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Forget iOS 15, somebody made iOS 4 into a working app for iPhone

Oldos
Oldos (Image credit: @zzanehip)

What you need to know

  • Someone has recreated iOS 4 as a working iPhone app.
  • It's a pixel-perfect replica with functional apps.
  • It might not fly with Apple once they catch on, however.

An 18-year-old developer has recreated Apple's iOS 4 operating system as a fully working app for devices like the iPhone 12 and we love it.

Developer @zzanehip announced his new app, OldOS, on Twitter yesterday:

Introducing OldOS — iOS 4 beautifully rebuilt in SwiftUI.

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Zane says the app is designed to be "as close to pixel-perfect as possible", and that the software is fully functional as an actual operating system that you could even use as a second OS, it's also a fully open source project. Not everything works, Messages and YouTube aren't quite there yet, but everything else is, meaning you can browse the web on Safari, take notes, and more.

The new app is available on TestFlight but also looks like it could fall foul of a lot of Apple's App Store restrictions. This isn't the first time someone has tried to recreate old Apple software or hardware inside of the App Store, and previous stories haven't ended so well. This new app isn't even available on the App Store, and almost certainly wouldn't get approval. The TestFlight beta (opens in new tab) for the app is full but can be downloaded as an Xcode project from Github.

The blast from the past comes just days after Apple unveiled its brand new operating system for iPhone, iOS 15, set to debut later this year. The new operating system features big changes to FaceTime, Messages, notifications, and more, as well as cool features like SharePlay and privacy enhancements.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.