Former Apple TV Engineer Claims New Apple TV Interface Discarded 5 Years Ago [Updatedx2]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Macgasm notes an interesting tweet 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."

    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 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 what he meant to TheNextWeb:
    Update 2: TechCrunch posts a longer response from Margolis who seems to be downplaying his previous tweet:
    Article Link: Former Apple TV Engineer Claims New Apple TV Interface Discarded 5 Years Ago [Updatedx2]
  2. macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2010
    This looks like the end of Apple. Without Steve here there is no QA.
  3. macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    I still miss the Tiger-Era Front Row interface. That was wonderful, still miss it today!
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    Like most things, this should have stayed in the trash.
  5. macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Only reason they went with this design is that it scales better with multiple apps than the old software ever did.
  6. macrumors 603


    Jan 8, 2009
    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.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    What is so bad about it? The fact that it uses the screen estate? Or that the icons are actually colorful?
  8. macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2011
    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.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    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.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2010
    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.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2003
    Wirelessly posted

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

    Uh, yeah there is. They are called consumers.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    Washington, D.C.
    Apple has 60,000 employees, and Steve was the only person qualified to say "no" to bad design? Give me a break.
  13. macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    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
  14. macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    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.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2005
    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.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2006
    Aussie living in Canada
    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.
  17. macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    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.
  18. macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    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.

    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.
  19. macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    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.
  20. macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2009
    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.
  21. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    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.
  22. Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    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.
  23. macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    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.
  24. macrumors 68000

    Mar 22, 2011
    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.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    +1; new interface is crap.

    What were they thinking?

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