It is becoming very clear that without Steve in charge things are going downhill rather quickly.

I'm sorry but you can't call milking same old designs (see 4S or iPad 3) innovation. And now bringing back old UI rejected by Steve.

Shame.

1. Design isn’t how it looks, it’s how it works. Changing a perfectly good shape is easy—that isn’t true innovation. That’s why Apple design is better than flavor-of-the-month design from other companies who just dream up new shells (or copy Apple’s old designs). Apple doesn’t need to be like the companies that are struggling.

2. You’ve never seen a company use the same casing for two years? Apple has re-used excellent casings far longer than that—look at the entire Mac lineup. Innovation goes on inside, and in the software, as it should. Nothing about making the new iPad look like the old one is at all different than Apple ever was. Steve Jobs was most definitely involved in the new iPad, and in the re-use of other great Apple casings in past years.

WhoDaKat
Mar 24, 2012, 11:54 AM
Steve hated everything before he loved it. Thats just the way he was. I can totally understand that. Get presented with a new product/idea and find all its flaws. To do that best, you start by hating everything! Anything that survives this kind of a process, something that sticks in your head, those are the great ideas and products!

cameronjpu
Mar 24, 2012, 11:55 AM
Nothing like a disgruntled former employee tossing bombs that can't be refuted.

Padraig
Mar 24, 2012, 11:55 AM
Agreed.

People keep saying that Scott Forstall is the next CEO in waiting.

I hope he is, he's got that Steve-esque arrogance and the personality to match. On stage, he's enthusiastic, he's almost arrogantly mesmerising, he holds attention, he makes things interesting and shows a real passion for his product.

He also really pisses people off. Steve had the rare ability to treat people like dirt and they'd still work their ass off to earn his approval, they won't do that for Scott. He's essentially Tracey Flick from Election.

Navdakilla
Mar 24, 2012, 11:56 AM
Nt going to lie, I wasnt a fan of the new update. But whatever, it does the job

RoboCop001
Mar 24, 2012, 11:56 AM
I just bought an Apple TV for the first time this week.

I don't think I absolutely love the design, but I don't think I hate it either.

I think the new design just needs a bit more organization. The old menu-based interface would have become overburdened as they add more and more things, especially if they're adding apps in the near future. Rolling out this new design could be a pre-emptive thing to see how it works in the wild.

Anyway, it's always possible that Jobs would have turned around on his opinion of the new interface given the circumstances of the time. It wouldn't be the first time he did that. If they open an Apple TV app store, he may have preferred this version or something similar because of the apps. This keeps it similar to the iOS device app layout so people can have familiarity.

The Apple TV is still evolving anyway. It's still a "hobby", whatever that means to Apple.

With that said, the new interface can still be better.

LaWally
Mar 24, 2012, 11:56 AM
Now if only everyone who has expressed a negative opinion here would go to Apple Feedback and tell them. I told them what I thought of the new interface the day after it come out ... in a constructive way of course.

zachkolk
Mar 24, 2012, 11:57 AM
Only reason they went with this design is that it scales better with multiple apps than the old software ever did.

While it does make it easier to navigate, it still looks terrible. Especially since it is no longer a constant UI across the whole OS. The *update only changed the way the home screen looks, the rest of the UI elements are still are the old [and better looking] menu based navigation bars.

Even if this does pave the way for apps, why in the world would they ever pick such an ugly set of colors for the not square (another bad choice) icons? Example, the horrid green for "Computers."

applefanDrew
Mar 24, 2012, 11:57 AM
Wirelessly posted

The interface on the new Apple TV reminds me of launchpad for OS X and iOS.

thetaylor13
Mar 24, 2012, 11:57 AM
IMHO it's kind of annoying to have to scroll up and down/remember where stuff is. At least with the menu system I knew Netflix/radio/youtube were all "Internet" related things under the Internet menu.

True, now you have to remember that "Netflix" is the giant red button that says Netflix, "Radio" is a giant button that says "Radio" and "YouTube" is a giant button that says "YouTube". All for some reason located on the home screen. :roll eyes:

Moonjumper
Mar 24, 2012, 11:58 AM
At least it is better than the Game Center interface...

Padraig
Mar 24, 2012, 12:00 PM
At least it is better than the Game Center interface...

That really is a travesty.

DotCom2
Mar 24, 2012, 12:00 PM
I must be WEIRD because I like the new interface. :eek:

camnchar
Mar 24, 2012, 12:01 PM
He also really pisses people off. Steve had the rare ability to treat people like dirt and they'd still work their ass off to earn his approval, they won't do that for Scott. He's essentially Tracey Flick from Election.

+1. The word that comes to mind every time he takes the stage is "douche."

SteveAbootman
Mar 24, 2012, 12:01 PM
No company can change something and expect nothing to be said, even Apple. Change is inevitable yet we are naturally averse to it.

I just can't wait for all the legions of people who claim that the UI on iOS is boring and outdated, to be up in arms when/if Apple does a major overhaul. They'll hate it just because it's a natural reaction to oppose change, as well as because the prevailing wisdom will be that Steve himself didn't approve or disapprove of it.

mikethebigo
Mar 24, 2012, 12:01 PM
Five years ago? According to his biography, Steve Jobs changed his mind on a daily basis. Apple is trying to unify their design language across the board, and yes, that means using icons that look more like iOS in nature on the Apple TV.

It is said that Steve Jobs left Apple with 4 years of products in the pipeline. I am positive he had input on this UI.

CupertinoRat
Mar 24, 2012, 12:05 PM
There was a reason why Steve thought this Apple TV UI was total crap. Steve had a 6th sense about these things and an uncanny eye for design.

This UI plus the bigger and heavier iPad would never fly under his watch.

skunk
Mar 24, 2012, 12:06 PM
It is said that Steve Jobs left Apple with 4 years of products in the pipeline. I am positive he had input on this UI.Indeed, especially after his much-reported ευρηκα moment about finally having cracked the TV question.

dr34mc4st3r
Mar 24, 2012, 12:07 PM
what's up with everyone quoting that if SJ is around, [insert new Apple product UI/hardware decision after SJ's death] will never happen? Give me a break... :rolleyes:

SJ left the company in good hands, to say bad about the current Apple management is as good as saying SJ didn't have the foresight to choose the right people to guide the Apple ship into the future.

admanimal
Mar 24, 2012, 12:08 PM
It is becoming very clear that without Steve in charge things are going downhill rather quickly.

I'm sorry but you can't call milking same old designs (see 4S or iPad 3) innovation. And now bringing back old UI rejected by Steve.

Shame.

How many times do we have to explain that Steve saw and approved the iPhone 4S and iPad 3, if not every single Apple product released in the next two or three years.

rafdesign
Mar 24, 2012, 12:08 PM
The latest version is not great, could use some good UI designer. The type proportion is not balanced with the color and icons, the space between icons and the layout gutters is giving too much gap. The colorful palette distracts its role versus the news content on top.
I understand that the scalability of an interface is a great concern today as going from the iphone to a 60" TV screen, but there are limits to this marketing strategy. This latest update looks like a Roku update... it lacks an Apple touch. Apple should hire better designers.

Coltaine
Mar 24, 2012, 12:09 PM
Pretty sure, Steve approved of the design.
And even if he didn't, what is the problem?

I don't think there is any indication that Apple is slipping.
Even in the Steve era there were good and bad decisions, things that went better and things that did not go well.

Honestly speaking, I never really liked the mess, the iTunes store and the App store are. I buy all my music through the iTtunes store and whenever I open it, I wonder how cluttered it looks. Same goes for downloading movies. So much for UI Steve did approve of.

digibdallas
Mar 24, 2012, 12:09 PM
The very first instant I saw this interface I was shocked. Why is everything so horsey looking? Whats with the MASSIVE, multi-colored buttons? Is this for 3rd graders? My girlfriend didn't even find the lower buttons down off screen for two weeks.

I've been a graphic designer for over 15 years, this is bad design. Please don't tell me this is what we have to look forward too.

Come on Apple. We expect perfection every time.

itcomesinwaves
Mar 24, 2012, 12:09 PM
I think the new interface is a lot better than the old one. It's not great, but I don't think I could point to a TV interface that is.

Edit: The look might be less "classy" but I find it easier to move between all the things I use the AppleTV for. iTunes movies, Netflix, video podcasts, photos, and my computers are all on the screen and it takes fewer clicks to move between them than before.

Big-TDI-Guy
Mar 24, 2012, 12:12 PM
How many times do we have to explain that Steve saw and approved the iPhone 4S and iPad 3, if not every single Apple product released in the next two or three years.

Do you realize how many changes occur to products at the last seconds - often requiring massive changes to manufacturing lines and supply chains?

So rest assured, that designs approved last year, will have been changed hundreds of times before they're in the first consumers hands.

What was approved, or decided then, may not remotely reflect the final product in the end. So if people are comforted by the thought of SJ approval, then keep that blanket close. However knowing the way things are really manufactured, the last device that can really back up that claim, would have been the 4S. Everything else, is too far down the road, and have not gone untouched.

admanimal
Mar 24, 2012, 12:14 PM
There was a reason why Steve thought this Apple TV UI was total crap. Steve had a 6th sense about these things and an uncanny eye for design.

This UI plus the bigger and heavier iPad would never fly under his watch.

Maybe he didn't like it 5 years ago because most of the icons that exist now wouldn't be there. The 2007 version of the Apple TV had no Netflix, MLB, NHL, NBA, WSJ, Vimeo, Youtube, MobileMe, Photo Stream, Flickr...and no App Store to suggest the prospect of future apps.

It's not like Steve rejected this idea on his death bed and Apple went ahead with it anyway a few months later. Things change in 5 years.

OceanView
Mar 24, 2012, 12:15 PM
may be a good time to start selling off Apple stock.

slicecom
Mar 24, 2012, 12:15 PM
I have a Kuro and I LOVE the bigger bezel, it's the most elegant TV ever designed.

Well... it WAS, until Sony's Monolithic design language in my opinion:

http://www.recordere.dk/indhold/articlefiles/3547-Sony_Monolithic_Design_Concept_1000.jpg

acslater017
Mar 24, 2012, 12:16 PM
IMHO it's kind of annoying to have to scroll up and down/remember where stuff is. At least with the menu system I knew Netflix/radio/youtube were all "Internet" related things under the Internet menu.

That's the problem though - the old menu categories were not that great, and it wasn't always clear where to find things. If you'd never used an AppleTV before, why wouldn't "Internet" be where you set your Wi-Fi settings, or sign up for MLB games? How do you know what your AppleTV is capable of, besides scrolling through every menu and memorizing the locations?

I'll be the first to say that I thought the third-gen AppleTV UI looked gaudy and untidy when I first saw the screenshots. But you know what? When you use it in person it's just fine. It looks really nice in 1080p, from a few feet away. All the functionality is displayed for the user. Getting between things is much faster, since you don't have to navigate a "Crossmedia Bar"-type hierarchy.

And let's be honest. Steve Jobs was brilliant - but many bad ideas got through under his watch (G4 Cube, iPod Hi-Fi, MobileMe, Ping) and he also resisted some really good ideas (e.g. CD burners). It's kind of ridiculous to examine every little thing now with a microscope and speculate whether or not Steve Jobs would have approved, or whether Apple's going down the drain.

iBug2
Mar 24, 2012, 12:18 PM
Wirelessly posted


Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.

Consumers don't know the first thing about good design. They will accept whatever you give them.

Coltaine
Mar 24, 2012, 12:18 PM
This UI plus the bigger and heavier iPad would never fly under his watch.

