iPhone clues in latest nano firware update? (+ weird findings)

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I found these very interesting text strings in the latest iPod nano Firmware updater. The file is called Firmware-14.5.2 and is found inside the 2006-6-28 iPod updater package. (Use right click to "Open package content")



There's a big list of labels used for commands and variables somewhere inside the file, if you look with an hex editor.



Among the weirdest I found are the commands/variables names bellow...



Could this be enough to confirm an iPod phone based on the iPod OS?





t_feature_app_PHONE_APP



kPhoneSignalStrength



clPhoneMocksApplication



clPhoneCallModel



clPhoneCallHistoryModel



prPhoneSettingsMenu



prPhoneSettingsMenuView



prPhoneEnableSetting



prPhoneMenuItem






These are definitely not from the Motorola phones, as they are running a completely different OS. These are also not from the contact and address lists features that can contain phone numbers.





Now if it weren't enough, look what I found too, just after the phone references:



t_feature_app_MESSENGER_APP



clMessengerModel



clMessengerApplication




Can anyone explain what these do in the middle of the main iPod feature/apps list?



A messenger application to go with the phones I guess?



The following are presumably games that were not included. (found among other included games)



t_feature_app_SIMON_APP



t_feature_app_STACKER_APP




Maybe Stacker is a Tetris clone?



I wonder what a search feature could do on an iPod...

t_feature_app_SEARCH_APP

t_feature_QUICKFIND




Changing the main menu font could be a feature?

A long list of seemingly included fonts can be found elsewhere.

t_feature_EXPANDED_FONT_CHOICES



There is a few reference to a graphic EQ that would be enabled by some accessory.

I concluded that it was for the iPod Hi-Fi speakers.

t_feature_view_GRAPHICEQ



Now is this thing about AppleTalk? Or an instant messenger?

t_feature_view_APPLETALKBALLOON



A keyboard for the iPod? For the messenger app?

t_feature_view_APPLEKEYBOARD



A choice of multiple graphical appearances?

t_feature_APPEARANCE_CHOICES

prAppearanceCurrentAqua



prAppearanceCurrentBlue




A way to put a picture in the background of menus?

t_feature_MENU_BACKGROUND



Maybe a way to set a startup photo?

prStartupPhotoSettingsMenuView

prStartupPhotoSettingsScrollView

prStartupPhotoSettingsMenu

prStartupPhotoSettingsItemView

prStartupPhotoSettingsMenuItem




There seem to be a hidden built-in photo folder in the iPods that's used for retail demos. Anyone knows how to access it?

kPhotoLibrary_RetailDemo



The next one is a variable name, I guess that it could enable a wider range of movie formats to play on the iPod Video. (Maybe enable all .mp4 and .h264 to play even if they're not pre-scaled to 320x240?)

AllowUnsupportedMovies



I also saw many references to a brightness and contrast features, and ways to display and operate the iPod video LCD menu on the TV like Jobs did on stage at Macworld.



Among this list of variable and command name is this Boolean variable:

__USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___



I guess that if this variable was set to true, some of the hidden features would be activated. Maybe we could even access the prototype Phone mock-up application?



(Edit: Oops, I forgot the M in Firmware in the title)
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Comments

  • placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Wow, very interesting. Thanks!
  • mwswamimwswami Posts: 166member
    Wow indeed! Waiting eagerly for more informed people to speculate or shed light on this ...
  • knnethknneth Posts: 14member
    There's an easy way to find strings inside binaries (and even search!), namely the UNIX strings command. Used as following from the Terminal (or any other console app.)



    Quote:

