Apple pulls ‘Rewound’, the app that turned your iPhone into an iPod

Nostalgia can be great, especially when the end product turns into a net positive. Take an app like Rewound, for example, which could turn modern day iPhones into an iPod-like experience with haptic feedback to recreate the click wheel.

When we first covered the app, we noted that while it was available in the App Store directly, it was always possible that Apple would eventually catch wind of it and remove it. And, sure enough, that has become a reality. The developer behind the app published a blog post (via The Verge) today that says Apple “killed” the Rewound app, removing it from the App Store.

The blog post itself shows the love for the app, noting just how popular it had become around the globe. Not only with the general love for the app, but also for the skin creation that it allowed, giving people an option to create their own music player flavor. It even notes in the post that Rewound was meant to recreate the style of a “2000s era MP3 player” — not necessarily an iPod, specifically.

We launched an App that let you customize your iPhone to look like a 2000s era MP3 player. As Rewound grew exponentially across the world from Japan to China to Iran to Russia and the rest of mainland Europe, Apple KILLED it.

As for Apple and the reasons provided to Anslow for the removal of Rewound, Apple says the app copied the iPod’s design, that people could mistake it for an Apple product, and that it charged for Apple Music features.

Rewound, as it was available in the App Store, had a basic design that looked nothing like an Apple app. The way to make it look like an iPod was to download a skin for it. And the skins were very, very accurate, definitely hitting on that nostalgia bone:

Louis Anslow is the developer behind Rewound, and says that work is underway to get the app reinstated into the App Store in one way or another. Anslow notes that the app cannot be updated in its current state without breaking the experience for the “170,000+ users” out there in the wild.

Anslow launched a GoFund me page to help with development. At the time of publication there have been no donations. And it’s worth noting that on that donations page, Anslow notes that it’s not clear whether or not Apple will ever let Rewound back into the App Store, and he also states “we are not promising fully finished versions” of any of the apps developed alongside the funding.

This felt inevitable, unfortunately. The only surprise here is that it took Apple this long to remove it.