But the bigger and heavier iPhone 3G and antenna-gate iPhone 4 did?

iBug2
Mar 24, 2012, 12:19 PM
There was a reason why Steve thought this Apple TV UI was total crap. Steve had a 6th sense about these things and an uncanny eye for design.

This UI plus the bigger and heavier iPad would never fly under his watch.

Steve obviously knew about this iPad. These devices are in test stages years before they are released. Steve probably even saw iPad 4.

DanteMann
Mar 24, 2012, 12:20 PM
Consumers don't know the first thing about good design. They will accept whatever you give them.

I Agree with this, and this also includes shoving iProducts in every movie/tv show. The iPhone is so far from a good design yet it's everywhere.

RalfTheDog
Mar 24, 2012, 12:21 PM
Design is like a fungus on your skin. At first you don't like it; Then it grows on you.

mrial
Mar 24, 2012, 12:22 PM
I wouldn't mind the design so much if I could move the icons around and hide the ones I never use. I assuming this will happen because it is such an obvious feature that we should have.

Gonky
Mar 24, 2012, 12:25 PM
I think the new interface is a lot better than the old one. It's not great, but I don't think I could point to a TV interface that is.

Edit: The look might be less "classy" but I find it easier to move between all the things I use the AppleTV for. iTunes movies, Netflix, video podcasts, photos, and my computers are all on the screen and it takes fewer clicks to move between them than before.

Plex. The only problems with that stem from a Mac not meant to be a TV-connected device, Plex itself is amazing for videos and television. The old Apple TV interface was lovely and clean, this one is not.

PlaceofDis
Mar 24, 2012, 12:27 PM
well i really don't have a problem with the interface. i actually like it better than the previous version. but thats the thing about designs: everyone has an opinion.

iBug2
Mar 24, 2012, 12:29 PM
I Agree with this, and this also includes shoving iProducts in every movie/tv show. The iPhone is so far from a good design yet it's everywhere.

I think the iPhone 4 had the best design I ever saw on a phone. But these things are subjective and I'm not an industrial designer nor a mechanical engineer. I'm just judging aesthetically.

But product placement is something entirely different. That has much less to do with the design.

acslater017
Mar 24, 2012, 12:31 PM
]There may not be a singular person currently at Apple who has the fundamental instinct for discerning elegant design from bad design in an instant.

The danger this presents for Apple is that if they don't retain someone who does possess this kind of insight, and entrust that person with final authority to can a bad design, they may turn back to consumer testing...

The moment Apple starts designing by committee again, it's hello Pippin, hello Newton, hello Performa... hello garbage... all over again.

If you read Steve Jobs' biography, you'll see that he was far from perfect. He certainly provided the vision for Apple and made the right decisions the majority of the time. Nobody can dispute that. But he also wasted time and money on unimportant aesthetic details. For example, making a perfectly white, futuristic factory that made products nobody wanted. Or making nice clean slot-loading drive that couldn't burn CDs (when that was all the rage). There are also many instances where he blocked ideas from his employees, changed his mind, and took credit for creating it.

I'm not trying to tear the man down. Only pointing out that there are plenty of good ideas at Apple (design included) besides those in Steve Jobs' brain. He also gave the green light to some lemons too. I am completely confident in Apple's design team. Well, except the team that came up with the leather iCal.

deannnnn
Mar 24, 2012, 12:35 PM
My own opinions aside, I actually find it really interesting to see how people respond to this. Does the Apple fanboy (of which I am admittedly one) side with the company as it exists today or Steve Jobs?

HobeSoundDarryl
Mar 24, 2012, 12:36 PM
Consumers don't know the first thing about good design. They will accept or reject whatever you give them.

Fixed that for you. While some companies exhibit this "consumers know nothing, we know best" mentality, I would be one of the last to share in that philosophy. If you involve your buyers in what you are developing, you have a better chance of developing something they'll want to buy. Ignore them and you have a chance of developing only something that YOU (alone) may want to buy. Sure, the latter can sometimes yield home runs when the individual guesses very right but it also can yield products that bomb. It never hurts to include the input of the buyers (which doesn't mean depend solely on their input).

I WAS the one
Mar 24, 2012, 12:37 PM
People, people please... Stop saying there is no one who can ban bad design in Apple. Jonathan Ive is that person now. Steve let him untouchable and he is the one who says No. Remember that.

verniesgarden
Mar 24, 2012, 12:39 PM
True, now you have to remember that "Netflix" is the giant red button that says Netflix, "Radio" is a giant button that says "Radio" and "YouTube" is a giant button that says "YouTube". All for some reason located on the home screen. :roll eyes:

honestly, this is still "too much" really what would be a great fluid intuitive UI/UX would be if you scrapped all those buttons and made content king. "movies, music, tv shows" and once you clicked on the media type you are then presented with genres or some other categorical listing, and the content is displayed there no matter if its on your netflix or on your homeshared computers or on your iTunes cloud. then have a store button at the top of each list to allow you to go buy/rent new things in that category/genre

Rogue.
Mar 24, 2012, 12:43 PM
Wirelessly posted

I like this new interface personally, it's less boring than the old one and it's easier to see all your options

Agreed, but I wish there was a way to remove unwanted icons!

flottenheimer
Mar 24, 2012, 12:46 PM
Personally, I like the PS3/PSP menu-interface and navigation logic ( http://bit.ly/GOF1HJ ) way more than this.
But it's not too bad, imho.

Aeolius
Mar 24, 2012, 12:48 PM
Agreed, but I wish there was a way to remove unwanted icons!

Agreed. I will never use the sports-related icons and they take up valuable screen space.

wilycoder
Mar 24, 2012, 12:49 PM
Personally, I like the PS3/PSP menu-interface and navigation logic ( http://bit.ly/GOF1HJ ) way more than this.
But it's not too bad, imho.

yeah Xross media bar of sony is sweet :)

alhedges
Mar 24, 2012, 12:51 PM
If you read Steve Jobs' biography, you'll see that he was far from perfect. He certainly provided the vision for Apple and made the right decisions the majority of the time. Nobody can dispute that. But he also wasted time and money on unimportant aesthetic details. For example, making a perfectly white, futuristic factory that made products nobody wanted. Or making nice clean slot-loading drive that couldn't burn CDs (when that was all the rage). There are also many instances where he blocked ideas from his employees, changed his mind, and took credit for creating it.

This, +100.

While Steve had a very good sense of design, his bio is filled with situations where he was wrong about things. (The upside down Apple on the laptops; the floppy drive supplier for the mac, etc.). The most amazing thing that he did, really, was surround himself with other people who also had a clear sense of design *and* with enough knowledge and confidence to contradict him and convince him that he was wrong and they were right. That's a *lot* harder to do...but it bodes well for Apple because those people are still there and that culture is still there.

While I think that the new Apple TV interface is kind of meh, the old one would probably have been worse with all of the options we now have available. And I'm confident that the next version will be better.


I'm not trying to tear the man down. Only pointing out that there are plenty of good ideas at Apple (design included) besides those in Steve Jobs' brain. He also gave the green light to some lemons too. I am completely confident in Apple's design team. Well, except the team that came up with the leather iCal.
The consensus seems to be that Steve came up with the leather designs. I suppose we should be happy that the Apple TV interface isn't stitched leather.

Saladinos
Mar 24, 2012, 12:51 PM
I don't think Steve would mind people asking what he'd do; I think he'd mind that posthumously, people seem to think he was omniscient.

SJ made plenty of mistakes, and had a load of terrible ideas, too. *shock* he was human. I'm sure he also changed his mind a lot about the same thing.

One obvious example that springs to mind is how he repeatedly refused to release a Windows-compatible iPod. We all know how good it is that people didn't listen to him.

iBug2
Mar 24, 2012, 12:54 PM
Fixed that for you. While some companies exhibit this "consumers know nothing, we know best" mentality, I would be one of the last to share in that philosophy. If you involve your buyers in what you are developing, you have a better chance of developing something they'll want to buy. Ignore them and you have a chance of developing only something that YOU (alone) may want to buy. Sure, the latter can sometimes yield home runs when the individual guesses very right but it also can yield products that bomb. It never hurts to include the input of the buyers (which doesn't mean depend solely on their input).

Well, companies do know better than consumers, that's not debatable. Their job is to know better. A consumer does not spend thousands of hours developing and testing different designs and implementations. They have basically no idea nor should they have any idea. It's not my job to develop an electronic product.

The rest of your argument is irrelevant. Customers can accept or reject a product for millions of different reasons besides design.

I don't think the input of the buyers should ever be put under heavy observation. Sure sometimes people can come up with good ideas, but most of the time they come up with crappy ones, so time is better spent on other things than listening to customers. One crucial thing to realize is that customers are habitual and unless someone forces them, they won't want to change their habits, which most of the time is bad for them. A company can force them to do that by releasing appropriate products.

skellener
Mar 24, 2012, 12:55 PM
I've seen and used the new AppleTV interface. I don't think it's very good at all. But I don't think the previous interface was much better either.

Search needs to be first and foremost and easy. Period. If you can't search, it's useless.

After that, why not a silky smooth fast coverflow for browsing the movie posters?

jlasoon
Mar 24, 2012, 01:01 PM
The old UI was just as bad and Steve did approve that one.

Exactly, the old UI was terrible. The new one is just as bad.

CWallace
Mar 24, 2012, 01:01 PM
I neither love nor hate it.

My personal opinion is that if Apple makes a standalone HDTV, it will have apps. And if it has apps, it makes sense to have an iOS-style interface with colorful buttons like an iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch.

So it's possible this is a "public beta" of the HDTV interface.

theluggage
Mar 24, 2012, 01:02 PM
What is so bad about it? The fact that it uses the screen estate? Or that the icons are actually colorful?

Er... yes?

One of Apple's design strengths is minimalism, elegant use of empty space and restrained use of colour. I hope the next generation of MacBooks aren't going to be covered with the sort of go-faster stripes and logos that encrust non-Apple laptops. Haven't you seen this warning video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtEsSdP6sR8)?

...also, its cluttering up everybody's front page with icons for very specific services which many people won't want to sign up for (MLB? I 'm not from the US, but I think its a bit like the game "rounders" that the girls used to play at school - either that or some sort of religious sect) while something all-encompasing like "Radio" languishes at the bottom (and hence can't display favourites in the top bar like the first row of apps).

Moonjumper
Mar 24, 2012, 01:04 PM
Design is like a fungus on your skin. At first you don't like it; Then it grows on you.

Good design is something you use without realising. Bad design is something you learn to work around. Note which one takes time. "Grows on you" is not the words I would use to describe the process. That suggests acceptance.

garylapointe
Mar 24, 2012, 01:07 PM
Saying "no" and then "yes" later doesn't make it a bad thing.
A four person car isn't what I wanted five years ago, maybe it's more useful to me now for different reasons (a simple analogy).

This implies they've rewritted and debugged this version of the Apple TV OS (iOS?) since fall and released it? They must have started hours after Mr. Jobs died, that DOES NOT seem likely.

The AppleTV has always been lacking (but supposedly Jobs figured it out). Most TV interfaces have been lacking IMHO. XBMC, Boxee, AppleTV (versions 1 and 2 and 3) all missing a little (I liked Boxee, personally). Actually, I always liked my TiVo interface but it's very NON-graphical and that doesn't sell well.

Honestly, choosing (instantly consumable) media hasn't been my favorite option on any of my iPhone Apps. Except Pandora, but I don't really choose there, do I?

I like iTunes on the computer because I can sort and search very quickly and easily.

Gary

roadrunner-299
Mar 24, 2012, 01:08 PM
I think instead of saying that there's no one to say "no" to bad design, I'd put it this way: There may not be a singular person currently at Apple who has the fundamental instinct for discerning elegant design from bad design in an instant.

