Apple just pulled a viral iPod nostalgia app from the App Store
Retro Pod is no more
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Goodbye, Retro Pod
📱 A third-party app that turned iPhones into iPods has been pulled
😲 Retro Pod added a big click wheel to give iPhones the look and feel of the classic iPod
📈 It blew up on TikTok and received nearly half a million downloads
⛔ But it violated Apple’s App Store policies on copycat products
An app that turns the iPhone into a makeshift iPod has been pulled from the App Store after it blew up on TikTok.
Retro Pod was designed to transform the look and feel of your iPhone so it replicated an iPod, adding a big click wheel that could be used to navigate media and play music on your phone, as well as copy the tactile, clicky feeling of using a classic iPod.
But as The Verge reports, after videos featuring the Retro Pod racked up nearly 5 million views on TikTok, the app was removed from the App Store without comment from the developer or Apple.
The company has an explicit rule against apps that copy official Apple products. It asks developers to not “create an app that appears confusingly similar to an existing Apple product, interface (e.g. Finder), app (such as the App Store, iTunes Store, or Messages) or advertising theme,” which is exactly what Retro Pod did, albeit with an outdated piece of official Apple hardware rather than a current app.
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According to tech analytics body Sensor Tower, Retro Pod was downloaded a total of 443,000 times before it was kicked off the App Store. It was launched last October.
If you’re still desperate to relive the halcyon days of the iPod days on current tech, check out iPod.js, a browser-based app that features a classic iPod UI and can pair with both Apple Music and Spotify accounts.
Apple finally discontinued the iPod in 2022 after more than 20 years on the market. The most recent model, the iPod Touch, was updated in 2019, but with virtually all of its features available on the iPhone, it looked a little defunct. Still, if these third-party iPod apps show anything, it’s that there’s apparently a market for iPod nostalgia that I’m sure Apple will tap into at some point.
For now, the company is looking ahead rather than back. It’s due to finally reveal its mixed-reality headset later this year, and is expected to spruce up the displays of its Apple Watch and iPhone down the line.