Today former Apple engineer Michael Margolis took to Twitter to say Apple TV’s latest UI not only existed 5 years ago, it was rejected by late CEO Steve Jobs. Margolis also claims that there might be a “single visual designer in the consumer apps team” and that the majority of the former team has either left the company or been replaced.
@aral 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.
— Michael Margolis ッ (@yipe) March 24, 2012
Update: In a statement posted on TheNextWeb, Morgolis clarifies what he meant:
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.