The danger this presents for Apple is that if they don't retain someone who does possess this kind of insight, and entrust that person with final authority to can a bad design, they may turn back to consumer testing...

The moment Apple starts designing by committee again, it's hello Pippin, hello Newton, hello Performa... hello garbage... all over again.

Good point. How about Jonathan Ive?

Bevz
Mar 24, 2012, 01:09 PM
The original interface was great. I liked that one the most.
The second generation interface was complete rubbish as far as i was concerned.
The third generation interface (the current one) is just as rubbish, BUT i can see some logic in it if they were paving the way for apps (which i'm hoping they are).

I don't see this as a "Post jobs" issue as the 2nd gen interface which i think was easily the worst of the 3 was brought in under job's tenure.

I think an ATV SDK will be introduced at WWDC this year (well, more of a hope really lol), if so it mostly vindicates the new design. Apps would simply not have worked with the first 2 designs; well, not in a way that user friendly enough for a 5 year old to use.

iBug2
Mar 24, 2012, 01:14 PM
Good design is something you use without realising. Bad design is something you learn to work around. Note which one takes time. "Grows on you" is not the words I would use to describe the process. That suggests acceptance.

Not necessarily. One of the biggest reasons people reject a different design is because it doesn't convey to their workflow and habits. So they have to change their ways. It's only a question of how appropriate their original workflow was. Change always makes things worst at first, but most of the time, after a get to know period, everything is better and faster than it was before if the change was a smart one to begin with. But of course, if the potential gain as very small and the get to know period is long, then it just might not be worth it.

charlieegan3
Mar 24, 2012, 01:15 PM
This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.

this guy really gets the proportion of the situtation...:rolleyes:

If the guys at apple were as dumb this guy it would be the end of the world, not just apple.

Millah
Mar 24, 2012, 01:16 PM
I sincerely hope this isn't the beginning of the end of QA for Apple with the late Steve Jobs' sad passing. Jonny or others must know and think as Steve would in these situations as Steve put much faith in him. The next few years should be interesting.

No, they should not. If you know anything about Steve, what was his advice to Apple before he passed? "I don't want Apple to get like Disney after Walt passed, frozen constantly trying to think like Walt. Don't try to think what I would do, just do what's right."

Basically the gist of what he said. So no, Jonny and everyone shouldn't try to think like Jobs, they should follow their own intuition and instincts, because the only person who could think like Steve Jobs is sadly gone now. Either fret the past, or embrace the future.

I just think its funny how a disgruntled ex employee can say whatever he wants and it's reported as fact. I'd be highly skepticle of this statement. The design is clearly designed around the recent advancements made in ATV in terms of apps. Those weren't there 5 years ago. And the rest of the UI seems highly inspired by their advancements in iOS UI design, again which didn't exist 5 years ago.

It's not like the ATV interface has always been perfect up until now. They've redesigned it several times under Steve. So it's not like he never OKd "bad design." (Even though I think the new UI is much better than the previous)

jroadley
Mar 24, 2012, 01:22 PM
Agreed - so disappointed with latest update. Looks a complete mess.

laurim
Mar 24, 2012, 01:22 PM
I for one don't like this design majorly because of the stale icons. They obviously are colourful but look ridiculously simplistic without an appropriate gradient. The rest of the UI is fantastic. It's just the icons that bug me.

yes, they are way too big and all the colors look more like Windows 7. blech! Does not look like a high-end Apple product until after the main screen. I also wish the star ratings on movies were on the thumbnails so I don't have to click on each one to know whether it's a one-star loser. People's star ratings have been a pretty good guide for avoiding bad movies. Sorting by rating would also be nice.

slb
Mar 24, 2012, 01:23 PM
Steve Jobs didn't want third-party apps on the iPhone and initially rejected the classic dancing silhouette iPod ads. He wasn't perfect.

There's no way we could say Steve wouldn't have approved of using this new design today; after all, Steve approved of the new iTunes icon everyone also complained about when it came out, and he would have been aware of this in-development Apple TV interface before he died. This article is just people looking for things to claim that Apple is now falling apart, as if Steve Jobs single-handedly designed everything at Apple to begin with.

jonharris200
Mar 24, 2012, 01:24 PM
Sadly I have to agree: it just looks odd and somewhat garish.

Millah
Mar 24, 2012, 01:26 PM
Er... yes?

One of Apple's design strengths is minimalism, elegant use of empty space and restrained use of colour.

Really? You must not have been an Apple follower during the Aqua days. Last time I checked, OSX was born with the design goal of "when you see it, you want to lick it"

Ever check out that iOS home screen? Looks pretty damn colorful to me. ATVs new interface clearly designed like that. Big, colorful, easy to discern icons.

I still haven't seen exactly what makes the ATV interface "bad" design. Different? Yes. Bad? I don't think so. In fact, given all the new apps and content offerings, I'd say the old ATV interface was absolutely horrendous for people taking advantage of these services. I mean, lumping them into one vertically scrolling list simply titled "Internet". That's not great design from Apple.

People don't like change, it's that simple. I'm sure many of you called the last UI redesign horrible and the front row interface was so much better. Because you get used to a certain workflow, and get all upset the minute that workflow is interrupted and forced to relearn something. Fortunately, it's not hard to learn the new UI. So either take a few weeks to get used to it, or go and make a better product yourself if you're such an expert on design.

pacman7331
Mar 24, 2012, 01:29 PM
boring news...

i dont care about iOs iPhone or iPad...

where is the Macbook pro news?

Xtremehkr
Mar 24, 2012, 01:29 PM
I would have to agree with this, the old design was much easier to navigate.

With the new design I went to the movies app and wasn't expecting to end up in the iTunes music store. The new design is cluttered and confusing, it works on an iPhone but not for AppleTV.

If I could I would revert to the old menu format.

liquidsuns
Mar 24, 2012, 01:29 PM
Wirelessly posted

Well I like it better then the SJ-approved UI.

bushman4
Mar 24, 2012, 01:30 PM
Hopefully Apple hasn't forgotten that a consumer wants a new product to:
1. Look different
2.Feel different
3.Be identifiable

Only reason why I say this is that the the Iphone 4S, and New Ipad are almost like the previous model and the New Apple TV feels just like any other user interface around.
Bottom Line: Not good, even though sales of the Iphone4S may say differently.

tkermit
Mar 24, 2012, 01:31 PM
Don't forget, Steve approved this:

http://f.cl.ly/items/3j0w45040Z3k342y193Z/iTunes10.png

EDIT:

And this :-O :

http://siliconangle.com/files/2010/12/apple-ping.jpg

d21mike
Mar 24, 2012, 01:32 PM
I actually like where the new design is going. Like many others have said, we need to be able to rearrange and eliminate a number of the icons. Especially, if what I hope happens that add much more like Hulu, HBO Go, Max Go etc. Like the early iPhones did not have an App Store and did not have folders or even cut/paste. These were added later. I just hope that get on with it soon.

scriptlol
Mar 24, 2012, 01:33 PM
Hopefully Apple hasn't forgotten that a consumer wants a new product to:
1. Look different
2.Feel different
3.Be identifiable

Only reason why I say this is that the the Iphone 4S, and New Ipad are almost like the previous model and the New Apple TV feels just like any other user interface around.
Bottom Line: Not good, even though sales of the Iphone4S may say differently.

Apple isn't and (hopefully) never will be the type of company to make cosmetic changes just for the sake of making it "different." This is part of what makes them special. Changing for the sake of change is going to be the day when the management has lost it.

Tinyluph
Mar 24, 2012, 01:33 PM
It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I also don't see how one can make a better argument for the old interface.

kdarling
Mar 24, 2012, 01:34 PM
Good point. How about Jonathan Ive?

Mr. Ive is an industrial designer. He creates the outward look of the products.

He's most likely not the kind of person at Apple who should make decisions about user interfaces.

zerosumgamez
Mar 24, 2012, 01:36 PM
This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.

Well, you have provided a good perspective on a seemingly insignificant design flaw on a relatively low end Apple product. The implication you have pointed out, however is ginormous. Apple's current success has to do with Steve's relentlessness attitude to say No, for him saying no means staying the course and focus (1997 WWDC). His ability to say "No to bad design" ended up saving the company from destruction and turning it into a 98 billion cash cow. I have been playing around with the new Apple TV for days now and I really like it. Something however, has been nagging me and I don't know what that is. Now I do, it is the interface design.

scriptlol
Mar 24, 2012, 01:38 PM
Don't forget, Steve approved this:
[new itunes logo, removed to save bandwidth]


Ever since the cancer news came out, I have noticed many many instances of things like this (and as another example, the vertical 'traffic light' controls that iTunes had for a while, instead of horizontal...a fundamental UI inconsistency that I never understood) and thought to myself that people would be going crazy if Steve had already died, saying he would never have approved such things, yet Steve was alive and well.

Mere mortals like us simply cannot predict what Steve would and wouldn't have done, and we shouldn't even try. Apple made questionable decisions when Steve was alive, and they will still make them now.

psalazarc
Mar 24, 2012, 01:43 PM
Wirelessly posted

Everyone should just chill, and stop this "Apple is going downhill" nonsense.
I too think the new interface is ugly and quite frankly a bit tacky. Though not the best, I miss the Tiger Front Row UI. They should have kept the "less is more" mantra; big shinny incons really take away the elegance and simplicity Apple is known for. However, pinning this on the fact that Steve Jobs isn't around is.. Dumb. First, Steve probably did approve this design, we all know Apple prepares updates months and months ahead. Second.. Even if he did reject it at first, how can you tell he wouln't approve now. Steve wasn't known for always sticking to his word (see no video on iPods, people don't read, etc). Lastly, it's not like Steve passed and suddenly Apple makes bad design choices. Remember the new iTunes icon? Or Facetime's? Or iOS 5 music app on iPad? Calendar? Or the inconsisten OSX UI that continued for years? Apple sometimes makes weird decisions, and bad design choices, but in the end it all turns out pretty good. They WILL improve it. The always look for how to make things better, what should be polished, where something can be tweaked. Just give them time. Don't scream and shout like it's the apocalypse. It's not because Steve Jobs passed. It's because they probably have a new idea in mind (Apps), or are testing new things.. Or simply because they sometimes make wrong decisions.

uv23
Mar 24, 2012, 01:44 PM
I was appalled when I updated my Apple TV and saw the new UI. Its atrocious and extremely cumbersome to use.

FlameofAnor
Mar 24, 2012, 01:47 PM
I was appalled when I updated my Apple TV and saw the new UI. Its atrocious and extremely cumbersome to use.

Look on the bright side...... it's just software, and can be changed with an update. ;)

The Cat Empire
Mar 24, 2012, 01:47 PM
Wow, is this really happening? I HATED the old Apple TV interface with a passion. It looked like crap to me. The new design is more aesthetically pleasing to me. I love the app icons. It streamlines it with the iPhone and iPad. What's wrong with streamlining the interfaces between all the Apple products.

Conclusion: I like this design a lot better than before. It's nice.

Bernard SG
Mar 24, 2012, 01:50 PM
Steve Jobs also rejected the idea of iTunes on Windows or third-party apps on iOS.
The new :apple:TV UI is fine. It would be perfect if they got rid of the advertisement at the top-half of the screen.

AppleHater
Mar 24, 2012, 01:53 PM
To me it sounds more like as the guy who had a lot to do with ATV 2 UI design, he's not liking the change. Since I don't have a ATV, I can't tell myself one way or the other, though.

iJon
Mar 24, 2012, 01:57 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the colored buttons either but nobody liked the new iTunes logo at first and now I think it's great. I like the bigger buttons though, much easier to navigate.

