Apple pulls Rewound, the Music app that turned your iPhone into an iPod Classic
Before the iPhone became the best-seller in Apple’s portfolio, the iPod ruled as the one of the most iconic products in the company’s lineup. Recently, an app called Rewound had gone viral because it offered a music player skin, which would let users get the iPod Classic look and feel, complete with the click wheel at the bottom. The resemblance to the iPod classic was uncanny, but that appears to be the reason why Apple has killed the app from its App Store.
According to Rewound’s creators, who put up a post on Medium, the app had reached the number 19 position in the US Music app charts. The app would sync to a user’s Apple Music library and relied on downloadable skins. One of these skins resembled the iPod Classic, with its buttons and click wheel and became an instant hit. It also used haptic feedback to ensure the iPod feel when using the app.
But Apple was not too pleased and pulled the Rewound app for a number of reasons. According to the developers, the first reason given was that the app copied the iPod’s design, which was a copyright infringement, though the developers say they didn’t violate this. According to them, “Rewound could look many ways. Not until users started sharing/using clickwheel skins did they (Apple) ban the app.”
The company has said in its statement that an optional scrolling motion to navigate a menu or the button layout without a wheel or scrolling navigation is not Apple’s intellectual property.
The app offered users the options of downloading the skins, and these were not pre-loaded on to the app. “Enabling scrolling navigation, a clickwheel skin + matching layout were 100% opt-in. Users decision,” notes the blog post.
They also claimed that Apple had approved the in-app purchase option for the Music feature, before the Clickwheel skins started proliferating. It also appears that one of the reasons given was that people would claim that users would mistake it for an Apple product.
The company has said they cannot update the app to get it re-approved without breaking the app for all 170,000+ users who have downloaded it. They have indicated a separate version could be uploaded. They have also announced a REWOUND.FUND to launch a web app for iPhone/Android and a native Android app as well.