Steve Jobs Hated The New Apple TV UI, But Apple Changed It Anyway (updated)

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The Apple television set won't arrive until 2014, according to one analyst, but you can look forward to an awesome set-top box before then.
Is this the Apple TV user interface Steve Jobs never wanted you to see?

Complementing the launch of the new Apple TV, an iOS software update made some significant changes to the Apple TV user interface after the new iPad keynote. Over the last couple weeks the new UI has received a heavy dose of criticism from fans who feel like the new interface is a step backwards, and it turns out that those criticisms may be true. Literally.

According to one ex-Apple TV Engineer, the new Apple TV UI has been on the table for about five years, but Steve Jobs himself allegedly didn’t like it and rejected its implementation. Now that Jobs isn’t around “to say no to bad design,” the UI was resurrected.

The ex-Apple TV Engineer, Michael Margolis, shared this yesterday on Twitter:

Margolis’ LinkedIn profile claims he was a former “Professional Hobbyist, AppleTV” at Apple, so it’s very possible that he’s telling the truth. If true, one has to wonder about the current design progression Apple plans to make with their software and if we’ll see other forms of regression. On the other hand, Apple had yet to introduce the App Store back in 2007 when this Apple TV UI was rejected. It’s possible Jobs rejected it and then later embraced it towards the end of his time with Apple, because of Apple’s future plans to bring apps to the Apple TV.

Many analysts believe Apple will release a full-fledged Apple branded television-set later this year that will be the true Apple TV Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson about in his book.

You can read our full review on the Apple TV right here.

Update: In a comment from The Next Web, Michael Margolis clarified the UI and the elements Steve 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.

What do you think of the new Apple TV UI? Is it a step back, or do you like that it’s similar to the iPad and iPhone UI? Let us here your opinions in the comments.

[via Macgasm]