My "better" version of the new Apple TV GUI

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MacDaddy68, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie


    Although it's not that bad, there are parts of the new Apple TV interface that seem like a step backwards now.. especially the "rainbow brite" home screen. I really couldn't put my finger on it at first, it just felt more cluttered and a bit "off". Which is odd for me to say, since I typically enjoy all of Apple's GUI's.

    So I thought I'd play around a bit with Photoshop today and share a slight re-design. I kept the rectangle icons, but removed the glaring color - then made the icons appear more like the text bars deeper in. I also eliminated the partially visible icons that were below the first row. Personally, I like the overall result - it feels cleaner.

    There's little chance Apple would change it to look like this of course... but I can dream. I guess I'm just hoping Apple is using their new design only as a stop-gap until they release a really cool version with the television set.

    I know there's a thread going on about the dislike of the new Apple TV GUI design... but just wanted to share my solution:

  2. macrumors 68000

    Looks better.
  3. blue43fan, Mar 25, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Sorry, I don't like it. It looks boring. Not only does it fail to appear less cluttered than the current UI, but there is nothing to tell you that there are icons under the top row. That's why the partial row is there. And what does it look like when you scroll down? A big grid of black and white icons? That'll look awesome when they open the ATV up to third party apps...

    I will say this though, the blue highlight is better in your version.
  4. macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    I like it, although I agree with blue43fan about the purpose of the partial row of icons.

    But I think the current UI is here to stay. It matches iOS, and that seems to be Apple's modus operandi lately...
  5. macrumors 65816

    I agree.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Content is exciting, UI is supposed to be functional.

    A good UI is one you don't notice. The current one screams too much at you so I love the version the Op made.
  7. macrumors member


    The problem with the new UI is that when you scroll down to other icons the top area to see previews of the content for that selection is missing.

    It doesn't take a genius to have said that the selection should scroll left and right only.
  8. blue43fan, Mar 25, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012

    macrumors regular

    UI can be exciting too, but that's not the point of the current one. The current AppleTV UI makes it painfully obvious that Apple will eventually add third party app capability. It's a transitional UI, which is why people are adverse to it right now. Think of the current AppleTV UI as iPhone OS 1.0, pre AppStore.

    Absolutely true, but I think that was an unfortunate trade off that had to be made. Either all icons get a preview, or all are displayed on the screen at once. You can't have both, so Apple chose the latter. I think it will make more sense when we get an AppStore...

    Still, I do miss my Netflix previews. Oh well.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    I like it
  10. macrumors 65816


    I don't think the icons need to be that big but then I have either a 46" tv or 100" projection screen to see them on. :D

    If they are supposed to look like app icons, why aren't they square? At least you could get a few more on one line. And they should be sortable so you can get the important ones for you on top. I also wonder about the categories. Maybe they should be more like iTunes, My Stuff, 3rd Party (not a great term but you know what I mean), Radio, Apps (maybe this is 3rd party), Settings and you drill down from there. With the option to pull out your favorite buttons to the top level. That's how my thought process goes.
  11. macrumors 68000


    I need colors...!
  12. macrumors 68020

    Im not sure how it is on smaller TVs but on my 55" the transition when you scroll from the first page down to the all icon page is jarring and even a bit nauseating.

    The simplistic iOS design is great but the problem with trying to make the iOS UI universal among their products is that many times it just doesn't fit.
  13. macrumors demi-god


    Very nice mock-up; I like it. I agree, the new GUI seems cluttered with all the extra colors and the blue highlight marker is difficult to see. The other thing I don't like about the current GUI is that you have to jump down to the next screen to get the rest of the menu items. I'd prefer to have all or most of the items available right on the first [top] screen.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Better than what iOS version is now. Though I still like the drop down style of iOS version 4 better. Wish we could customize or revert back to that style. At least one my ATV's still still on 4.4.4 jailbroken.
  15. blue43fan, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Nauseating? Like the movement of the icons literally makes you ill? I understand you don't like the design but you're exaggerating here.

    Once again, this UI is transitional. It might seem like a strange layout now, but when the ability to install "apps" is added I think many of you will change your tune.
  16. MacDaddy68, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012

    macrumors newbie


    I totally agree. I immediately thought that the colorful icons were way too "in your face" and should be more subtle, so I adjusted the UI accordingly. By removing the color (ok... yes, perhaps a little more boring, but that's on purpose) your eye is now drawn towards the content on the top - where it should be.

    And getting rid of the icons peeking out from below also seemed to make sense. I mean, you don't see Apps peeking out on your iPhone/iPad after all. Maybe it needs an indicator to hint that there are Apps below? Or even better - remove/reorganize the Computers button and replace it with an Apps button. Click on that and I envision it taking you to a more typical iOS-like experience.

