Four 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."
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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.)
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).
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.
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.