Web designer James Whelton has set out to unlock hidden features of the iPod Nano touch, enabling it to play video and games and store contacts and calendar data.
Whelton’s finds show that Apple may have bigger long-term ambitions for the Nano–nobody is going to watch full-length movies on such a tiny screen, but it could be interesting for clips or short Internet videos, and might not be a bad contact manager. In addition, app support could open the door for countless other uses, although its lack of Wi-Fi limits what these apps could do.
As Wired reports, Whelton won the Nano as a prize and set upon it during a flight. In short order, he was able to remove an icon from the device and show the blank “springboard” (desktop) behind it–normally an impossible task. That’s not such a big deal in itself, but it demonstrates that he was able to bypass the Nano’s cache comparison, which looks at modified files and automatically reverts them if they look wrong. That paves the way for all sorts of unintended uses.
He also got a look at some property list files on the Nano and noticed that it can support all sorts of content beyond music, including apps, video, TV shows, games, and calendar files. From here, it shouldn’t be too hard to get his Nano to play this kind of content.
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