    I just thought my modified solution seemed more logical and clean - and with a little reorganization - could better integrate the ATV interface with eventual iOS functionality and it's unique UI.



    Looks better to me. Now if only Apple would take a second stab at it :rolleyes:
  17. macrumors regular

    Something like this could possibly work, but my guess is that the "point" of the AppleTV will be these apps/channels, just as it is with the iPhone/iPad. The current UI makes that clear. Having a separate location for them disjoints the experience. (Much like Launchpad on the Mac, but that's a different story). I would imagine that features such as rearranging icons will come in time.

    As for the color of the icons, I remember everyone was up in arms about Apple stripping the color from OSX sidebars, like in iTunes. Personally, I like the colors. I think they show off my TV well.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    I prefer the OP's vision to Apple's rainbow-brite UI. That said, I think the previous version (version 4.4.4 and earlier) was far classier and clean-looking.

    I don't understand this argument. What does the UI have to do with whether or not Apple will open an ATV App Store?

    The previous UI (with the single selection bar and drop-down text menus), would periodically get new third-party features (one could go ahead and call them "apps") after software updates. When the ATV2 was launched back in 2010, it already had Flickr, YouTube, and Netflix "apps". In subsequent updates it got third-party "apps" for Vimeo, NBA, MLB, NHL, Wall Street Journal, for example. None of that required or benefited from a change in UI. I don't see why one has anything to do with the other.

    Some critiques of the new UI (Apple's version):
    -Functionality that I didn't use (like the sports apps and WSJ journal) was easy to ignore or scroll past since it was only a text option under one of the pull-down menus. Now the stuff I'm not interested is right out in front in gumball-style colors, obnoxiously hard to ignore.
    -If I could group/rearrange the icons so I could hide the stuff I'm not interested in, that would be an improvement. But still not as functional and easy to use.
    -The selection hi-light is extremely hard to see on the new colored rectangles. I can't tell what is selected until I move the cursor. This was not a problem on the previous UI, where you could tell which category you selected based on what pull-down menu was expanded and the selection-hi-light was far easier to see. So the new UI is not only aesthetically different (read: worse), but less functional as well.
  19. macrumors regular

    It has everything to do with whether they will open the ATV to third party apps. The old UI simply wouldn't work with a numerous amount of "apps". I'm not saying the new layout is ideal for that purpose either but I do think it will evolve over time to become something more manageable as new "apps" are added. They're using this layout as the base.

    Basically, I don't see the changes to the UI as being that big of a deal. Not yet, anyway.
  20. macrumors 68020

    As much as I dislike the overly bright icons, having WSJ, NBA, MLB etc forced on the screen only emphasizes that the ATV is the only set top device on the planet that doesn't have Hulu and instead they made deals with some useless apps (for me).
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Why not?

    Have tons of apps? You get a longer text pull-down menu. Or you get another category on the central navigation bar with its own text-pulldown menu. You could have categories for "info", "games", "web content", or whatever the user/Apple decides. I don't see why that "simply wouldn't work", or why that is worse than having a page full of colorful icons, and having to scroll past tons of big blatant rectangles you are not interested in before getting to the one you want. The new UI is going from two levels of organization (horizontal category bar --> pull-down menu) to one level of organization (all options splayed out in front of you with no categorical goruping). The previous UI is faster to use because you already know which category your desired "apps" are located.

    None of this is a big deal. I'll adjust to the new UI. I still think it's worse (both less attractive and less functional) though.

    And as far as waiting for a new ATV app store, I wouldn't hold your breath. When Apple brought in Netflix in 2010, everybody was so sure that it would herald an App Store with third-party companies providing apps. 1.5 years later and it hasn't happened. Instead Apple has shown again and again that they prefer to write their own interface/framework on the ATV to access third-party content (NHL, WSJ, Vimeo, etc.) and provide these new features with software updates. Would I like an App Store model for ATV? You bet! Do I think Apple will do that? I doubt it.

    So does Christopher Breen at macworld:

    His main point is that, with the ability to mirror your iPad or iPhone screen, and even your mac screen once Mountain Lion comes out, Apple may see an ATV app store as unnecessary.
  22. macrumors 68020


    I do not believe Mirroring works very well when you are trying to send HD Movies from your wireless iOS Device. Maybe a hardwired Mac Mini running running ML will work better. But sure seems like a waste of resources when you could have Apps (much like Roku and many other boxes).
  23. macrumors 6502a

    I agree. I'd prefer Apple treat the ATV as more of a standalone device, instead of just an accessory that gets your content from a different, top-tier device (mac, ipad, iphone). But one can see the argument that Apple is thinking of it as the latter rather than the former.

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