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 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, which specialises in absurd and yes, mischievous, products and designs. Other drops have included Jesus shoes for "walking on water", and a rubber chicken-shaped bong (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 John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.