    strings "iPod Updater 2006-06-28.exe" | grep -i FEATURE

    t_hw_feature_RTC

    t_hw_feature_WHEEL

    t_feature_VIDEOCORE

    t_feature_app_MP3PLAYEREXAMPLE

    t_feature_app_SETTINGS

    t_feature_app_BLOCKO_APP

    t_feature_app_CHOPPER_APP

    t_feature_app_MUSICQUIZ_APP

    t_feature_app_SIMON_APP

    t_feature_app_STACKER_APP

    t_feature_app_ADDRESSVIEWER_APP

    t_feature_app_ADDRESSVIEWER_EX_APP

    t_feature_app_TEST_AUTOMATION

    t_feature_app_GAMES_APP

    t_feature_app_NOTES_APP

    t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER

    t_feature_app_PHOTOIMPORT

    t_feature_app_PHOTOIMPORT_SIMULATOR

    t_feature_app_REMOTEUI

    t_feature_app_CLOCK

    t_feature_app_SPORTTIMER

    t_feature_app_SLIDESHOW

    t_feature_app_PHOTOBROWSE_APP

    t_feature_app_DISKBROWSER_APP

    t_feature_app_VIDEO_APP

    t_feature_app_RADIO_APP

    t_feature_app_RADIO_MOREREGIONS

    t_feature_app_RADIO_SCANSUPPORT

    t_feature_app_RADIO_DISPLAYFADED

    t_feature_app_EAPPSHELL

    t_feature_app_PHONE_APP

    t_feature_app_MESSENGER_APP

    t_feature_app_CAL_APP

    t_feature_app_TRAINER_APP

    t_feature_app_SEARCH_APP

    t_feature_SHUFFLESONGS

    t_feature_READING_SPEED

    t_feature_MULTIPLE_OTG

    t_feature_PODCASTS

    t_feature_LYRICS

    t_feature_CLOCK

    t_feature_WORLD_CLOCK

    t_feature_UNIT_TESTS

    t_feature_FONT_MENU

    t_feature_EXPANDED_FONT_CHOICES

    t_feature_SHOWSETTINGVALUE

    t_feature_ALBUM_ARTWORK

    t_feature_EXTRAS_CACHE

    t_feature_app_LOCK_APP

    t_feature_ALARMS

    t_feature_SPEAKERS

    t_feature_CARDREADER_SUPPORTED

    t_feature_iMA_TestImageFolder

    t_feature_view_GRAPHICEQ

    t_feature_view_INDICATOR

    t_feature_view_OVERLAY

    t_feature_view_APPLETALKBALLOON

    t_feature_view_APPLEKEYBOARD

    t_feature_graphics_COLOR

    t_feature_APPEARANCE_CHOICES

    t_feature_TIER3_LANGUAGES

    t_feature_ALBUMART_BROWSE

    t_feature_MENU_BACKGROUND

    t_feature_STARTUP_PHOTO

    t_feature_EXTRA_REMOTE_COMMANDS

    t_feature_LOCK_ORIGINAL

    t_feature_QUICKFIND

    t_feature_CONTEXTUAL_MENUS

    t_feature_BRIGHTNESS_CONTROL

    t_feature_TIMEBOMB

    __USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___



  • irelandireland Posts: 15,526member
    Release the damn thing already! My shares are getting restless.
  • blackbird_1.0blackbird_1.0 Posts: 724member
    *Gets a warm and fuzzy feeling*
  • mr. dirkmr. dirk Posts: 187member
    That's heartening news, especially after ThinkSecret's latest report that indicates that iPhone dev has been "frozen", not to resume until next year. Of course, I haven't put a lot of stock by ThinkSecret-propagated rumors, as they haven't been very accurate. (Most recently, the Woodcrest Xserve for which they keep saying "any day now!" has yet to materialize, and I bet it won't until August.)



    And so far, mum's the word on the iPhone from AppleInsider, apparently (as we haven't seen any articles on it), so how accurate can ThinkSecret's information be?
  • vl-tonevl-tone Posts: 335member
    knneth, that's a very interesting command It would've save me time.



    Now these are labels associated with functions and commands. Would it be easy to know which ID number is associated with which label? Maybe it'd be possible to find where those IDs are used as menu commands.



    That way we could swap the Chopper game ID with the Simon game ID, reload the Firmware and hope it works. The same could be done to try to use other hidden features like the phone mock-up. Most of these are probably functional, and were just removed from the menus at the last minute.



    By the way the strings about the phone don't necessarily that Apple is on the verge of releasing an iPhone. But it mean that Apple at least toyed with the idea to the point of making a mock-up that could work in the Nano.



    Other new interesting things can be found in this Firmware, like tons of .wav files with the voices of Lance Armstrong and Paula Radcliffe, saying things like "Congratulation! you just completed your first 100 miles!". Obviously it's for the Nike thing. Look for the "RIFF" string to find the beginning of these files.
  • gdconwaygdconway Posts: 71member
    Why is this board so quiet? We should all be buying Apple stock today. This seems pretty big.



    There's a reason it's called the iPod and not the iJam, iRock, or whatever (aside from the latter names reallly sucking). It has the potential to be so much more.



    Needless to say, I just signed a 2 year contract and bought a razr. The wife will learn to love it.
  • kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    What, no one's pointing out the t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER and t_feature_app_RADIO* bits?



