iPhone owners living in the past finally get a peek at the present

There will always come a point when hardware limitations prevent previous-generation iPhone and iPod touch models from receiving the latest version of iOS. The issue is more prominently discussed in the Android community due to the frequency of updates and the time-consuming process vendors face when making customized software elements available on a new Android build. But owners of older versions of Apple’s mobile devices also know the pain of seeing features added to iOS that they will never get to enjoy until they purchase a more modern device — until now.

A group of independent iOS developers have taken it upon themselves to bring a number of the great features iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS owners enjoy to the first and second-generation iPhone and iPod touch. Using a custom iOS build called Whited00r, popular iOS 5 features including enhanced mutitasking support, reminders, home screen folders, video recording and even Newsstand are made available on older iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Released earlier this week, Whited00r 5.1 is a custom version of Apple’s iOS 3.1.3 software. While the software affords a number of great iOS 5 features, some of the most sought-after elements newer iOS builds including Notification Center and App Store access are not available in Whited00r. Other features such as iCloud have been recreated to an extent — iCloud support in this custom iOS build uses Dropbox as a back end.

Owners of Apple’s iPhone, iPhone 3G or first and second-generation iPod touch obviously don’t have to worry about voiding any warranties by installing Whited00r since their warranties have long since expired, but things can always go awry when working with unauthorized software. Many users report success with Whited00r, however, and the software’s developers have a forum in place to help users who run into trouble.

Whited00r 5.1 is available for free and can be installed using Apple’s iTunes software on a Mac or a Windows PC. The team behind Whited00r recommends that users set up their devices as new rather than restoring from a backup after installing the customer software.

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