Timing wasn’t always Steve Jobs’ strongest suit (early in his career he picked fights he wasn’t sure to win) but the publication of Walter Isaacson’s biography ‘Steve Jobs’ immediately following the great man’s death means that his successor at the company Tim Cook and all the other Apple-ites know very clearly what’s required of them.
And it seems to be the development of Apple TV (iTV? That’ll be one for the lawyers), the Holy Grail of combining all the facets of modern, user-friendly computing with the box in the living room.
Speaking of Apple’s researches into computer-friendly TVs (an area which has already seen launches from Google and Sony) Jobs told Isaacson: “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
Apple being Apple it won’t bring anything out until it works properly, unlike some of its rivals. But other manufacturers had so-callled ‘smartphones’ on the market long before Apple, only to be blown out of the water by the iPhone with its easy-to-use interface and big screen.
There seems little doubt that Apple is capable of making a TV that is nicer to look at and easier to use than ones currently on the market. If Jobs says he’d cracked it he probably had.
The intriguing thing is the potential use of the voice-activation technology to be found in the new iPhone 4S. This, of course, would make an Apple TV really easy to use.
We’re all familiar with the widespread practice of ‘shouting at the TV,’ often in outrage at refereeing decisions in games of sport (there would have been a few Gallic outbursts over the weekend at the rather partial decisions of ref Andre Joubert in the Rugby World Final).
One of Steve Jobs’ legacies could be a TV that, metaphorically speaking, can shout back.