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A developer created an iPod emulator for the iPhone and OMG we need it right now

Published Nov 29th, 2019 4:11PM EST
iPhone App iPod
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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An iOS developer named Elvin Hu from Cooper Union college recently showed off an intriguing app with a clever UI that transforms an iPhone into an iPod Classic, complete with a virtual scroll wheel and Cover Flow. The app was put together using SwiftUI and, if we’re being honest, looks pretty slick.

Are we being blinded by nostalgia here? Of course, but that’s all part of the fun. The iPod was such a transformative device that it naturally conjures up positive memories for anyone who remembers how amazing it was to have a portable device capable of storing thousands of songs. It may not seem impressive in an age where services like Spotify let users stream seemingly any song that has ever existed, but the iPod for its time was undeniably a revolutionary device.

Having said all that, let’s take a look at what Hu managed to put together.

I can’t imagine Apple ever allowing this into the App Store, but I’d love to be proven wrong. Indeed, the power of nostalgia is so strong in this regard that I would even consider giving Apple Music another try if Apple somehow integrated something like this into its music streaming service.

Notably, the app works in both portrait and landscape mode. As you can see below, the implementation of Cover Flow is particularly well done.

Interestingly enough, Tony Fadell — the man responsible for coming up with the original iPod — caught wind of Hu’s project and came away impressed.

It’s a nice throwback, indeed.

As to the impetus behind the project, Hu tells The Verge that he’s long been a fan of Apple and that he was recently working on a paper chronicling the development of the iPod.

Before my family could afford one, I would draw the UI layout of iPhone on lids of Ferrero Rocher boxes. Their products (among other products, such as Windows Vista and Zune HD) have greatly influenced my decision of pursuing design as a career.

Hu is going to try to submit the app to the App Store, and though the odds are beyond slim, perhaps it will be approved by some miraculous stroke of luck.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.