It would seem the latest iPod nano models have a secret diagnostic screen dubbed “iTerm.” This screen allows users to test various features of the iPod nano, such as: the power, audio, remote, TV Out, LCD, IO, FM receiver, memory, the touch panel and accelerometer. You navigate this screen using the Sleep/Wake and Volume buttons.
There is also a Disk Mode that when activated allows the nano to appear as an external USB disk when connected to a computer. You’ll know you are in Disk Mode when the nano’s screen turns from its usual color to a retro-looking black and white screen reminiscent of earlier-model iPods.
It is quite easy to activate either the diagnostic or the disc mode: First, reset the iPod nano by holding down the Sleep/Wake button and Volume Down button until the Apple logo appears. Then:
- To enter Diagnostic Mode: Reset iPod and continue to hold down all three buttons. “iTerm: iPod Display Console” will flash briefly on screen.
- To enter Disk Mode: Reset iPod and hold down both Volume buttons.
The sixth generation iPod nano carries a new codename that appears at the top of the “iTerm” screen, N20 Snowfox. The last generation iPod nano had a similar codename: N33 GreatDane. Also held over from the last iPod nano model is a hibernation mode that puts the device into a low-power mode after 14 hours of inactivity.
These diagnostic screens are nothing new for iPods, but it does give users a closer look at the way Apple designs and tests its iconic products. This new information is not terribly useful for the average iPod nano user, but it is rather cool to see a little bit of what’s under the hood.