First Steps Toward Hacking the New iPod Nano

With the release of an all-new iPod nano in early September that saw the device gain a tiny, iOS-like interface, many have wondered how easy it might be to expand the device's capabilities through some sort of hacking or jailbreaking process. But while the iPod nano's interface appears very much like a scaled-down iOS, Apple has noted that it is not in fact based on iOS and is merely designed to look like the operating system for Apple's popular mobile devices.


As noted by MacStories, however, the first steps toward hacking the new iPod nano have now been taken, and while more work needs to be done before new capabilities can be unlocked or added, the developments do appear promising.

I've successfully done a basic springboard hack, figured out how to bypass the cache comparison and uncovered some interesting stuff as whats to come on the iPod Nano.

The springboard hack is just the removal of a app and creation of a blank space. Not that amazing, but whats important is the bypass of Nano's cache comparison, which compares any modded SB file and reverts it if it doesn't like it, this opens up the possibility of hacking and modding, while not adding bootloaders or any of that fun stuff.

The hacker, James Whelton, also notes that property list files within the device's operating system make reference to a number of currently-unsupported features, including movies, TV shows, apps, games, vCards, calendar events, and passcode locks. A few hints of these sorts of capabilities were also discovered in the days after the device first became available, although it appears that some of them may simply be carryovers from earlier-generation iPod nanos that offered support for video and some other of these features.

Whelton clarifies in a follow-up post that the hack of removing an application is extremely simple and that there is much to be done to truly open up the device, but that progress is being made.

The hack is simple. It may lead to greater things. I just don't want people getting their hopes up that's it's jailbroken just yet or what I have done to be blown out of proportion.

Whelton and others are continuing to press forward with the efforts to jailbreak the new iPod nano and expose some of the hidden features already in the operating system's code.

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