The Story Behind the ‘Rejected’ Apple TV UI
Posted on March 26, 2012 by eli courey
Many blogs have been talking about some recent tweets from Michael Margolis, a former Apple engineer. Talking about the new Apple TV interface, Margolis said “those new designs were tossed out 5 years ago because SJ didn’t like them.” This has started lots of creative rumors about how Apple won’t survive without Steve Jobs and the company is finished.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Margolis explains his thoughts with far more context:
Specifically, I stated in a tweet that Steve did not like the grid design five years ago. That is absolutely 100% true. It’s also true that five years ago the iPad didn’t exist, Apple users weren’t in love with app-grid interfaces like they are now, a streaming-only iCloud connected device was a pipe dream, and AppleTV did not have great new third party content like YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, NBA, NFL, and more. The UI didn’t make much sense back then but it makes much more sense now. If you compare Front Row to AppleTV 1.0, ”AppleTV Take 2″, and the new AppleTV UI it is clear that the product is continually improving. The new UI is no doubt cleaner, simpler, easier to use, and more in line with the now-popular iPad UI and Lion’s Launchpad.
Timing and context are crucial – both on Twitter and in product design.
I personally like the new Apple TV interface, but I think it could use a few improvements. I would like to be abe to rearrange the app icons, and maybe even create folders.