Steve Jobs Rejected the Current Apple TV UI Years AgoWell this is interesting. Apparently the new Apple TV interface, designed to be an HD upgrade to the existing Apple TV interface, got rejected by Apple’s then head honcho Steve Jobs years ago. His complaint? He didn’t like the grid.
Instead, the Apple TV relied on a unweildy Cover Flow interface. Many users loved it, the same users who hate the refresh.
All this news comes to us courtesy of a tweet by former Apple software engineer Michael Margolis.
On March 23rd, he posted:
“I implemented much of the AppleTV 2.0 UI years ago. The new home page UI makes me cry.”Aral Balkan responded:
“I loved the old UI, man. Kudos.”To which Margolis quipped “Fun fact - those new designs were tossed out 5 years ago because SJ didn't like them. Now there is nobody to say "no" to bad design.”
He also made several other comments to the point that there might be a single designer working on the entire consumer apps team, but he has since recanted, claiming that his comments were taken out of context.
It has been pointed out that 5 years ago the Apple TV was only displaying content from iTunes. There weren’t third-party apps available, nor were there so many content sources. The old cover flow approach worked passably for the limited selection of content available at the time. Steve Jobs’ rejection of the design might have more to do with it being more complex than necessary at the time than with it being bad. This was before the iPhone made the grid interface popular to Apple devotees, after all.
Steve Jobs even pointed out that rejection is his first reaction to any design. It might be that he had finally come around to the new design before it went public.
Either way, though, this is juicy stuff.