Apple TV exec Jen Folse departs Apple for live-streaming startup Caffeine

Posted:
in General Discussion
Longtime Apple executive Jen Folse, who served as lead designer on a number of projects including tvOS, has departed the company to take a senior role at live social broadcasting startup Caffeine.




In a statement to AppleInsider, Caffeine said the now former Apple TV executive will lead the startup's product experience, roadmap, and product design team. Folse confirmed the move in an update to her LinkedIn profile, which notes an transition this month from Apple to Caffeine, where she will serve as VP of Product.

Founded by former Apple TV designers Ben Keighran and Sam Roberts in 2016, Caffeine bills itself as a new way for friends to "enjoy and create live gaming, entertainment, and creative arts broadcasts." The platform is looking to take a slice of the streaming service pie, a market largely dominated by big-name brands Twitch and YouTube.

In a statement to Variety, Folse said she has "every intention of staying at Apple for a long time," but was ultimately swayed by Caffeine's potential to disrupt the industry.

"I felt like I was looking at a new and exciting way for people to discover and consume live content, and knew I could make an impact leading the product experience," Folse said.

Folse, an 8-year veteran of Apple, is perhaps best known for her onstage demonstrations of new tvOS features.

In 2015, for example, Folse was tapped to show off the fourth-generation Apple TV's revised graphical user interface during Apple's September media event. More recently, the executive made an appearance at WWDC 2018 to detail additions to tvOS 12 including Dolby Atmos surround sound, "zero sign-on" and other new capabilities set to debut when the operating system sees launch this fall.



Folse joined Apple in 2010 as a Senior Design Producer 2016, a position she held until 2016 when her title changed to Design Lead. As Design Lead, Folse was in charge of Apple's video apps and software related to Apple TV, including the tvOS ecosystem and its first-party apps.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    lorin schultzelijahgmike54repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 23
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,273member
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    Thank you. Every day I use it, it drives me bonkers. 
    elijahgmike54repressthis
  • Reply 3 of 23
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    Thank you. Every day I use it, it drives me bonkers.  
    Asking out of curiosity, what don’t you like?
    edited August 2018 claire1
  • Reply 4 of 23
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    mike54urashid
  • Reply 5 of 23
    sector7gsector7g Posts: 155member
    I hope she got paid up front and a lot, a twitch rip off is not going to disrupt the industry, just like google+ didnt.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    How so?
    claire1
  • Reply 7 of 23
    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    Don’t you use you iPhone or iPad as your keyboard?
  • Reply 8 of 23
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    How so?
    Have you used it?
  • Reply 9 of 23
    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    It's not even just the unpredictable interactions that are maddening, it's also the gaping holes in the system, like excluding downloaded and other locally-stored content from search, up next, and Siri, plus the fact that it so often just plain doesn't work. Where the top row of the TV app is supposed to show the next unwatched episode of various series, ours routinely shows the last episode we watched instead.

    No single device has done more to erode my satisfaction with Apple than the AppleTV.
    elijahgmike54repressthisfastasleep
  • Reply 10 of 23
    I prefer old APple TV. I was going to get new ATV 4K, but after reading feedback posts I might reconsider. I need just few services and local (not Cloud) storage streaming (Plex). I think I can find somehing like this elsewhere,
    mike54
  • Reply 11 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    How so?
    Have you used it?
    Of course. I don’t have any issues with it. But I now have a  Smart TV with Roku integration so I rarely use my Apple TV. Every streaming media app I use is available with Roku.
    edited August 2018 gatorguymike54
  • Reply 12 of 23
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    Don’t you use you iPhone or iPad as your keyboard?
    I do, but what's the point in the remote if you have to resort to your phone whenever you need to type something? Siri is useless, I don't even bother with it. 

    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    It's not even just the unpredictable interactions that are maddening, it's also the gaping holes in the system, like excluding downloaded and other locally-stored content from search, up next, and Siri, plus the fact that it so often just plain doesn't work. Where the top row of the TV app is supposed to show the next unwatched episode of various series, ours routinely shows the last episode we watched instead.

    No single device has done more to erode my satisfaction with Apple than the AppleTV.
    Absolutely, it's much less polished than it was on the original AppleTV. Unfortunately since Apple's become more of a services company they're pushing people toward paid things - such as iTunes movies and TV shows, iCloud storage etc. This to me explains why search never finds anything local, more incentive to use Apple's services. The remote itself is just bad, it's too small, too slippery and too symmetrical. I think the idea was you'd use Siri for most things, but that's not measurably improved since it debuted on the 4s. As is unfortunately usual with many Apple products these days, the ATV was great when it first came out, but they've left it to stagnate and it's become stale and surpassed by a lot of third party alternatives.
    edited August 2018 mike54propod
  • Reply 13 of 23
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    How so?
    Have you used it?
    Of course. I don’t have any issues with it. But I now have a  Smart TV with Roku integration so I rarely use my Apple TV. Every streaming media app I use is available with Roku.
    I won't be getting another AppleTV, i'll probably end up with a Roku too. There are third party Airplay servers which is the only thing that's really unique to the AppleTV. The apps and games are just blown-up iPhone versions, nothing console-quality in the slightest. The console-quality iOS games seemingly haven't ended up on the AppleTV for some reason.
    mike54propod
  • Reply 14 of 23
    I prefer old APple TV. I was going to get new ATV 4K, but after reading feedback posts I might reconsider. I need just few services and local (not Cloud) storage streaming (Plex). I think I can find somehing like this elsewhere,
    I agree.

    Apple TV was better when Apple decided what you can have on the device.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    mike54mike54 Posts: 465member
    I wasn't and still not impressed with the design tvOS, and subsequently its lacks of improvements.
    Also app store is the worst and unchanged since it release (I believe the US version is hairs breath better).
    I think Apple only has a very small team for tvOS, and this girl didn't really care later anyway and wanted to move on.
    Apple TV is just now a streaming box, and there are many alternatives out there. It could of been so much more. A pathetic effort, if at all.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    Don’t you use you iPhone or iPad as your keyboard?
    I do, but what's the point in the remote if you have to resort to your phone whenever you need to type something? Siri is useless, I don't even bother with it. 
    I lost my remote so when I do use TV I use my iPhone as my remote. Even when I had the remote I never used it for to input passwords, much easier to do so on an iPhone or iPad keyboard.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    mike54 said:
    I wasn't and still not impressed with the design tvOS, and subsequently its lacks of improvements.
    Also app store is the worst and unchanged since it release (I believe the US version is hairs breath better).
    I think Apple only has a very small team for tvOS, and this girl didn't really care later anyway and wanted to move on.
    Apple TV is just now a streaming box, and there are many alternatives out there. It could of been so much more. A pathetic effort, if at all.

    So much more in what way? I always thought the idea of ‘apps’ on Apple TV was ridiculous. I’m not going to use Apple TV to shop for clothes or look at houses. And gaming seems more suited to dedicated boxes like Xbox or PlayStation. The number of people that would do light gaming on Apple TV is so small. I do think Apple has the opportunity to do more around surfacing content. The TV app is attempting to do that but I agree I could be better. Still at the end of the day Apple TV is a box for streaming content. It should be cheaper.
    elijahg
  • Reply 18 of 23
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    Don’t you use you iPhone or iPad as your keyboard?
    I do, but what's the point in the remote if you have to resort to your phone whenever you need to type something? Siri is useless, I don't even bother with it. 

    elijahg said:
    One of my biggest tvOS gripes is you never know what the menu button will actually do. Considering it’s probably the second most used button, it should have one function and one function only. Apple’s minimalism and form over function has stripped the remote to too few buttons; so to compensate they’ve overloaded the menu button (among others) with too many actions. 

    Pressing the menu button will either take you back a screen (of which there may be many nested, but there is no indication of exactly how many), it will display the top menu, or it will take you to the home screen. If you’re deeply nested you may press it several times, and accidentally exit the app. Or you may think a top menu should appear, but no, back to the home screen. It’s awful UI design, you can never be confident of what it’s going to do. 

    The single line keyboard is also utter crap, much worse than the older grid of letters. But this looks nicer so that’s fine...

    The selection of Apps on the tvOS App Store hasn’t really changed since it was released. There are a couple of games for £15, but no way in hell am I paying out £15 for a game with no reviews and which I may not like. Seems everyone else is of a similar opinion. iOS needs demos - proper demos not in-app purchase unlock. 

    If Folse had anything whatsoever to do with the tvOS UI/UX I’m very glad she’s gone. 
    It's not even just the unpredictable interactions that are maddening, it's also the gaping holes in the system, like excluding downloaded and other locally-stored content from search, up next, and Siri, plus the fact that it so often just plain doesn't work. Where the top row of the TV app is supposed to show the next unwatched episode of various series, ours routinely shows the last episode we watched instead.

    No single device has done more to erode my satisfaction with Apple than the AppleTV.
    Absolutely, it's much less polished than it was on the original AppleTV. Unfortunately since Apple's become more of a services company they're pushing people toward paid things - such as iTunes movies and TV shows, iCloud storage etc. This to me explains why search never finds anything local, more incentive to use Apple's services. The remote itself is just bad, it's too small, too slippery and too symmetrical. I think the idea was you'd use Siri for most things, but that's not measurably improved since it debuted on the 4s. As is unfortunately usual with many Apple products these days, the ATV was great when it first came out, but they've left it to stagnate and it's become stale and surpassed by a lot of third party alternatives.
    What was polished about the original Apple TV? It was just a grid of ‘apps’ and the remote was just as bad as the current one.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,632member
    tvOS?

    A design disaster. 
    How so?
    Have you used it?
    Of course. I don’t have any issues with it. But I now have a  Smart TV with Roku integration so I rarely use my Apple TV. Every streaming media app I use is available with Roku.
    That's my experience too. The only thing I use my ATV for is streaming from my computer. I dislike the ATV remote, and really like having all the TV functions on one remote. 
  • Reply 20 of 23
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 381member
    Sure hope the next in line at Apple can turn this AppleTV thing around. There is a lot of money to be made here.
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