An iOS developer is building an iPhone app that will turn the smartphone into an iPod Classic with its nostalgic click wheel. Elvin Hu, a design student at Cooper Union college in New York City, has been working on the project since October, and shared an early look at the app on Twitter yesterday. It essentially turns your iPhone into a fullscreen iPod Classic with a click wheel that includes haptic feedback and click sounds just like Apple’s original device.
It has generated a lot of interest on Twitter, with even the “father of the iPod,” Tony Fadell, noting it’s a “nice throwback.” Hu built the app because he was working on a paper about the development of the iPod at school. “I’ve always been a fan of Apple products since I was a kid,” revealed Hu in an email to The Verge. “Before my family could afford one, I would draw the UI layout of iPhone on lids of Ferrero Rocher boxes. Their products (among other products, such as Windows Vista and Zune HD) have greatly influenced my decision of pursuing design as a career.”
Whether we’ll ever get to play with it ourselves will largely depend on Apple, though. “I’ve been working on this project since October and whether I can release it or not does depend on whether Apple approve it,” admitted Hu. “I believe they have legitimate reasons not to (patents and other reasons).”
The app also includes Apple’s old Cover Flow feature, a 3D graphical interface that lets you scroll and flip through album and song artwork to select tracks. Hu has built this into the section above the click wheel, and it also works in landscape mode.
If Apple does block the release, which is likely, then Hu may “release it as an open source project after seeing the response from the community.” The app is still in development, and Hu is aiming to complete it by the end of December, studies permitting. If Apple isn’t happy with the app, we can only hope that someone on the iOS team has a heart full of nostalgia and adds this as the ultimate Easter egg for Apple Music and iPod fans.