Key Apple TV 4 Designer and Chomp Co-Founder Leaving Apple

by

chompappleemployeeFour years ago, Apple purchased App Store search and discovery company Chomp, gaining Ben Keighran as an employee. Keighran went on to have a pivotal role developing the "look and feel" of the software on the new Apple TV, but according to Re/code, he's now leaving the company.

Keighran participated in the development of tvOS, the software that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS marked a huge step forward from software on previous Apple TV set-top boxes, introducing Siri support and a full App Store. According to Keighran, it also incorporates search and discovery elements that he created with Chomp.

In the tvOS development hierarchy, Keighran worked under Bill Bachman, who oversees Apple's media apps. Bachman reports to Robert Kondrk, Apple's vice president of iTunes content, who reports to iTunes chief Eddy Cue. Going forward, Keighran plans to create his own "iconic company," but says the decision to leave Apple was difficult.

While Keighran wouldn't give Re/code behind-the-scenes details on Apple's television development plans, he says Apple "looked at many different ways of delivering an awesome TV experience."

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13, tvOS 14
Tag: Chomp
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
60 months ago
To be honest, I thought App Store search has only gone downhill since they acquired Chomp. Moving from a list of results to a single page result that you have to flip through is pretty terrible unless you are the number one app already (Good for things like Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Apple apps/etc, bad for small developers.) It basically turned the App Store from a place where users could discover apps to a showcase for the basic essential apps available on iOS. I can't remember the last time I have actual found a cool new app via the App Store itself, now it is pretty much all via Twitter or Product Hunt and the App Store is now just the distribution platform.

Which is also why the 30% cut Apple is still taking from apps is just painful. For 99.9% of apps now the App Store is just a content hosting and credit card processing service. If you want proof, just look at the Mac App Store that is just straight dying, because buying apps outside of it is just for users in support (Dev's can offer their own refunds/discounts - not possible on the App Store) and better for developers in profits (Fees under 5%, download hosting is nearly free at this point.)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago

The Mac App Store could be great, if Apple would just overhaul it.

I only use OS X and iOS; Apple has made, and still does make an amazing operating system and apps. But really, the Mac App Store is just painful to use, it easily is one of the worst parts of OS X, other than the click-to-update/install. The search, discovery, the UI (for instance, the tiny description font with no way to increase its size,) crippled interaction, etc. just make it mostly unusable. I only download apps in the MAS if they're not available from a developer's site, i.e. instead they have a MAS link only.

Agree 100 percent. Apple has great taste and design in a lot of areas, however the MAS, and in particular Mac software updates are shocking.... Broken progress bars, stalled, stuck and disappearing updates - it feels like the whole back end is made of Papier-mâché, and is not robust at all. The old Software Update mechanism was excellent and always generally reliable and robust. A big re-engieering is required here, hopefully Schiller will get on the case.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Good Riddance.

Siri support within other apps/countries is abysmal (Where is the API?). The ATV app store is a mess. And the blindingly white interface on a TV is a joke.

Also my sound system exhibits annoying pops whenever I navigate the home screen, which still hasn't been fixed, and numerous people have complained about (though admittedly probably has nothing to do with this guy).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago
Maybe he was Frustrated by Inability to Reach Deals With TV Programmers for Television Service ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/01/19/apple-frustrated-by-inability-to-reach-tv-deals/')
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
60 months ago

To be honest, I thought App Store search has only gone downhill since they acquired Chomp. Moving from a list of results to a single page result that you have to flip through is pretty terrible unless you are the number one app already (Good for things like Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Apple apps/etc, bad for small developers.) It basically turned the App Store from a place where users could discover apps to a showcase for the basic essential apps available on iOS. I can't remember the last time I have actual found a cool new app via the App Store itself, now it is pretty much all via Twitter or Product Hunt and the App Store is now just the distribution platform.

Which is also why the 30% cut Apple is still taking from apps is just painful. For 99.9% of apps now the App Store is just a content hosting and credit card processing service. If you want proof, just look at the Mac App Store that is just straight dying, because buying apps outside of it is just for users in support (Dev's can offer their own refunds/discounts - not possible on the App Store) and better for developers in profits (Fees under 5%, download hosting is nearly free at this point.)

The Mac App Store could be great, if Apple would just overhaul it.

I only use OS X and iOS; Apple has made, and still does make an amazing operating system and apps. But really, the Mac App Store is just painful to use, it easily is one of the worst parts of OS X, other than the click-to-update/install. The search, discovery, the UI (for instance, the tiny description font with no way to increase its size,) crippled interaction, etc. just make it mostly unusable. I only download apps in the MAS if they're not available from a developer's site, i.e. instead they have a MAS link only.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

this is really disappointed news, Apple TV 4 it's great product..reminds me of old Apple

Apple should fire the guy who came up with Watch OS and Apple Music design not this guy

I see people here complaining about something that can be fixed with an update, and forget that tvOS it's close to 2007 iPhone OS X and 84 Mac OS in terms of design

iOS 1.0 was a great OS. I don't think tvOS is a disaster, but it certainly has lots of problems that shouldn't have been shipped in the state it is. If this guy was actually responsible for designing tvOS, then this can only be a good thing for Apple.

And the guy who lead the watchOS project is Alan Dye ('http://www.apple.com/pr/bios/alan-dye.html'), who now unfortunately leads UI Design for Apple. He has no UX background and it appears he has no natural eye for it either, given the stuff he's let go out the door. He concerns me.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

Third-Party RAM for 27-inch iMac Still Far More Affordable Than Apple's Checkout Upgrade Options

Wednesday August 5, 2020 3:06 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, and up to a whopping 128GB of RAM. To max out the RAM at checkout, Apple charges an additional $2,600, which is like buying another whole iMac. Fortunately, the memory in the 27-inch iMac is user-replaceable thanks to the easily-accessible memory backdoor...