To be honest the Apple TV interface has never been perfect and has always been a work in progress. I don't really look at this as a "things to come" type situation.

As for people preferring the Plex interface, I disagree. While Plex is a nice program, it's far to complicated to certain tasks in my opinion.

eyehop
Mar 24, 2012, 01:57 PM
I wouldn't make too much of the opinion of one employee. The new layout is functional, albeit a little less pretty than before. It looks completely touch-ready, like it could be an iPad app, which I'm sure it will be. Having a direct mirror between the TV interface and the iPad interface makes perfect sense. I don't think categorizing Internet vs TV, etc. makes any sense, too much convergance for that sort of thing, so I like that the buttons for sources of content are now up front and all on the same level. Apple still has great hardware and software designers, and leadership. The sky is not falling at :apple:

nightcap965
Mar 24, 2012, 02:00 PM
A little perspective, people.

Remember the Bondi Blue iMac? Lovely, wasn't it? What about that horrible hockey puck mouse? Jony Ive designed, Steve Jobs approved.

Remember OS X? Gorgeous, yes? What about the dock, breaking every rule of interfaces, including Apple's own? It's poorly-designed eye candy. We're just used to it now that it's in its umpteenth iteration.

Look at the keyboard on the mid-2011 MacBook Air on which I'm typing. Look at the Delete key, located right below the power button. Care to guess which one my fumble finger hits more often than not?

Steve Jobs had an unusually well-developed sense of aesthetics. He wasn't perfect. There really is no such thing when it comes to design, and that's good for Apple, because it means they can continue to improve.

cameronjpu
Mar 24, 2012, 02:01 PM
My own opinions aside, I actually find it really interesting to see how people respond to this. Does the Apple fanboy (of which I am admittedly one) side with the company as it exists today or Steve Jobs?

You mean flying spaghetti monster Steve Jobs?

Because Steve Jobs didn't say anything about this design. This was a former engineer talking, not SJ. Even if you believe 100% what he says SJ SAID 5 years ago about this product, that is totally meaningless WRT the new Apple TV.

ArtOfWarfare
Mar 24, 2012, 02:02 PM
It was my understanding that Steve left Jonathan Ives in charge of vetoing bad design. While its true Steve Jobs was a control freak, he had a lot of respect for Ives as an artist.

SchneiderMan
Mar 24, 2012, 02:03 PM
It's ghastly and over used.

usarioclave
Mar 24, 2012, 02:05 PM
The reason that this AppleTV UI will work in the near future is because soon Apple will update Remote to show this screen on your iOS device. Once you can manipulate this UI from your iPad all the problems with it will go away.

Saladinos
Mar 24, 2012, 02:10 PM
Good point. How about Jonathan Ive?

There is a difference between industrial design and product design. Industrial design is what it looks like, product design is how it works.

In some ways, you could think of it as a design hierarchy: product design is an umbrella for all sorts of things that includes industrial design. More than that, though: product design is how they all fit together as a package.

At Apple, Ive was the industrial designer but Steve was the product designer. He was the one they'd bring iPhone prototypes to, who'd tell them to go back to the drawing board despite everything they'd put in to it already. "We don't have a product yet" is what SJ is reported to have told them.

We don't know who's leading product design at Apple. The danger is that in the absence of Steve, they'll resort to a consensus of all the other designers. That isn't what Steve did. The big problem with committee design is that you often get a lowest-common-demoninator; when you have a single perfectionist in charge, everything must be just so.

You can't push a vision in a committee. Apple needs a new dictator.

Burro99
Mar 24, 2012, 02:11 PM
I was appalled when I updated my Apple TV and saw the new UI. Its atrocious and extremely cumbersome to use.
It's the exact same with additional crap at the bottom. If you find that difficult it may be from the hole in your head rather than the ui itself.

73CortinaV8
Mar 24, 2012, 02:15 PM
Wirelessly posted

"now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design"

Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.

Ever see the dashboard of any late-model toyota? Consumers have said "Yes!" to those monstrosities. Prius interior is the worst.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 02:16 PM
I don't mind the new layout to be honest, though I'd like the ability to delete stuff I don't want (MLB, WSJ etc). I found the old menu system o.k. at first, but the more they add it the more of a pain it was to scroll down to find the option you wanted.

This is key. There are elements of both of these interfaces that I like and dislike. I really liked the old one in some ways, but it was feeling more and more cluttered every month when they added new things. Five years ago, I could see why this would be rejected as it didn't make sense then, but now that we live in an app-based world more and more, and now that there's a lot more content available on Apple TV, this new UI direction does make sense. I do think it needs polishing, and customization would be great, but I think that will all come in time.

Chupa Chupa
Mar 24, 2012, 02:18 PM
Remember OS X? Gorgeous, yes? What about the dock, breaking every rule of interfaces, including Apple's own? It's poorly-designed eye candy. We're just used to it now that it's in its umpteenth iteration.



That last sentence is Apple's rule for everything, i.e., the user will get use to it. Apple breaks traditional rules for just about everything. It's why Apple is Apple and not DellHPSamsungSony.

But going back to OS X, it is just NeXT, one more generation up. It is pure Steve Jobs. Apple bought NeXT b/c it was out of ideas at the time and Copeland was an utter bust. But, honestly, the only problem w/ the dock was it's initial inflexibility to be pinned anywhere but the bottom of the screen. Many OS 9 users had 3rd party dock-like program launchers though.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 02:19 PM
The reason that this AppleTV UI will work in the near future is because soon Apple will update Remote to show this screen on your iOS device. Once you can manipulate this UI from your iPad all the problems with it will go away.

I've wondered why I couldn't do this so many times. I love being able to navigate my computer content on the iPhone/iPad Remote App, but why can't I tap an icon for Netflix or anything else for that matter too?

Marcus PM
Mar 24, 2012, 02:22 PM
Now I understand why the new ATV interface just did not "feel right".
From a design aspect it's missing simplicity, organization, and "white space".
It's currently too cluttered. Everything just thrown up there all at once.

Andronicus
Mar 24, 2012, 02:23 PM
Design is simple and boring. Its something that should have been given to the competition because it definitely does NOT belong on an Apple product.

Grid of icons is boring? That's iOS baby!

Burro99
Mar 24, 2012, 02:23 PM
I've wondered why I couldn't do this so many times. I love being able to navigate my computer content on the iPhone/iPad Remote App, but why can't I tap an icon for Netflix or anything else for that matter too?
Remote HD (http://remotehd.com/AppleTV/Overview) app will let you do this but requires a jailbroken atv to install the app on it.

e-coli
Mar 24, 2012, 02:24 PM
The interface is absolutely miserable in every way. Glad someone is acknowledging this. So ham-handed.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 02:24 PM
Now I understand why the new ATV interface just did not "feel right".
From a design aspect it's missing simplicity, organization, and "white space".
It's currently too cluttered. Everything just thrown up there all at once.

Cluttered. Yes. But I remember years ago when people said we didn't need folders for apps. Now not using folders on an iOS devices looks "cluttered" to the same people.

Andronicus
Mar 24, 2012, 02:26 PM
Steve Jobs also said no to the nano, video on iPod, and an AppStore for the iPhone.

He said no to A LOT of things that eventually materialized. Guess he was just human after all.

I gotta say though, I like the updated UI.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 02:28 PM
And given the launch timeframe and when this thing began popping up even in beta builds, I'd venture to guess that Steve Jobs was aware of the UI change. Who's to know really besides the people at Apple, but I just wouldn't be shocked if he was in the mix on this still on some level, and I also see why he would reject it five years ago but not today.

Five years ago, there was no app store either, and he rejected the idea of one at first too.

rmwebs
Mar 24, 2012, 02:39 PM
I know I'll get downvoted, but frankly I dont care. The AppleTV in its current incarnation is a limited, boring device.

I post the screenshot below, knowing that because of its manufacturer I will be downvoted. But its years ahead of the Apple TV. Feature wise, AppleTV cant even compete with it.

I present, Samsung Smart TV.
http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg

realeric
Mar 24, 2012, 02:42 PM
I hate the new design of Apple TV. :(. Tim cook can be a staff but is not qualified for a CEO of Apple.

Asclepio
Mar 24, 2012, 02:44 PM
Steve Jobs would have not approved it. No joking.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 02:44 PM
I know I'll get downvoted, but frankly I dont care. The AppleTV in its current incarnation is a limited, boring device.

I post the screenshot below, knowing that because of its manufacturer I will be downvoted. But its years ahead of the Apple TV. Feature wise, AppleTV cant even compete with it.

I present, Samsung Smart TV.
Image (http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg)

I'm not a big Samsung TV fan but I have one of these in a family room (better for games that get left on than my preferred plasma) and my parents recently bought one of these for their new house.

That said, I prefer Apple TV any day of the week. For my purposes, Apple TV does everything I want exceedingly well. And while I don't think the new UI is perfect, if you want to talk about cluttered, look at that Samsung Smart TV.

lunarworks
Mar 24, 2012, 02:45 PM
I know I'll get downvoted, but frankly I dont care. The AppleTV in its current incarnation is a limited, boring device.

I post the screenshot below, knowing that because of its manufacturer I will be downvoted. But its years ahead of the Apple TV. Feature wise, AppleTV cant even compete with it.

I present, Samsung Smart TV.
Image (http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg)

That's even more cluttered than Android.

SeattleMoose
Mar 24, 2012, 02:48 PM
from Apple. When Steve was there he and Jonny could agree on something, and the decision would be enforced by Steve's force of will and dominating personality.

With Steve gone, I expect Jonny will get overruled more than in the past because he is not a dominating force like Steve was and like most artists, somewhat sensitive.

With his champion gone, it could get to the point where he leaves one day from getting overruled so much. THAT will be the beginning of the end for Apple.

Wonder which camp Tim has sided with more over the last 10 years?

All that being said, there are some things that Steve/Jonny got "wrong". Eliminating video and click wheel from iPod Nano, the war on I/O ports, and hard to replace batteries (would result in .... gasp... screwholes!!!!)

esquared
Mar 24, 2012, 02:48 PM
I know I'll get downvoted, but frankly I dont care. The AppleTV in its current incarnation is a limited, boring device.

I post the screenshot below, knowing that because of its manufacturer I will be downvoted. But its years ahead of the Apple TV. Feature wise, AppleTV cant even compete with it.

I present, Samsung Smart TV.
Image (http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg)

Wow, that screenshot makes the Apple TV (past or present) interface look like a great thing, which it isn't. Save us Siri.

parish
Mar 24, 2012, 02:48 PM
Wirelessly posted

This is my first ATV so I don't know what the old UI - which seems to have a lot of fans - looked like. Anyone got a link to some screenshots?

The only two gripes I have with the UI are the blue border on the selected icon doesn't stand out too well, especially on the Movies icon which is blue!! Also the fact that the menus don't wrap - i.e. when you get to the bottom is doesn't wrap back to the top. Maybe not everyone would want that so it could be a pref.

kkent25
Mar 24, 2012, 02:51 PM
Got to agree with the crappy iCal design. Looks like something Microsoft would come up with. Not a big fan of the new AppleTV UI either. The icons are TOO big and TOO colourful and TOO in my face. Seems like Apple does not have one design focus across all products, rather a "loose" design ideal and each product team does there own thing. Certainly the AppleTV UI people are not talking to the IOS UI people.

Alith
Mar 24, 2012, 02:54 PM
+1

The new AppleTV UI is a mess. Blue, purple, orange and green blocks of colour immediately underneath the content. Just.. why?

Apple have always been brilliant at presenting a minimalist UI that lets the content be the focus of your attention. This new UI is just a visual explosion. Bring back lists of white text on a black background and let the movie posters stand out.

Glideslope
Mar 24, 2012, 02:55 PM
Steve Jobs also said no to the nano, video on iPod, and an AppStore for the iPhone.

He said no to A LOT of things that eventually materialized. Guess he was just human after all.

I gotta say though, I like the updated UI.

Agreed!! :apple:

scriptlol
Mar 24, 2012, 02:55 PM
With Steve gone, I expect Jonny will get overruled more than in the past because he is not a dominating force like Steve was and like most artists, somewhat sensitive.

I believe I read in the biography that Steve left Jony with more creative power than anyone at Apple. He is not part of any hierarchy. Him and his team are completely autonomous and cannot be overruled.

btbeme
Mar 24, 2012, 02:55 PM
New UI = Old, Rejected UI = Playskool Interface = Crap

lotones
Mar 24, 2012, 02:57 PM
what's up with everyone quoting that if SJ is around, [insert new Apple product UI/hardware decision after SJ's death] will never happen? Give me a break... :rolleyes:

SJ left the company in good hands, to say bad about the current Apple management is as good as saying SJ didn't have the foresight to choose the right people to guide the Apple ship into the future.

seriously. "Oh noes! Apple did something I didn't like! Apple is DOOMED!!!"

whatever...

CrackedButter
Mar 24, 2012, 03:00 PM
Just because Jobs didn't approve it, doesn't mean Jobs was right. I think most people are siding with Jobs out of some kind of irrational loyalty/respect. If you think negatively now about Apple's Q&A why are you sticking around?

You only have to go back to the original Mac and read the stories (applefolklore.org) behind the decisions that were made (like the SONY floppy drive) to see the man was only a man. One man at that.

Jobs did also say before he died that those left in charge weren't to second guess him, seems like they are doing just that.

Fear not Apple brethren.

DakotaGuy
Mar 24, 2012, 03:01 PM
Apple has never made a bad interface. This one is just fine. Sometimes it is just hard to be open to change even when change improves things.


I present, Samsung Smart TV.
Image (http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg)

Just wait for the next generation Samsung Smart TV's interface... I bet it will look exactly like Apple because that is the only thing that company does. Copy Apple.

CrackedButter
Mar 24, 2012, 03:02 PM
I believe I read in the biography that Steve left Jony with more creative power than anyone at Apple. He is not part of any hierarchy. Him and his team are completely autonomous and cannot be overruled.

Well they can, just not by anybody except the CEO, Tim.

The hardware guys work with them, not the other way around like in other companies.

Carl Sagan
Mar 24, 2012, 03:03 PM
Anyone got a link to a bunch of images which show the different UI's of Apple TV's from the beginning?

gregorypierce
Mar 24, 2012, 03:05 PM
Jobs was right to reject this new interface as it is actually worse than the old design IMO. It looks like it is a work-in-progress.

JayLenochiniMac
Mar 24, 2012, 03:06 PM
Wirelessly posted

Like we didn't have any bad designs when Steve Jobs was alive.

LYFK
Mar 24, 2012, 03:08 PM
Wirelessly posted

Personally, I don't blame the Apple TV or the interface. It's that damned remote! It is simple, but archaic in relationship to the amount and range of content now available. We love the iOS UI, but only because touch allows us to. Until Apple can figure out how to use a remote to elegantly interface from a distance, we'll always be complaining about the UI.

Peace
Mar 24, 2012, 03:08 PM
Keep in mind the iPad was shelved before the iPhone was introduced.


just sayin.

Cheffy Dave
Mar 24, 2012, 03:09 PM
I like the interface,and what I like, Steve always liked:rolleyes:

zzebi
Mar 24, 2012, 03:12 PM
I think the home screen design is indeed not as elegant as the old one, however I love what they did inside the individual apps. Now the submenu items are arranged horizontally on top of the screen which helps a lot to navigate.

I would just suggest them to redraw the icons on the home screen and that would solve the issue. I'm not agains using icons but I hate the look of these huge saturated simplistic ones.

JoEw
Mar 24, 2012, 03:12 PM
I think the main issue here is, has an company or product mastered a user interface for a tv?

And do you expect apple to put the forth coming apple television UI into their 99 dollar apple tv box? :rolleyes: I say wait till 2013 before we say this is the end of apple and steve era is gone. Remember steve had a roadmap 3 years in advance for the company? The true steve era won't end until 2015. But I do agree Tim Cook is more of a business suit kind of guy, I think scott forestall should be giving the keynotes from now on. He has an energy on stage that reminds me of Steve. I feel Tim Cook is acting on stage pretending to have true artistic passion for these products. He seems just like all the other CEOS of tech companies, that is what made Steve, Steve. He was different and he wasn't afraid to show it.

DakotaGuy
Mar 24, 2012, 03:15 PM
I like the interface,and what I like, Steve always liked:rolleyes:

Well even if Steve hated it he's not running things anymore and other people are calling the shots now. I expect a few different things that were good ideas and not released because Steve hated them show up in the future.

dmcwally
Mar 24, 2012, 03:22 PM
luv the device hate the new ui it looks like a beta version or a google device. its cluttered and not organized like the older version. the older ui looked more polished and easier to navigate thru

Bokes
Mar 24, 2012, 03:22 PM
Been saying this since I first laid on eyes on this new design.
Butt ugly.

Apple- please admit it sucks and simply switch it back.

Bevz
Mar 24, 2012, 03:30 PM
But I do agree Tim Cook is more of a business suit kind of guy, I think scott forestall should be giving the keynotes from now on. He has an energy on stage that reminds me of Steve. I feel Tim Cook is acting on stage pretending to have true artistic passion for these products. He seems just like all the other CEOS of tech companies, that is what made Steve, Steve. He was different and he wasn't afraid to show it.

Absolutely right! :) Nail hit right there....

dermeister
Mar 24, 2012, 03:37 PM
Wirelessly posted

"now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design"

Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.

A bad design is something that eats away over time and at the margin until it has become your design philosophy. I really doubt customers will be able to say the Apple TV UI sucks in some convincing way because I don't think it sucks enough for them to stop purchasing it. A besides, Apple was great because it told the consumer what a good UI was and the consumer knew it was true even if not necessarily why. Many will go along with the new UI until a trend becomes obvious to everyone.

Apple has 60,000 employees, and Steve was the only person qualified to say "no" to bad design? Give me a break.

Qualified and TOP position in the decision hierarchy. Big difference. There can be plenty of people even better than SJ at Apple, but if their opinion is cancelled by people worse than SJ, it's a wash and it comes down to who is in charge.

Peace
Mar 24, 2012, 03:39 PM
Keep in mind the iPad was shelved before the iPhone was introduced.


just sayin.


Read the update people.

AZREOSpecialist
Mar 24, 2012, 03:41 PM
The iPhone and iPad app grids are no different - why aren't all of you complaining about that as well? The iPhone and iPad app icons also violate basic tenets of icon design - I don't hear anyone here complaining about that either. Apple is simply bringing to the Apple TV UI elements that have proven popular with the other iOS products. If you dislike them here, then you must also dislike them in all other iOS products.

tkermit
Mar 24, 2012, 03:43 PM
This is my first ATV so I don't know what the old UI - which seems to have a lot of fans - looked like. Anyone got a link to some screenshots?

http://web.archive.org/web/20110719173741/http://www.apple.com/appletv/

http://f.cl.ly/items/0D2x1L2U2s291j1l0F3Y/hero_tv20100901.png

kdarling
Mar 24, 2012, 03:44 PM
I think the main issue here is, has an company or product mastered a user interface for a tv?

That's a really good question.

Jobs claimed he had "solved the TV interface problem", whatever that means. Personally, I think he meant using trained monkeys (or children, if you have them) to change the channel and adjust the rabbit ear antenna. No, wait, that was my own childhood. Never mind :)

I say wait till 2013 before we say this is the end of apple and steve era is gone. Remember steve had a roadmap 3 years in advance for the company?

The "four year plan" was a story started by a UK tabloid paper, The Daily Mail, the day Jobs died.

The only "evidence" of such a plan was some analyst's guess, but of course lazy reporters immediately repeated the article as gospel.

Irishman
Mar 24, 2012, 03:45 PM
It is nice, simple and fast. It works for me.

However I hate to play my movies form ATV3 because there are not many options like variable zoom and stuff. I will wait for the JB then it will be great!

In the mean while I love my WD Live TV!

WTH is variable zoom and why is that a must-have for watching movies??

cameronjpu
Mar 24, 2012, 03:54 PM
Read the update people.

Wouldn't it have been a little nicer to actually paste that text here rather than tell everyone what to do? Kinda like, being helpful?


Update: Margolis clarifies what he meant to TheNextWeb:
The new UI shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. There is a clear effort at Apple to make everything match the look and feel of their popular iOS products – starting with Lion and increasing momentum with Mountain Lion.

To be clear – he didn’t like the original grid. This was before the iPhone was popular and before the iPad even existed.

Given that the iPad is far more successful than the AppleTV, migrating the AppleTV to look more like the iPad was probably a very smart move – even if some of the users of the old UI don’t prefer the new one.

adunni66
Mar 24, 2012, 03:57 PM
The problem with the new UI is that it's sort of a half-assed attempt. TV shows are impossible to organize by season, it's hart to see what is highlighted and etc. Lots of small things that hurt the overall usefulness of the interface.

kirky29
Mar 24, 2012, 03:58 PM
Just throwing in my comment....I much prefer the new one....

stukick
Mar 24, 2012, 03:59 PM
Great minds think alike. I don't like the new interface either.

The old way where everything was visible as you scrolled across the screen is better than the current up and down scroll imo.

BB1970
Mar 24, 2012, 03:59 PM
I just got a call from Tim Cook

Peace
Mar 24, 2012, 04:20 PM
Maybe the new GUI is the way it is because Apple plans on adding more icons in the future. If one had 40 icons representing different apps it would look much nicer as it is now.

Apple is unifiying the look for the the IOS devices for a reason. Just because Steve is dead does not mean the whole design process at Apple has suddenly become stupid.

Steve was a visionary but he didn't do everything by himself.

LVappleNOTfnboi
Mar 24, 2012, 04:23 PM
We can argue till the cows come home about if we like the current UI. The fact Steve killed the UI five years ago, and now it shows up after his passing is shocking to me. Steve preached innovation, how is this innovation? I also felt Apple has taken a slide for the worse, but it doesn't change my loyalty to the company for now. I just want Tim to run a tighter ship.

bretm
Mar 24, 2012, 04:29 PM
Wirelessly posted

I like this new interface personally, it's less boring than the old one and it's easier to see all your options

Well, they removed the ability to turn it off. Used to be you just held down the center button a few seconds and it turned off. Now, nothing.

cameronjpu
Mar 24, 2012, 04:30 PM
We can argue till the cows come home about if we like the current UI. The fact Steve killed the UI five years ago, and now it shows up after his passing is shocking to me. Steve preached innovation, how is this innovation? I also felt Apple has taken a slide for the worse, but it doesn't change my loyalty to the company for now. I just want Tim to run a tighter ship.

That's not a fact.

tkermit
Mar 24, 2012, 04:31 PM
The fact Steve killed the UI five years ago, and now it shows up after his passing is shocking to me.

It's not the exact same UI...

SJ didn't like the old grid, but may have *loved* this new iOS style.

Bevz
Mar 24, 2012, 04:36 PM
Well, they removed the ability to turn it off. Used to be you just held down the center button a few seconds and it turned off. Now, nothing.

That still works on mine.

DakotaGuy
Mar 24, 2012, 04:39 PM
We can argue till the cows come home about if we like the current UI. The fact Steve killed the UI five years ago, and now it shows up after his passing is shocking to me. Steve preached innovation, how is this innovation? I also felt Apple has taken a slide for the worse, but it doesn't change my loyalty to the company for now. I just want Tim to run a tighter ship.

