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Ex-Apple engineer: Jobs rejected new Apple TV 5 years ago

An engineer who once worked on the Apple TV set-top box has said Steve Jobs rejected the new UI five years ago.

Steve Jobs rejected the new Apple TV's UI five years ago, according to an engineer who once worked on the product. And he claims now there's no one at Apple to reject a bad design since Jobs' passing, CNET reports.

Michael Margolis tweeted: "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 worked as a 'senior software engineer' at Apple, and also credits himself as a "professional hobbyist, AppleTV". He claims to have left Apple in 2008.

He went on to clarify the new Apple TV was more a sign of the times than the harbinger of Apple's demise: "The new AppleTV UI isn't a sign of a doomed "post-SJ" Apple, it's a logical next step given their design to match the iOS home page." He went on: "Most of the AppleTV UI remains unchanged since AppleTV "Take 2" and I think that's a testament to how good it was. Great design is timeless." 

Apple unveiled the new Apple TV alongside the new iPad on 7 March. The set-top box has a new UI that's more in keeping with the grid layout of apps found on the iPhone and iPad, complete with cover art. It can also stream video in 1080p HD, and has Genius recommendations to help you find new shows you might like. While it might have launched in the shadow of the iPad, it could prove the more significant product, as it might be pointing to what we can expect from Apple's forthcoming TV set.

The standalone TV is rumoured to come packing Siri for voice control, as well as Kinect-style gesture controls. Though with Apple omitting Siri from the new iPad, some doubt has been voiced as to whether it'll come on the TV set. What is certain is that it'll shake up the TV industry -- Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson he'd come up with "the simplest user interface you could imagine". And simplicity is the hallmark of Apple.

What do you make of the new Apple TV UI? And do you think standards have slipped at Apple? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.