Apple just banned this viral app because it turned your iPhone into an iPod

Black iPod Classic on a wooden table
(Image credit: Future)

 Whenever an app goes viral on TikTok it’s bound to get plenty of downloads, and that was the case when Retro Pod started to blow up in December. But now the app appears to have gotten the wrong kind of attention and you can’t download it anymore.

Retro Pod was an app that was designed to turn your iPhone into an iPod, including the clicky experience we all wish was still a thing. TikTokers went mad for it, and the app was everywhere.

Now though, it looks like Apple has banned Retro Pod from the App Store, and that’s a real shame.

Apple hasn’t yet confirmed why Retro Pod has gone missing, and neither the developer of the app nor Apple responded to requests for comment by The Verge. But it seems likely that Apple saw that an app was borrowing from the iPod and cut it off at the knees — apps can’t replicate Apple devices, after all, according to Apple's own stringent App Store rules. 

A sad day

The app itself was more than just a pretty face — Retro Pod was able to work with users’ Apple Music library, giving them access to their music in a way that the iPod was so famous for.

Sensor Tower says that the app received almost 450,000 total downloads on the iPhone including a massive 275,000 in the first work of this month. That’s a lot, and it apparently saw Retro Pod take its place as high as number 11 on the list of music apps in the App Store. Considering that list includes the likes of Spotify, it’s all rather impressive.

But that was never going to save Retro Pod from a fate that other similar apps have had to deal with. It seems highly unlikely that we’ll ever see Retro Pod make a return to the App Store, which is a shame, as it's probably the best iPhone app for listening to music we've seen in a long time. Definitely better than Apple Music, that's for sure. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.