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Forget Apps On The Apple TV, @Gruber

November 1, 2011

In the Steve Jobs Biography, one of the most exciting passages was about how Steve had finally “cracked” the way to re-invent the television interface. Since the book release, many, many stories have been written about what he meant and what that interface is or how it would be controlled. Suggestions range from Siri based control to Xbox 360 Kinect style motion based control. Paul Thurrott even wrote an article where he slams Apple for “copying” Microsoft’s idea for motion based control which was based on a speculative rumor and John Gruber wrote that he thinks apps is the solution to future TV. I do not think that either of these is what Steve Jobs had in mind for the TV. 

The idea of re-inventing TV should mean that it is not like anything that we have now. The idea of using apps for watching TV is not much different than what currently exists with video on demand. With apps, a user would have to go into an application like ABC or HBO Go and select what they want to watch. When the show or movie is over they are left searching for something else to watch. The user needs to know what they want to watch and where they have to go to find it.

Users do not want to have to know what channel or app their favorite show is on. A user wants to tell the TV “I want to watch the latest episode of Rescue Me” (either spoken command or another way) and have the TV automatically know that is it from the FX network and start playing. When the episode is finished, the TV should automatically start playing something else based on the last request, whether it is another episode of Rescue Me or another Drama from FX.

Steve Jobs had a way of thinking about something completely different than most people. If Steve had “finally cracked it” refering to a new way to watch TV, you can bet it will not be with Apps. 


From → Rant

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