|Former Apple engineer pans TV design|
By Hayley Tsukayama, Monday, March 26, 6:07 AM
Alongside its new iPad, Apple unveiled a revamped version of its set-top box, Apple TV. The new device added a host of features such as the ability to stream movies from iCloud and support for 1080p videos.
It also brought a grid-like design that echoes the interfaces for mobile and for Lion and, in the words of CNet, “makes your TV look like a giant iPad.”
The new interface got some critical attention over the weekend from a former engineer, Michael Margolis, who said that he doesn’t like it and that Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs threw out similar designs in 2007.
“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,” Margolis said on Twitter.
Since Jobs’s death, Apple-watchers have been carefully looking for anything that could be read as a departure from his vision for the company and its products. It puts Apple in a tough position — maybe Steve Jobs didn’t want Apple executives to constantly wonder what he would have done, but consumers and analysts are certainly looking at Apple through the lens. Margolis’ comments took off because they hit on that theme.
Not that the engineer was saying that this was the beginning of the end at Apple. Margolis clarified that he thinks that Jobs didn’t like the “original grid,” but that his objections came before the iPhone and iPad became huge consumer hits.
And while he doesn’t like the new interface, he said that he understands why Apple went in the direction that it did.
“[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,” he wrote, in a comment on The Next Web.