What to do with an old iPod Touch 2G

'Inherited' an old second generation 8GB iPod touch a few months back and it was just collecting dust on my table whereupon I decided to see what I can do with it during the long weekend break. Condition wise it was pretty scuffed and scratched but everything works fine so that was a good sign. None of the accessories were included but luckily this is old-gen stuff so the 30-pin cables can be found really cheap (Daiso to the rescue!) plus I already had a few lying around so no problems there. The bad thing is that it is OLD (yeah, in Apple terms this is end-of-life stuff) so the highest official iOS that can be installed in 4.2.1.

I proceeded with doing a clean reset of the firmware/software since the original owner had a bunch of stuff in there which I didn't want. Once that was done, it was now down to repurposing the device for simple gaming to pass the time. It would work as a simple video player but it can't play my stored videos from iCloud and the internal memory does not allow much media storage (~6.8GB after iOS install); additionally iOS 4.2.1 does not offer Home Sharing so it couldn't stream from the NAS or play from the UPnP server.I could have chosen to install WhiteD00r which I did for another iPhone3G (AT&T) but found the stability a little too flaky and the choice of apps in the App Time Machine limited. So with the stock iOS firmware I dived in to see what still works and what doesn't.

Recently, Apple decided to allow older devices to download older versions of apps found on the appstore and this was a boon for last-gen device owners. This means that eventhough the app may state "requires iOS7.0 blablabla" sometimes the appstore may have an older version cached and allow that version to be loaded instead. After a few hits-and-misses, the screenshots below show what I have on the iPod now and it will probably last its new owner a long time before she tires of it (I'm not the one playing it).

Where's My Water - Disney
Mahjong Deluxe - EnsenaSoft
Mahjong Artifacts HD - G5 Entertainment
>Sudoku - Finger Arts
Solitaire++ - Chronological LTD
Treasures of Montezuma - Alawar Ent.
Jelly Car - Walaber
Tiny Wings - Andreas Illiger
Drop7 Free - Zynga (also works with paid)
Plants Vs Zombies - PopCap
Jewel Mania - TeamLava
Jenga - NaturalMotion
Save Toshi DX - Nitako LTD
iBlast Moki - Godzilab
Super 7 - No Monkeys
Fuzzle - CandyCane LLC
HK Mahjong - Apply Bits
Peggle - PopCap
Mixed Words - Quattro
Amateur Surgeon 2 - [adult swim]
Unblock Me - KiraGames Co. Ltd
UnWord - Mullet Games
Pac-Man - Namco
Temple Run - Imangi Studios LLC
Time's Up! (USA) - Repos Production
Amazing Breaker - Dekovir Inc
Circadia - Simple Machine LLC
The Lost City - Fire Maple Games
Percepto - Daniel Hooper
Home Sheep Home 2 - Chillingo
Water Maze H2Whoooa! - Big Goose Egg 

Cut the buttons - Open Name LTD
i.Game 16 Mahjong - Webi & Neti Internet Services Inc
Cross Fingers - Mobigame
Up With A Fish! - Oceanhouse Media
Pix Maze - Activision Publishing Inc.

There are lists available out there that try to categorise appstore apps based on iOS version support like here but they may be inaccurate because they only report the version as provided by the app developer to the appstore. The list does not report any earlier versions which are cached and provided to last-gen devices.

If you are attempting similar project, things to note with 2G iPods - they have limited OpenGL ES support so highly animated games and apps that require that library will not work because the hardware does not exist in the device. Older games also made use of OpenFeint (which has since closed) instead of Gamecenter but this can be avoided just by ignoring the login screens. Hardware wise, the 2G iPods have no camera or internal microphone so any apps making use of those will not install and/or will not work.Note the device remains non-jailbroken eventhough it is possible to do so .... I just haven't had the time and didn't require it JBd anyway. The apps shown above are either free to play or purchased in the appstore.

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