Former Apple TV Engineer: New Apple TV UI is actually one Steve Jobs threw away five years ago


Former Apple TV UI designer and “Professional Hobbyist, Apple TV” Michael Margolis went vocal on Twitter (via Reddit) about the new Apple TV redesign last night. He says that Steve Jobs tossed out the new design five years ago. He adds, “Now there is nobody to say ‘no’ to bad design.”


The “new” Apple TV design received some mixed reviews, but most people appreciate the updated look and feel. The negatives, however, seem to focus on Apple’s limited access to services like Hulu, Amazon, VUDU, and other streaming services.

Apple is widely expected to release a full Apple HD product in the coming year. Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he cracked the code to the TV, but it does not appear that Apple has yet implemented that vision.

Updated with comment from Margolis, below:

Update: In a comment, Margolis discussed Apple TV’s UI with The Next Web and elements that Jobs took issue with:

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.

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