Steve is not in charge anymore. Let's let the new team run stuff and see where it goes. Tim Cook appears to be a very good CEO even if he is less "hands-on" then Jobs. A CEO being too "hands-on" can also stifle development if the CEO isn't some sort of great visionary. I don't see Cook being a micro manager in the same way Jobs was, but that doesn't mean he won't end up being very successful. Apple might take on a different feeling in a few years, but that doesn't mean it will be a bad thing. It might actually be a positive thing.

URFloorMatt
Mar 24, 2012, 04:43 PM
The "four year plan" was a story started by a UK tabloid paper, The Daily Mail, the day Jobs died.

The only "evidence" of such a plan was some analyst's guess, but of course lazy reporters immediately repeated the article as gospel.While it's true that the farther out from his death we are, the more likely it would've been that Steve would have continued input into the design of a particular product, the fact is that lead times on design, particularly hardware, are set in stone by technology and production capabilities years before they hit the store.

Before Steve died, he knew what Apple was planning for the hardware design of the iPhone 6th gen, 7th, and probably 8th gen. And the same goes for every other annual upgrade.

Now, when it comes to things like software UI/iOS elements, I'm sure the process is one of constant input and feedback, so his voice will be missed much sooner, but there are, again, basic roadmaps in place. Apple doesn't wait until one product is released to decide how they're going to improve on it for next year. Design and development are multi-year processes. Being the CEO and de facto head of the company after he resigned, Jobs was at the front of these decision processes.

parish
Mar 24, 2012, 04:45 PM
Wirelessly posted

This is my first ATV so I don't know what the old UI - which seems to have a lot of fans - looked like. Anyone got a link to some screenshots?

http://web.archive.org/web/20110719173741/http://www.apple.com/appletv/

http://f.cl.ly/items/0D2x1L2U2s291j1l0F3Y/hero_tv20100901.png

Thanks! I can see why people liked it, it does look cleaner. I guess that if the rumours of apps becoming available for ATV come to be then the new UI would work better - provided you can move the icons around a la iOS which you can't atm

kdarling
Mar 24, 2012, 04:48 PM
Question: Were there a lot of complaints about this UI change _before_ the tweet that claimed Jobs didn't like it five years ago?

kiljoy616
Mar 24, 2012, 04:49 PM
Like most things, this should have stayed in the trash.

So well said, but the problem is that with Apple not allowing the removal of apps you don't want they had to go this way. Steve I miss you, every time I see something like this. Which unfortunate I now have to use. Lets hope that we see Apple return to thinking before putting out.

I personally do not like the new interface though it makes sense why we are stuck with it. But to learn this bloatware is 5 years old says a lot about how fast things may unravel at Apple. I hear OS X 10.8 is going to feel more Windows like which I hope NOT NOT NOT.

Peace
Mar 24, 2012, 04:51 PM
Question: Were there a lot of complaints about this UI change _before_ the tweet that claimed Jobs didn't like it five years ago?

No. Of course not. This is your typical whining that happens on this board.

kiljoy616
Mar 24, 2012, 04:53 PM
Question: Were there a lot of complaints about this UI change _before_ the tweet that claimed Jobs didn't like it five years ago?

Not really most people did not like it before but we had no choice to change it back, once done your out of luck for better or worse. UI reminds me of Samsung interface which does not impress me. Older interface was better in everything, it just needed more options to remove things, which is where we are going to get into trouble in the future. If you think there are to many apps on it now, wait till a few more companies pay apple to put stuff there. :rolleyes:

----------

Wirelessly posted



Thanks! I can see why people liked it, it does look cleaner. I guess that if the rumours of apps becoming available for ATV come to be then the new UI would work better - provided you can move the icons around a la iOS which you can't atm

So clean and readable oh well Steve is gone and so will the old Apple like it or not. :o lets hope this UI is all that goes south.

Moonjumper
Mar 24, 2012, 04:54 PM
Great minds think alike.

I've never believed that saying. Average minds think alike. Great minds think differently (remind you of a famous saying? only realised after writing it). Doesn't mean great minds cannot come to the same conclusion.

kiljoy616
Mar 24, 2012, 04:58 PM
Wirelessly posted

"now there is nobody to say 'no' to bad design"

Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.

ROFLMAO how has that worked in the past, not well. You miss the part of our alternative is bloatware Microsoft if that is the option you where thinking that not much of an option for consumer.

hipnetic
Mar 24, 2012, 05:04 PM
I don't like the new interface either, but it's not unworkable, and for the most part they just replaced the list items with icons now. As others have guessed, it's probably a first step towards adding more 3rd party "apps" (though I wouldn't be surprised if they only open it up to some preferred partners - I'm hoping to see an NFL app added before the next season starts).

The problem I have with it is that, as others have mentioned, icons make sense when your clicking or tapping on them, but not so much with a remote-control-based UI. But I was thinking about it, and the one way I could see excusing this is if they create a new version of the Remote app that mirrors the look of the new UI (complete with finger-tappable icons), so my prediction is to look for that soon.

One other complaint I have (unrelated to the UI) is that I really like their super-simple remote control, but it needs a TV power on/off and volume up/down buttons.

kdjohn3
Mar 24, 2012, 05:07 PM
Oh, wait.
http://regmedia.co.uk/2009/10/22/hockey_1.jpg

Not even the greatest tech visionary of our time batted 1.000.

Avatar74
Mar 24, 2012, 05:08 PM
You say this like the old Apple TV design was genius and in the few months since Jobs' death, Apple completely revamped the design by committee.

I didn't say this at all. Anywhere. I wasn't commenting on the AppleTV interface design... rather responding to someone else's remark about Steve Jobs

chrf097
Mar 24, 2012, 05:09 PM
I don't see why everyone hates the new interface.


It's clean, it's super easy to use, it's nice, it's pretty. Way better than all the other versions. Almost every other similar device has a clunky interface.

I really truly believe most (keyword being MOST) of the baggage is because Steve Jobs didn't like it.

Avatar74
Mar 24, 2012, 05:15 PM
If you read Steve Jobs' biography, you'll see that he was far from perfect. He certainly provided the vision for Apple and made the right decisions the majority of the time. Nobody can dispute that. But he also wasted time and money on unimportant aesthetic details.

I did read it. I agree he wasn't perfect. But I'm not so much talking about his own ideas as I am talking about his design sensibilities overall and how they interplayed with the people around him to, especially on his comeback as a more mature and insightful person, bubble the right ideas to the top most of the time.

In other words, I don't have any idea that Scott Forstall can look at another person's concept and in thirty seconds make a decision, right or wrong, about it... without even second guessing himself.

Very few people are as right as often as Steve was... and engineers like Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson from the old days will concede that he was a maniacal jerk but also pushed them to do the best work of their careers.

Without someone capable of being as right about design as he was as frequently as he was, Apple will still have moderate success but I'm not certain they'll be hitting it out of the park as frequently as they have the past 14-15 years.

hipnetic
Mar 24, 2012, 05:20 PM
No. Of course not. This is your typical whining that happens on this board.
Actually, you're wrong. There was a thread started in these very forums on 3/16 titled "Am i the only one that hates the new UI" here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1341734

Spoiler alert: Several of us commented in that thread that we agreed with the OP that the new UI was a step backwards.

Blay91
Mar 24, 2012, 05:23 PM
Wirelessly posted

It's funny reading these forums because if you really think about it youre all complaining over nothing. How do you even know Steve didn't finally approve this before his passing anyway? If the blue aura around icons was bigger and easier to see you'd be complaining that it bold and garish but instead you complain you can't see it easily enough. With the previous design, if you thy contined to add more internet apps I know you'd be complaining it was annoying to scroll through them all.
I already saw someone complain it was to simplistic... Are you serious?? That's what apples UI is all about its supposed to be simple

Give apple the benefit of the doubt guys. Just because Steve isn't there doesn't mean they'll crash.

FoxMcCloud
Mar 24, 2012, 05:30 PM
Why are people believing the word of an ex-employee? The AppleTV UI is ****, as old Steve would say.

Also, Steve wasn't the be all end all of design and perfection. He was OCD about that stuff yes, but he was far from god. He was a horrible cry baby of a man. Sorry to break it to you.

You all seem to have this post Snow Leopard memory. You all forget that OSX has looked **** since 2000. Metal + Aqua at the same time? Anyone? Hellooooo.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ATqNijJNCE0/Tf9UDSo_DTI/AAAAAAAARAU/5JWUDlqfeK4/s1600/Mac-OS-X-10-3-Panther.jpg

Take off your rose tinted glasses.

The new UI is fit for purpose. As much as it can be. Yes the old one was better, but it was hardly gold standard.

Frozzie
Mar 24, 2012, 05:36 PM
So what if steve jobs didnt allow this to come out five years ago. He is dead now so nobody has any issues.

People do need to remember jobs isnt always right or perfect. I dont see why there is need for any noise to be made with this.

S3R6i0
Mar 24, 2012, 05:38 PM
Apple should hire me to to be in charge of design. I don't have a degree in desingology but I do have to taste. This Apple TV UI is laughable. Steve must be turning in his grave as we speak. I kind of saw this coming. I think OS X Lion was pretty much where the lack of care began. I hope this is not the future of Apple.

appleguy123
Mar 24, 2012, 05:40 PM
I'm just hoping that it's a step towards an updated mirrored remote app for Apple TV.

devilbond
Mar 24, 2012, 05:56 PM
I hate it. They should buy Plex.

What I hate most about it, is the whole iOS appearance. The glowing blue for a selected item, iOS style icons. It is boring and looks childish.

This is the opposite of sleek.

Too bad this is being so down-voted. It's a good thing to have constructive criticism here, even if it's not entirely constructive. Though Apple should NOT buy Plex. Third party developers are so important to the Apple ecosystem, as they add variety, options, and the ability to do something other than what Apple intend. If Apple were to buy up every developer I'd jump ship (to PC) in a heartbeat.

If you don't like the new UI (and neither do I), just wait until there is an update of Plex et al, then hopefully you can simply 'Overflow' everything into a little folder and allow the AppleTV to do what it wasn't designed for, but is oh so good at: letting Plex run.

lhunter
Mar 24, 2012, 06:06 PM
It's really difficult to see what is highlighted/selected.

Also, they did not improve the lower level UI, which in my opinion were more in need of an update.

Renzatic
Mar 24, 2012, 06:10 PM
I agree, I do not like this new UI. It looks unpolished and unintuitive.

What's so unintuitive about it? I looked at the picture for 3 seconds, and could tell exactly what does what. That's the very definition of intuitiveness.

It could be better, I guess. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the icons have a little too much shine to them, and it isn't the usual bright but soft look Apple seems to go for. But hell, it could be considerably worse.

cycomiko
Mar 24, 2012, 06:16 PM
the new UI is fugly. Its a halfassed attempt at looking like the normal iOS grid, but with ugly rectangular icons.

petsounds
Mar 24, 2012, 06:23 PM
Apple design has started suffering before this. Little things which in the '80s Apple wouldn't have shipped because they are objectively wrong – like the terrible kerning of the battery level indicator which appeared in iOS 4 and is still there:
332239

But bigger things also, which although subjective, just look tacky. Like Steve's obsession with skeuomorphic interfaces which started with the brushed metal on OS X and now has gone wild on iOS with all kinds of leather textures, stitching, felt and veneered wood. It's not elegant. It's tacky and trying too hard. But the designers at Apple seem to love it (there was a WWDC 2010 session about iOS design, and I've never heard such smug self-satisfaction from art directors about their work).

