Just days after Apple unveiled its brand new iOS 15 – set to debut later this year with iPhone 13 – an 18-year-old developer has beautifully rebuilt the iOS 4 as an iPhone app, and it’s a wonderful nostalgia. If you’ve never tried iOS 4, or if you like the iPhone 3G, OldOS almost perfectly recreates the feeling of using an iPhone from a decade ago.
Since OldOS is developed with Apple’s SwiftUI, you’ll get the same fluid animations and iPhone Home button that vibrates and gives haptic feedback to make it seem like a real button when you download and install it.
OldOS is “designed to be as close to pixel-perfect as possible,” says Zane, the developer behind the app. The stock applications that Apple published with iOS 4 are also available in OldOS, providing a nostalgic reminder of whatever apps you used to use and how they appeared.
While everything looks to be flowing smoothly as butter, Messages and YouTube are two exceptions that may arise. Although there are still difficulties with YouTube and Messages that need to be resolved, Zane claims that everything else works great; you can even surf the web using Safari’s old UI.
This type of nostalgic app has already appeared on the iPhone which turns an iPhone into an iPod and was released in the App Store back in December 2019. Apple promptly removed the app within a few days, claiming store violations as the reason.
The OldOS app is available via Apple’s TestFlight service, so get it while you can before Apple changes its mind and pulls it down at the first chance. Fortunately, Zane has also made the source code available on GitHub, so feel free to compile it in Xcode and keep the project running indefinitely.