Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

The iPhone 3G with iOS 4

An 18-year-old has recreated Apple's iOS 4 as an iPhone app using Apple's SwiftUI developer program.

The app, called 'OldOS', is said to be an almost flawless copy of the iOS 4 system that originally appeared almost ten-years-ago on the iPhone 3G.

Its creator, a Twitter user known as 'Zane', said it is "designed to be as close to pixel-perfect as possible" with all its original built-in apps also recreated. For instance, 'Photos' allows the user to view their existing camera roll as they would have ten years ago and 'Notes' features the classic yellow post-it note-style outlay.

Some apps have so far been left out, such as YouTube, which Apple used to bundle into its operating system, but Zane is hopeful this can be solved. Everything else, however, is as it was ten years ago, including the old user interface for Safari.

The app also includes the old iPhone home button, which has been done using a haptic touch vibration to make it feel as close to a real physical button as possible.

The app is a huge slice of nostalgia that will take you back to the early days of smartphones, or introduce you to them if you're not quite old enough to remember. A similar app was launched in December 2019, which turned an iPhone into the classic iPod (with a virtual click wheel), but that was almost immediately removed by Apple for violating its app store policies. The creator claimed that Apple said it "copied the iPod's design", charged for Apple Music features, and could be "mistaken for an Apple product".

A similar fate could befall the 'OldOS' as it also falls under those stipulations. The app is currently available on Apple's TestFlight service, which is used to distribute beta versions of apps, with the entire source code for the project published on GitHub.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.