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You can now get retro iPhone app icons – and you'll want them all right now

If, like us, you've found yourself looking back on simpler times lately, a new web-based app is almost guaranteed to raise a smile. It isn't quite a time machine, but will at least take you back to the early days of app design. 

Visit Icon Rewind (opens in new tab) on your iPhone, and you'll be greeted with what looks like an iPhone homescreen from around a decade ago, complete with retro icons for all your favourite apps (including Instagram, Netflix and YouTube) in all their 3D glory. It almost feels strange to recall a time before flat design became the norm.

iPhone app icons

Which icons look more iconic? (Image credit: MSCHF/Future Owns)

But the nostalgia trip doesn't end there – by tapping one of the icons, you can even save it to your own iPhone. It won't replace the existing icon, but instead create a shortcut to the app. Still, if you're so inclined, you could bundle the contemporary icons into a folder and banish it to some distant area of your homescreen. 

It isn't the most straightforward solution, but we're just here for the nostalgia. The old icons might look a little clunky and inconsistent against today's uniformly flat designs, but it's strangely comforting to see all that skeuomorphism – you can almost feel the texture of Instagram's 3D instant camera or YouTube's old TV.

Instagram icon

The Instagram logo has undergone one of the biggest transformations (Image credit: Instagram/Future owns)

Icon Rewind is the 22nd "drop" from the mysterious MSCHF (opens in new tab), which specialises in absurd and yes, mischievous, products and designs. Other drops have included Jesus shoes (opens in new tab) for "walking on water", and a rubber chicken-shaped bong (opens in new tab) (complete with squeak).

And if you find today's flat design trend a little dull, you might be in luck – it's neumorphism that's got everyone talking in 2020. Perhaps in another 10 years we'll find ourselves fawning over a similarly retro collection of today's flat icons – and remembering simpler times. 

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).