tinyPod turns the Apple Watch into a tiny iPod for nostalgia and then some

The iPhone might be Apple’s one and only portable music player today, but it’s far from being its most iconic. That prestige belongs to the original iPad (not the Nano nor the Touch) whose design, like any other Apple product, was hailed for its beautiful minimalism and unique interface, a design that many have dared to copy even today. Of course, the iPod is now just a footnote in history, but there are still a few who want to relive those glorious days of the past in a way that makes a bit of sense in the present. That might be the idea behind a mysterious new accessory that seemingly revives the iPod but, rather than create a completely new device, it reuses a strapless Apple Watch instead.

Designer: tinyPod

The OG iPod was genius in its simplicity. It provided quick and easy access to dozens of functions with an innovative “click wheel” physical control that avoided overloading the user with buttons and menus. Of course, these days it’s just as easy to peck at the iPhone screen with your finger, but a smartphone brings along other sorts of complications and distractions that go beyond the simple joys of listening to music. At the same time, a dedicated media player no longer makes sense these days since it would be yet another device to buy and maintain in addition to a phone, a tablet, and a smartwatch.

tinyPod seems to be trying to solve both problems by enclosing the Apple Watch in a case that is almost like a perfect replica of an iPod, except for the fact that it has a colored screen. What makes the case more interesting is that, at least based on a teaser video, you can actually control the Apple Watch using what looks like an authentic click wheel. It’s not yet known how it manages to do this, but this will be an important detail since the Apple Watch’s digital crown is inaccessible in this form, so you’ll need some other way to navigate through watchOS without always touching the screen.

The accessory is advertised to deliver an experience that’s like “your phone away from your phone,” which refers to the “watered-down” version of an iPhone that an Apple Watch offers. You can listen to and control your music without having to pull out your phone, but unlike the iPod, you can do so much more as well, like watching YouTube. In a way, it’s sort of like the middle ground between a “dumb” portable media player and a full-blown smartphone.

What little we know about tinyPod through a simple teaser still leaves many questions unanswered. You can probably keep this in your front pocket or even hang it around your neck, but it loses many of the health-related features that the Apple Watch is famous for in those situations. It’s also unknown how Apple will react to such an obvious copy of its iPod design, which could mean the device will be short-lived. Either way, we just have a month or so to wait for all the details to drop for this Apple Watch-powered iPod throwback.