Retrostarscream
Mar 24, 2012, 06:31 PM
As much as I love Steve and hate to agree with statements by tkermit, URFloorMatt, & kdjohn3.

I have say that the current iTunes logo is still the most dreadful icon I've seen for any Mac application in a long time, which was Ok'd by Steve.

Now I'm not sure about user-friendliness, but the previous Apple TV UI did indeed look cleaner.

bretm
Mar 24, 2012, 06:37 PM
What's so unintuitive about it? I looked at the picture for 3 seconds, and could tell exactly what does what. That's the very definition of intuitiveness.

It could be better, I guess. As far as aesthetics are concerned, the icons have a little too much shine to them, and it isn't the usual bright but soft look Apple seems to go for. But hell, it could be considerably worse.

Geez- some of the icons have Reflections and some don't. This really is the ugliest thing they've released in a decade. If they wanted it to be like iOS, then the categories should have been folders, or you should be able to create your own folders. It's a mess.

Nick16
Mar 24, 2012, 06:39 PM
This has got to be the beginning of the end. They bring something back from the dead just because the person who shot it down is no longer around?

bretm
Mar 24, 2012, 06:43 PM
While it's true that the farther out from his death we are, the more likely it would've been that Steve would have continued input into the design of a particular product, the fact is that lead times on design, particularly hardware, are set in stone by technology and production capabilities years before they hit the store.

Before Steve died, he knew what Apple was planning for the hardware design of the iPhone 6th gen, 7th, and probably 8th gen. And the same goes for every other annual upgrade.

Now, when it comes to things like software UI/iOS elements, I'm sure the process is one of constant input and feedback, so his voice will be missed much sooner, but there are, again, basic roadmaps in place. Apple doesn't wait until one product is released to decide how they're going to improve on it for next year. Design and development are multi-year processes. Being the CEO and de facto head of the company after he resigned, Jobs was at the front of these decision processes.

There is absolutely no evidence of that. Maybe a minor roadmap exists of where they'd like to be, but things change way too quickly to plan that far ahead, with any type of exactness. No more than Kennedy knew HOW we were going to get to the moon when he decided we needed to get to the moon by the end of the decade.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 06:45 PM
The biggest problem I've found with this UI and even the other on some level is the content artwork showing up on the home screen in general. I've never liked it. I didn't care for it much on the previous UI and I care for it much less on this one. It's size combined with the new icon based interface is what leads to the cluttered look more than anything else.

I like seeing the artwork, but when I'm browsing in that section. When I go to Computer -> TV Shows, then start showing me artwork, and so on and so forth. I've rarely ever launched any content from the home screen, and I hate that the first artwork I see on both of these UI's is the latest movies from iTunes which I likely have no interest in anyways. That to me is the tackiest part of both of these UI's.

Also, when you scroll over to computer, artwork is presented based on recently played content. That oftentimes is music, and I'm sure I'm like many of us with large libraries who haven't gotten to updating each and every one of their 30,000+ songs with proper artwork. Subsequently, you're quite likely to see generic black iTunes logo artwork. Again, tacky.

And while I wish they would dial down the colors a bit on the apps right now, I do think that this direction they're going in is the right direction for the future. I like that I can get to Netflix by just flicking down once and launching it. But again, this interface looks clunky when combined with the Cover Flow element, though given my distaste for it with both UI's, maybe I just don't like a Cover Flow-like interface on a TV.

Any way you shake it, both of these UI's have glaring issues. Cover Flow is a large part of that in my mind, but this new UI absolutely is simpler to use for people that are not already familiar with the previous interface. And the more content they added, the more buried it was getting, and even as someone quite familiar with the previous interface, it was starting to get annoying the same way the overly-stuffed share-to buttons are starting to get annoying on iPhone and iPad.

But here's an example of why things need to get simpler for the Apple TV to be successful with more people. A friend of mine got his parents an Apple TV for Christmas primarily for Netflix, though he hoped they'd figure out how to use AirPlay with their new iPhones as well. He went to visit them again in February and they were confused as to why the movies all cost so much on Netflix despite their subscription. The problem? They thought all of those movies and TV shows from the iTunes store were a part of Netflix. A lot of people simply aren't intuitive with this new technology enough to think that Netflix is going to fall under the Internet category. They see movies and go there and make a lot of, well, ridiculous assumptions. But if they can see the Netflix logo when they immediately see the home screen, they're a lot less likely to be confused. And the more apps they add, the bigger this issue becomes.

Bottom line, the old and new UI's still need work, and it's high time the iPhone and especially the iPad Remote App's looked a lot more like what we see on the new UI.

Flitzy
Mar 24, 2012, 06:47 PM
I don't get what's so bad about it.

It matches iOS, is so much better than the old ATV UI, and is pretty to boot.

I love it!

bretm
Mar 24, 2012, 06:48 PM
I think the main issue here is, has an company or product mastered a user interface for a tv?

And do you expect apple to put the forth coming apple television UI into their 99 dollar apple tv box? :rolleyes: I say wait till 2013 before we say this is the end of apple and steve era is gone. Remember steve had a roadmap 3 years in advance for the company? The true steve era won't end until 2015. But I do agree Tim Cook is more of a business suit kind of guy, I think scott forestall should be giving the keynotes from now on. He has an energy on stage that reminds me of Steve. I feel Tim Cook is acting on stage pretending to have true artistic passion for these products. He seems just like all the other CEOS of tech companies, that is what made Steve, Steve. He was different and he wasn't afraid to show it.

And George Lucas had a roadmap for the first 3 star wars movies. You think if he had died they would have been realized the way he envisioned? Ok, put aside any "they would've been better jokes."

appleguy123
Mar 24, 2012, 06:48 PM
It's such an odd phenomenon that as soon as Steve's funeral was over, every acts like he never existed or suddenly hates all his decisions. I don't get it. :rolleyes:

applefanDrew
Mar 24, 2012, 06:49 PM
Geez- some of the icons have Reflections and some don't. This really is the ugliest thing they've released in a decade. If they wanted it to be like iOS, then the categories should have been folders, or you should be able to create your own folders. It's a mess.


What does any of that have to do with intuitiveness? And look at your iPhone… Now look at the Apple TV interface. They look almost exactly the same. What's a mess?

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 06:51 PM
There is absolutely no evidence of that. Maybe a minor roadmap exists of where they'd like to be, but things change way too quickly to plan that far ahead, with any type of exactness. No more than Kennedy knew HOW we were going to get to the moon when he decided we needed to get to the moon by the end of the decade.

Well, we do know for a fact that they were far enough ahead with developing this latest revision to the Apple TV to know that Steve Jobs at least could have and likely did have some hand in the thought behind this latest interface. They don't just cook up these projects for release in a few months, and we know they were testing these things for most of last year. I have a hard time believing that Steve had nothing at all to do with these changes given the timeframe. Two years from now and it's a different story, but this was a product that was in the pipeline while he was still alive and relatively active within the company.

bretm
Mar 24, 2012, 06:58 PM
I don't get what's so bad about it.

It matches iOS, is so much better than the old ATV UI, and is pretty to boot.

I love it!

It matches the iOS less than android. What matches? There's no shelf for main apps- they're just mixed in with the others. There's reflections on some icons, not others instead of a border and shadow. They rectangular, not square. They scroll down, like android, not page by page to the left and right. They don't open categories like folders the way iOS does. There is nothing similar other than a grid. And that's not anything special.

----------

Well, we do know for a fact that they were far enough ahead with developing this latest revision to the Apple TV to know that Steve Jobs at least could have and likely did have some hand in the thought behind this latest interface. They don't just cook up these projects for release in a few months, and we know they were testing these things for most of last year. I have a hard time believing that Steve had nothing at all to do with these changes given the timeframe. Two years from now and it's a different story, but this was a product that was in the pipeline while he was still alive and relatively active within the company.

Then what is the point of this thread? You're contradicting the whole premise that this was a design from years ago that Steve rejected. And that's exactly the way this played. Steve didn't have the ability to get Lion right, FCP right, nor a new iPhone 5 with a no beta Siri. They havent updated the Mac pro either. They've focused on the iPad and the iPhone. They got lucky on the latter that updated specs and Siri beta (still) was enough. But a lot of other stuff was just pushed too quickly and I'll bet this update of the apple tv was far from his mind.

Sol
Mar 24, 2012, 06:58 PM
Oh, wait.
Image (http://regmedia.co.uk/2009/10/22/hockey_1.jpg)

Not even the greatest tech visionary of our time batted 1.000.

Put that hockey puck mouse image away! Just looking at it gives me cramps.

Seriously, from the screen-shots of the new interface it looks like a good refresh. All those large graphics and different colours make it seem fun, which is the whole point of a media streamer. The original Apple TV interface that Jobs went with was functional but a little too dry, or dry by Apple standards.

I suspect the current Apple management will revisit a lot of previously rejected ideas that had many proponents still working at Apple. In a way, doing this shows everyone in Apple and outside of it that the company has to move forward without his guiding hand.

silguy
Mar 24, 2012, 07:02 PM
I personally like the iOS look. I don't find it difficult and it's better than the wd tv series interface. Either way, there has to be a menu scroll, so whys the app look so bad. Do you guys prefer the list of words to scroll rather than icons? Personally, I like scrolling thru icons and pictures rather than folders and words.

Did anyone that posted read Steve jobs book? Like anyone else, he made lots of bad decisions too. Or how do we know Steve wasn't the one that chose the new ATv ui? How do we know the "supposedly" x apple employee isn't trying to create some controversy? He sure did get some popularity these past couple days. Better yet, why isn't he working for apple now? Steve probably fired him for making stupid choices so now he's online talkin smack....

Bottom line, to each of their own. I just hope apple continues to innovate and grow and most importantly listen to their customers....

blybug
Mar 24, 2012, 07:08 PM
What irritates me is that with every major and point release of the ATV interface that has modified the home screen, they have NEVER addressed the jumbled mess of the submenus that follow.

It's inexcusable after 5 years that TV Shows still come up in a list that includes each season of each show as a separate item, rather than categorizing the seasons UNDER the show. iTunes has one of the most powerful and flexible sorting and metadata handling of any software, yet the ATV and other Apple iOS apps do not conform. Third party apps that access iTunes.xml can get it right, why can't Apple?

Also agree that under the main headings of "Movies" or "Music" should be "My Movies" or "My Music" that seamlessly lists all media from all Home Shared computers. I chose to log them all into Sharing, why does their content remain separated into "Computers?" I don't want to think about "Computers," I want to see all the stuff my family has in their cumulative shared libraries.

The thing is a damn computer, why can't it sort correctly!!!

Yes, I've posted feedback to Apple...every...single..time...

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 07:11 PM
It matches the iOS less than android. What matches? There's no shelf for main apps- they're just mixed in with the others. There's reflections on some icons, not others instead of a border and shadow. They rectangular, not square. They scroll down, like android, not page by page to the left and right. They don't open categories like folders the way iOS does. There is nothing similar other than a grid. And that's not anything special.

----------



Then what is the point of this thread? You're contradicting the whole premise that this was a design from years ago that Steve rejected. And that's exactly the way this played. Steve didn't have the ability to get Lion right, FCP right, nor a new iPhone 5 with a no beta Siri. They havent updated the Mac pro either. They've focused on the iPad and the iPhone. They got lucky on the latter that updated specs and Siri beta (still) was enough. But a lot of other stuff was just pushed too quickly and I'll bet this update of the apple tv was far from his mind.

The fact that there are icons at all is a big step towards it looking more like iOS. You're over-thinking everything else. Initially interfacing with icons to launch app-specific content as opposed to menus is key here. Instead of thinking where Netflix would be, you just see Netflix. And touch-based iOS had to make it to major revision 4 before we got folders. And that's with probably much larger engineering and design teams at work on the products.

