Steve Jobs wanted to create a fully integrated line of Apple TV sets with “the simplest user interface you can imagine.”
According to a report in The Washington Post reviewing Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the Apple co-founder, Jobs saw the company’s current Apple TV-branded set-top boxes as merely the starting point for conquering the home theater space.
The Post quoted from the book:
“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant … ‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ [Jobs] told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”
There have been rumors that Apple might launch a line of TVs, and this description is certainly intriguing. Manufacturers have been attempting for decades to improve the way users interact with TV content. But remotes and set-top boxes have only managed to get more complicated (though Tivo, at least, made strides toward making the process more user friendly and intuitive). Apple revolutionized personal computing when it popularized the computer mouse in 1984 (wrote one critic at the time: “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things”). What would an Apple-style TV remote look like?
Issacson, btw, will be interviewed on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday.