This App Can Turn an iPhone into an iPod Classic with Working Click Wheel

iPod Classic with Click Wheel Credit: CC / cogdogblog / Flickr
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If you’re nostalgic for the iconic click wheel of early iPods, then developer and designer Elvin Hu is building just the app for you.

Hu, a design student at Cooper Union college in New York, has been developing the app using Apple’s own SwiftUI SDK since October.

Late last month, Hu tweeted a video of the work-in-progress — which quickly accumulated thousands of likes and retweets.

The app essentially turns an iPhone into a fullscreen iPod Classic, complete with the 3D Cover Flow graphical interface and the aforementioned click wheel that even has haptic feedback and authentic click sounds.

As you might expect, the teaser video generated a lot of positive feedback on Twitter. Even former Apple engineer Tony Fadell, known as the “Father of the iPod,” liked the tweet — calling it a nice throwback.

Hu told The Verge that he started building the app because he was working on an essay about the iPod’s development at college. But even before that, he said that he has always been inspired by Apple’s devices and that the company’s design philosophy “greatly influenced” his decision to pursue design as a career.

“I’ve always been a fan of Apple products since I was a kid,” Hu said. “Before my family could afford one, I would draw the UI layout of iPhone on lids of Ferrero Rocher boxes.”

Where Can I Get the iPod App?

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that the app is still a work in progress. Hu says that he hopes to have the app completely finished by the end of the year.

Despite that, there’s also a good chance that it may never see the light of day — at least on the App Store. Apple’s App Review team would need to actually approve the app, something that is admittedly fairly unlikely.

Hu even noted this himself, saying that Apple may have “legitimate reasons” to block the app from the App Store, such as design patents.

But the developer said that if Apple doesn’t approve the app, he may release it as an open-source project. That means that, if you’re a bit technically savvy, there’s still a chance that you can get the app on one of your own devices.

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