    They could just be support for 3rd party devices, but in that case, so could the phone bits.



    Hmm. Could be a move to offer an iPod OS to *other* HW manufacturers to compete against Symbian, NokiaOS, etc. License them the clickwheel and the OS, and let them take the heat for entering new markets?
  • tkntkn Posts: 224member
    There were rumours that Apple was working with Softbank in Japan to develop a cell-phone, so, for me, the most exciting part would be getting a beautiful Japanese cell phone here in the US that is truly world-roaming (and hopefully 3G). If they announce that, I am buying one immediately.



    My 1 yen (1 penny) Japanese phone is ten times better than any phone here in the US. The size and screen are perfect and I can only wish for something just as good. If it is an iPod too, that would just be perfect.



    I was on the verge of buying a Samsung 904SS while I was last there. Hopefully a WWDC announcement will have made my decision to wait correct..
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Could the delays with the nano also be phone related?

    Perhaps the new nano and iPhone will launch together?



    I am a little nervous about the iPhone having the same form factor as the nano.

    I think it would be a little bit too small for a phone.

    Also at that size the battery would probably be under-powered.

    I'm also curious what the accompanying bluetooth headset will be like.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    What, no one's pointing out the t_feature_app_VOICERECORDER and t_feature_app_RADIO* bits?



    They could just be support for 3rd party devices, but in that case, so could the phone bits.




    A voice recorder would seem like an obvious feature for a cell phone.

    But, I doubt Apple ever has any intentions of making Radio standard on an iPod or iPhone.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TKN

    There were rumours that Apple was working with Softbank in Japan to develop a cell-phone, so, for me, the most exciting part would be getting a beautiful Japanese cell phone here in the US that is truly world-roaming (and hopefully 3G). If they announce that, I am buying one immediately.



    My 1 yen (1 penny) Japanese phone is ten times better than any phone here in the US. The size and screen are perfect and I can only wish for something just as good. If it is an iPod too, that would just be perfect.



    I was on the verge of buying a Samsung 904SS while I was last there. Hopefully a WWDC announcement will have made my decision to wait correct..




    I don't think Apple has historically used the WWDC as a platform for iPod related announcements.

    Are the 3G networks here in the US up to speed yet?
  • hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    One can only hope some of these are released soon... a major iPod software refresh is long overdue.



    Kick, the Radio stuff is probably just for the FM remote (though Apple certainly could fold FM radio into the iPod if they wanted to).
  • burgerboy9nburgerboy9n Posts: 2member
    Screw what its for, LETS FIND OUT HOW TO USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • udeckerudecker Posts: 4member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by VL-Tone

    I found these very interesting text strings in the latest iPod nano Firmware updater. The file is called Firmware-14.5.2 and is found inside the 2006-6-28 iPod updater package. (Use right click to "Open package content")





    The only problem with all of this is that this is the Nano firmware, not the 5G (iPod Video) firmware. (Which is Firmware-13.6.1.2 in that same package), which I compared to the archived version on my 5G iPod, and it's the same.



    This being the case, all of these features are Nano-only, which actually doesn't make any sense. Most of those strings are NOT present in the iPod 5G firmware, including the ones related to video, use original features, etc.



    I've poured over my firmware for the 5G because I was trying to get the LCD output to the screen (as displayed at its introduction). To no avail, of course.



    Why would all of these things be present in the Nano version, and not the 5G version?
  • gargar Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by udecker

    Why would all of these things be present in the Nano version, and not the 5G version?



    lehmiefink...



    because the iPod part of the iPhone is iPod nano based?

    Maybe?
  • udeckerudecker Posts: 4member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gar

    lehmiefink...



    because the iPod part of the iPhone is iPod nano based?

    Maybe?




    I was, of course, referring to the "Movie" and "video" portions of the keywords discovered in the firmware.
  • vl-tonevl-tone Posts: 335member
    The answer is simple udecker:



    The firmware for the 5G iPod remained unchanged in the last iPod updater. The iPod (Video) Software 1.1.2 in the 2006-6-28 updater is the same as the one in the 2005-9-23 updater.



    Only the nano and shuffle were really updated in the 2006-6-28 release.



    Apple must keep a code base that is common to both the nano and video iPod, and usually trims out what's not used in a particular model. Seems they forgot about this in the latest nano update.
  • costiquecostique Posts: 1,084member
    Alright, anyone knows how to run iPodOS through gdb? Or at least set the __USE_ORIGINALLY_PLANNED_FEATURES___ to false?
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