The new Apple TV launched earlier this month with a new interface, which according to former Apple engineer Michael Margolis, uses designs that were "tossed out 5 years ago because Steve Jobs didn't like them." Margolis, whose LinkedIn profile shows that he was a former Senior Software Engineer and Professional Hobbyist for Apple TV, also says that there may be a "single visual designer in the consumer apps team," and that the whole team may have left the company or been replaced. There's a hint of bitterness in Margolis' claims, but nonetheless, it's an uncommon glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive Cupertino company, and its former leader's infamously picky eye for design.
@aral I implemented much of the AppleTV2.0 UI years ago. The new home page UI makes me cry.— Michael Margolis ッ (@yipe) March 24, 2012
@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: Margolis is now covering his tracks after making a controversial statement about Apple and Steve Jobs. He says in a comment on The Next Web that he was "not implying the consumer apps team only had one designer." He also tells TechCrunch that "people were misquoting and painting doom and gloom scenarios for Apple," and that "Steve rejecting a design five years ago isn't a huge deal." But he says that it is "absolutely 100-percent true" that "Steve did not like the grid design give years ago."