There's something about physical buttons that touchscreens have taken away from us. For many, one of the most satisfying feelings from the past decade was the clicking and tapping noise made by their Blackberry's physical keys or the slamming shut of their flip phone to reject a call and the shuffling between songs using the iconic click wheel on their iPod Nano, iPod Mini or iPod Classic. And, if you happen to miss the former, you are in for some good news.
According to a report, an iOS developer is working on building an app for the iPhone which would help bring back the nostalgic feeling of using the iconic iPod click wheel. The app developer, Elvin Hu, a design student at Cooper Union College in New York, has been working on developing the app since October, and he has shared a small video on Twitter showing the working of the app.
A virtual iPod Classic
The app turns the entire iPhone screen into a full-screen iPod Classic complete with a virtual click wheel. But what's interesting is that the click wheel includes haptic feedback and clicking sound that mimics the one on the iPods.
The video has generated a lot of buzz on Twitter, with fans of the erstwhile iPod praising the effort by the young man, and even Tony Fadell, known famously as "the father of the iPod" claiming that the app is a "nice throwback."
Apple's Cover Flow interface is back too
Apart from the click wheel, the app also features Apple's old 3D 'Cover Flow' feature which was a 3D graphical interface found on the iPod and older versions of iTunes that lets you scroll and flip through the album and songs to select tracks. The feature has been included in the section above the click wheel and it also works in landscape orientation as well.
Hu got inspired to make the app after he started working on a paper about the development of the iPod at school. However, Hu is skeptical about the app making it onto the Apple App Store due to patents and other reasons. Hu says: "Whether I an realease it or not depends on whether Apple approves it. They have legitimate reasons not to."
App could release as an open source project
Hu has assured that if Apple does block the release, which seems inevitable, he may release the app as an open source project after seeing the response from the community. Meanwhile, the app is still under development and Hu plans to complete it by the end of this year.