Tuesday, June 22, 2021

OldOS: iOS 4 Built in SwiftUI

Zane Kleinberg (via Hacker News):

OldOS is a testament to the days of yesteryear, showcasing what iOS once was ten years ago. The ethos of the app is to merge the technologies of today with a pixel-perfect recreation of the user experience of the past. The vast majority of apps in OldOS are fully functional — meaning they seamlessly integrate with the data on your phone to deliver a live, emulator-esque experience. What does this mean? Well, you can play your music in iPod, get directions in Maps, surf the web in Safari, view the current weather in Weather, and much more. By the same token, no shortcuts were taken in fully fleshing out the operating system. You can change your background, adjust settings, search apps, et cetera. There are a few apps still not ready for primetime but don't worry, they're coming soon.

With OldOS, you no longer need to worry about securing a legacy iPhone to experience nostalgia — it's available on your daily driver.

John Gruber:

Once you get past the surface aesthetic differences, it’s also interesting as a way to remember how many little things iOS has added over the years. iOS is so much richer now. You couldn’t do anything in list views back then. E.g., if you wanted to delete a note in Notes, you had to open the note and tap the Trash button. In a view hierarchy, you couldn’t go back just by swiping from the left edge of the display — you had to tap the Back button in the navigation bar at the top of the display.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Some person

"[...]it’s also interesting as a way to remember how many little things iOS has added over the years. iOS is so much richer now"

John Gruber really is the eternal Apple shill.

@Some person I don’t see that as shilling at all. He makes a great point that’s easy to forget.

They're also examples of gestures that are pretty good. When adding the "swipe from left edge" gesture, Apple didn't remove UINavigationController's back button in the top left. So there's an obvious way of doing it, but also, alternatively, a more convenient one as a shortcut. Likewise, being able to directly swipe a message to delete it, mark it as read, etc., doesn't take away the ability to go into that message and get more obvious toolbar buttons (although several releases later, they decided that apparently, "Reply" is now a menu for "all kinds of actions", which isn't great).

(Another fun one many may not know: iOS 14.5 added a few swipe gestures to the Music app. Much nicer to enqueue songs in Up Next now!)

Gruber has this IMHO quite fitting analogy: gestures are to iOS as keyboard shortcuts are to the Mac. See e.g. https://daringfireball.net/2012/04/obviousness, or see https://daringfireball.net/2018/08/shake_to_undo for a negative example (where he isn't "shilling" at all).

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