Thought this week was all about iOS 15? Us too – but it seems another 'new' iOS release has just been announced. And it's called, erm, iOS 4. Yep, the decade old iPhone software has been resurrected – and it's a beautifully nostalgic throwback to simpler times.
OldOS is a faithful recreation of iOS 4, made by eighteen year-old developer Zane. The fully functional mod was built in SwiftUI, and is designed to be as close to "pixel perfect" as possible. It even adds a virtual home button, since the real thing is missing from most camera phones these days.
Today is Launch Day 🚀Introducing OldOS — iOS 4 beautifully rebuilt in SwiftUI.* 🎨 Designed to be as close to pixel-perfect as possible.*📱 Fully functional, perhaps even usable as a second OS.* 🗺️ Fully open source for all to learn, modify, and build on. pic.twitter.com/K0JOE2fEKMJune 9, 2021
Before today's world of flat design, Apple was all about Skeuomorphism – and there's something delightfully retro about the detailed, 3D designs and animations in iOS 4. From the yellow Post-It vibe of Notes to that TV-themed YouTube logo, it's amazing how different Apple's software used to look.
Also amazing is how well OldOS functions. Being built on Apple's own developer platform, it's an impressively smooth interface – although a couple of apps don't function. Zane is working to fix "some major issues with YouTube and Messages".
I can’t get over the level of deference and craftsmanship that went into this SwiftUI rebuild of iOS 4, never-mind the fact that it was designed by someone who was 7-years-old at the time iOS 4 was released! This level of talent is top shelf! 🤯Phenomenal work @zzanehip! 🥰 https://t.co/7HBgRXzZz3 pic.twitter.com/I7dwnKfygzJune 10, 2021
OldOS is available through Apple's app testing site TestFlight – but right now, it's exceeded its maximum beta downloads. The full source code for OldOS is also on GitHub, if you're feeling, er, developery.
While we weren't blown away by Apple's iOS 15 reveal this week, there were some exciting gems to be found in the WWDC announcement – not least the software's compatibility with older phones. That said, perhaps more impressive than iOS 15 on an iPhone 6S is iOS 4 on an iPhone 12. Want to experience 11 year-old software on a 0 year-old phone? Check out today's best iPhone 12 deals below.
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