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‘Retro Pod’ app yanked from the App Store after going viral on TikTok

An iPhone app that imitated and replicated some of the classic iPod features has been pulled from the App Store. The app, called Retro Pod, went viral on TikTok multiple times since December but has now disappeared from the App Store without explanation.

Apple doesn’t want you to replicate the iPod

As first spotted by The Verge, videos on TikTok showing off Retro Pod have amassed nearly five million views. The app itself has reportedly been downloaded nearly half a million times, which came from a big spike coming in early January after multiple viral videos on TikTok. It was initially approved by App Store reviewers and released in October.

The nostalgia of the app, combined with a number of impressive design features, led to its popularity. For instance, the app even used the iPhone’s taptic engine to replicate the “tactile, bumpy, virbatey feels” of the iPod Classic’s scroll wheel.

Neither Apple nor the developer of Retro Pod has commented on the app’s removal from the App Store. That being said, we’re willing to bet Apple yanked the app after its spike in popularity. The removal correlated roughly to Retro Pod’s peak on the App Store.

App Store guidelines prohibit “copycat” applications, particularly when those apps attempt to replicate Apple itself. This also wouldn’t be the first time Apple has pulled an iPod emulation-syle app from the App Store. In 2019, the “Rewound” app similarly replicated the iPod design, went viral, and was subsequently yanked from the App Store.

Apps like these shouldn’t make it through the App Store review process in the first place. As we’ve seen countless times, however, pretty much anything can eventually slip through the cracks. Apple then responds when it faces criticism or a particular app, like Rewound or Retro Pod, goes viral.

If you want to replicate the iPod experience on your iPhone, there’s still a way to do it. iPod.js is a web-based app that clones the iPod Classic experience, even allowing you to sign in with your Apple Music or Spotify account.

Do you think Apple should allow these types of applications on the App Store? Let us know in the comments.

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