Apple TV is still a hobby, so progress is going to come slower unfortunately. But don't kid yourself into thinking that this isn't moving towards the iOS so many know just because of lack of polish and differences in the way we scroll through it due to the differences between remotes and touch screens.

And don't be shocked if a future Apple HDTV actually does allow us to interface with the apps using motion-sensing technology. A virtual touch screen makes a lot more sense with an icon-based interface than the previous menu-based interface did. I don't know how or if they'll pull it off effectively, but you know they're experimenting either way.

Rogifan
Mar 24, 2012, 07:15 PM
Agreed.

People keep saying that Scott Forstall is the next CEO in waiting.

I hope he is, he's got that Steve-esque arrogance and the personality to match. On stage, he's enthusiastic, he's almost arrogantly mesmerising, he holds attention, he makes things interesting and shows a real passion for his product.
How do we know he knows good design? I personally hate some of the software UI. Way too kitch.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 07:16 PM
Wirelessly posted

What irritates me is that with every major and point release of the ATV interface that has modified the home screen, they have NEVER addressed the jumbled mess of the submenus that follow.

It's inexcusable after 5 years that TV Shows still come up in a list that includes each season of each show as a separate item, rather than categorizing the seasons UNDER the show. iTunes has one of the most powerful and flexible sorting and metadata handling of any software, yet the ATV and other Apple iOS apps do not conform. Third party apps that access iTunes.xml can get it right, why can't Apple?

Also agree that under the main headings of "Movies" or "Music" should be "My Movies" or "My Music" that seamlessly lists all media from all Home Shared computers. I chose to log them all into Sharing, why does their content remain separated into "Computers?" I don't want to think about "Computers," I want to see all the stuff my family has in their cumulative shared libraries.

The separation of seasons instead of shows has irritated me for ages as well. You'd think by now they'd make use of the Sort Show metadata if they could. I have 8 seasons of The Office now, 6 of 30 Rock, 6 of Lost, will be hitting 5 of Mad Men tomorrow...on and on...I have a lot of TV shows and it'd just be real nice if I could group them by show instead of season. Just let the cover art for each season flow through the side like when you highlight TV Shows or Movies in the main Computer screen. Problem solved! Simple.

I don't get it, but I also still can't make groups in the address book on my iPhone or iPad without a 3rd part app. Apple may be the best, but they're certainly not perfect.

Rogifan
Mar 24, 2012, 07:33 PM
People, people please... Stop saying there is no one who can ban bad design in Apple. Jonathan Ive is that person now. Steve let him untouchable and he is the one who says No. Remember that.
Jony Ive has nothing to do with software UI design. Maybe he should b/c the stuff coming from Scott Forstall and Eddy Cue's teams leave a lot to be desired. I hope iOS 6 is a complete redesign.

----------

There is a difference between industrial design and product design. Industrial design is what it looks like, product design is how it works.

In some ways, you could think of it as a design hierarchy: product design is an umbrella for all sorts of things that includes industrial design. More than that, though: product design is how they all fit together as a package.

At Apple, Ive was the industrial designer but Steve was the product designer. He was the one they'd bring iPhone prototypes to, who'd tell them to go back to the drawing board despite everything they'd put in to it already. "We don't have a product yet" is what SJ is reported to have told them.

We don't know who's leading product design at Apple. The danger is that in the absence of Steve, they'll resort to a consensus of all the other designers. That isn't what Steve did. The big problem with committee design is that you often get a lowest-common-demoninator; when you have a single perfectionist in charge, everything must be just so.

You can't push a vision in a committee. Apple needs a new dictator.
According to Steve in Walter Isaccsons book he and Jony came up with the products and the pulled others in. So I think Jony is involved with the whole product from a concept standoint, not just the outer shell. Of course I doubt he gets involved with software UI design.

----------

That's a really good question.

Jobs claimed he had "solved the TV interface problem", whatever that means. Personally, I think he meant using trained monkeys (or children, if you have them) to change the channel and adjust the rabbit ear antenna. No, wait, that was my own childhood. Never mind :)



The "four year plan" was a story started by a UK tabloid paper, The Daily Mail, the day Jobs died.

The only "evidence" of such a plan was some analyst's guess, but of course lazy reporters immediately repeated the article as gospel.
Um in Walter Isaacson's book Jony Ive said that when Steve came to the design studio he could see layed out on a large table everything that was in the pipeline for the next 4 years. I think that's where the story may have come from. I don't think we need evidence to know the stuff coming out now was in the hopper when Steve was still alive. When the MacBook Air came out in 2008 Steve told Newsweek that Jony first showed him a prototype 18 months earlier and they both wondered how in the world they would fit a computer in there. So maybe there isn't a formal plan on paper somewhere but for sure a deep pipeline of stuff that Steve would have been involved in.

AgentElliot007
Mar 24, 2012, 07:35 PM
It matches the iOS less than android. What matches? There's no shelf for main apps- they're just mixed in with the others. There's reflections on some icons, not others instead of a border and shadow. They rectangular, not square. They scroll down, like android, not page by page to the left and right. They don't open categories like folders the way iOS does. There is nothing similar other than a grid. And that's not anything special.

----------



Then what is the point of this thread? You're contradicting the whole premise that this was a design from years ago that Steve rejected. And that's exactly the way this played. Steve didn't have the ability to get Lion right, FCP right, nor a new iPhone 5 with a no beta Siri. They havent updated the Mac pro either. They've focused on the iPad and the iPhone. They got lucky on the latter that updated specs and Siri beta (still) was enough. But a lot of other stuff was just pushed too quickly and I'll bet this update of the apple tv was far from his mind.

Steve Jobs was also known to change his mind a lot and recognized that the best idea for today might not be the best idea tomorrow and vice versa. It could be crazy. Old colleagues would describe his ever-changing though ever-polarized mind by saying one day he could say black is the best, white is just the worst. Then a year later say that white is the best and black is the worst, and this would be noted as if he never, ever said that black was the best.

Five years ago when this type of interface was originally rejected, there was no Netflix or MLB.TV or Vimeo or iTunes Trailers or iTunes Match. There was no App Store on any device. There was no iPad. So much has changed in five years that fundamentally affects the way we think about all of the devices we now use. It would've made no sense to have a grid layout for a home screen when there basically were no apps. Why have icons that don't match the look of the second level windows when you only need to direct people a few different ways to begin with? But things have changed now, dramatically, and they're going to keep changing more and more in the coming years. Internet streaming has grown immensely, and the Internet section had already become ridiculous to navigate through.

This latest UI is like a less-polished iPhone OS 1.0. It's not the prettiest, we don't have much control and there's no App Store yet that would be necessary to allow us more control. If I don't want the NBA app now and choose to delete it if there was a way, what do I do if I decide I then want it back? Where do I go? The App Store, of course. Oh wait, that doesn't exist yet. Oh yeah, there's also only 8 GB's of storage available so unless they come up with some unique ways to store and run apps, it's not going to be a game changer overnight even if it becomes available soon in one form or another.

But anyways, as it all relates to Steve Jobs rejecting this 5 years ago and green-lighting it last year, I absolutely would buy that. No doubt about that in my mind. I don't know if he'd let the Cover Flow take up so much screen real estate that further obscures the icons, but I do believe that he was probably aware of a move towards an icon-based interface that better suited the ever-increasing amount of apps arriving on Apple TV. The grid didn't make sense five years ago when there are no apps, but now, there's apps, and a lot more likely coming. It's as simple as that.

50548
Mar 24, 2012, 07:43 PM
No. Of course not. This is your typical whining that happens on this board.

Exactly. The current UI is, in my view, actually more intuitive than the previous one since anyone can pick a certain option without having to look for it inside another menu.

People seem to have a lot of spare time in their hands to whine so much about such a minuscule aspect of Apple's product line. Worse yet, the same people imply that Apple is "doomed" as it would signal the end of SJ's perfectionist influence...wake up and smell the coffee, guys - even SJ himself did worse than this.

AGAIN: you should be concerned about the horrid interface used on iTunes for iPad, which already existed before SJ passed away. Now THAT is evidence of an incompetent and sloppy work.

Frisco
Mar 24, 2012, 07:48 PM
Apple is finished without Jobs. If you have Apple stock now is the time to sell.

WigWag Workshop
Mar 24, 2012, 07:52 PM
I am going to take the positive route, I think the "new" interface is the start of something great! I have an autistic kid in the house, and he is able to navigate the new interface without any issues. I would like to be able to arrange the icons, like I can an IOS device. One of the things, I love about Apple, is they listen to their users! They care about their customers, and if you don't like something, let them know in a constructive manner, they do listen. Remember.... Think Different:apple:

Sol
Mar 24, 2012, 08:07 PM
Apple is finished without Jobs. If you have Apple stock now is the time to sell.

What do you base that on? From Walter Issacson's book I got the impression that Steve Jobs and Apple made plans for the company to continue on the same path that it has been since his return. Apple has a company culture inspired by Jobs' way of doing things and I see no reason why they would throw it all out the window just because he passed away. You underestimate Apple by saying it is doomed without one man.

Mr. Gates
Mar 24, 2012, 08:18 PM
It's funny how Apple fanboys will credit Steve Jobs with absolutely every freaking thing that Apple has ever done. But on the same note going forward, they claim that Steve Jobs is not instrumental to Apple's success.
You can't have it both ways, and if you are super excited about Steve Jobs and think that he is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread, well then you have to admit that the glory days of apple are going to be over pretty soon.

I was never a fan of Steve Jobs, I was felt like he held the company back. I believe that software engineers and people like Johnny Ives are the true geniuses behind Apple.

I also believe that hero worship is a sign of weakness, a personal character flaw.

This new user interface is actually pretty good, and if Steve Jobs rejected it five years ago it really says nothing about anything!

Andronicus
Mar 24, 2012, 08:20 PM
I know I'll get downvoted, but frankly I dont care. The AppleTV in its current incarnation is a limited, boring device.

I post the screenshot below, knowing that because of its manufacturer I will be downvoted. But its years ahead of the Apple TV. Feature wise, AppleTV cant even compete with it.

I present, Samsung Smart TV.
Image (http://cdn.asia.cnet.com/i/r/2011/tv/62208093/smarthub_sc.jpg)

I wouldn't of down voted you, but you mentioned it so many times I feel I had to.

Mr. Gates
Mar 24, 2012, 08:28 PM
Apple is finished without Jobs. If you have Apple stock now is the time to sell.

Actually the time to sell was 2 weeks ago.

They are heading into a downward spiral

nightcap965
Mar 24, 2012, 08:29 PM
That last sentence is Apple's rule for everything, i.e., the user will get use to it. Apple breaks traditional rules for just about everything. It's why Apple is Apple and not DellHPSamsungSony.

But going back to OS X, it is just NeXT, one more generation up. It is pure Steve Jobs. Apple bought NeXT b/c it was out of ideas at the time and Copeland was an utter bust. But, honestly, the only problem w/ the dock was it's initial inflexibility to be pinned anywhere but the bottom of the screen. Many OS 9 users had 3rd party dock-like program launchers though.

Chupa, I almost agree with everything you say. The Dock in NeXT was on the upper-right hand side of the screen, and though you could unpin elements, the default stayed put. The Dock in OS X has got one problem that NeXT didn't: it varies. I cannot quickly move my mouse to point X, click, and expect my program to launch. I have to watch the pointer carefully. There is no "point X" - it moves.

Don't get me wrong - OS X does a better job of getting out of my way and letting me work than any other OS I've ever used, and I've used 'em all from CP/M to BeOS with a flying pass at NewWave.