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December 22, 2010


Dick, I appreciate the constructive feedback as I don't own an Apple TV yet. I'm equally glad that you see the potential of this feature being expanded upon in the future.


This is the way some menus on AppleTV presently work

Using the AppleTV remote or an iPhone:

1) Select a menu , e.g. "Movies"

2) a submenu is displayed: e.g. Genre, by Name, etc.

3) do nothing and Cover Art (for all "Movies") starts to display after a few seconds, if available

4) select a submenu such as "Genre" and another submenu appears: e.g. Comedy, Drama, etc.

5) Do nothing and Cover Art (for all "Genres", in Order by Genra") is displayed , if available.

As you continue the drill-down into the menus, the animated Cover Art gets more specific to match your selection.

This is all going on because there is a constant dialog between your AppleTV and iTunes -- either on another computer in your home or iTunes servers in the sky.

What makes this all work, is that there are natural delays when presenting an AppleTV menu where the background dialog can be used to refine and improve the UX.

What is also different is that on an AppleTV the last menu item selected remains active -- whereas on a computer you must click and hold to maintain the selection (or the menu goes away)

Now, here is where this could get real interesting:

- Imagine the device is an iPad instead of an AppleTV.
- There are 2 areas on the screen a menu area and an active update area
- side by side in landscape
- semi transparent menu popup in portrait

The same process as for AppleTV could be used to select items for play on the iPad with content from
- Audios and videos currently stored on your iPad
- iTunes on another computer in your home
- iTunes computer in the cloud
- 3rd party, e.g. NetFlix, ATT U-verse, Comcast, ABC, etc.

When you select a video, the menu construct is replaced by the video (full screen) and vice versa when you end the video.

So, yes, this "Pick-N-Play" menu construct has great potential for many types of aggregated content (your stocks,and cars examples) -- especially on a touch-screen device where a tap is used to select instead of the click-and-hold shown in the pictures.

When Lion apps start to go full screen, i can see a similar semi-persistent menu being used on non-touch interfaces.

Like you said, "It's the potential stupid." Good Catch.

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