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Mar 29, 2012

iPod Nano 6G - Apps/Icons

Gear: iPod Nano 6G.

The original user guide refers the apps in the Nano 6G as "icons". This will be an overview of all of the icons found in the Nano 6G.

Most of the videos and information given are from firmware version 1.0, the look of the interface changed slightly in firmware version 1.2. Some of the additions include bigger icon sizes, fitness features, and clock faces.  The price also changed: 8GB/$129, 16GB/$149.

Rearrange Icons

If you do not like the preset position of the icons you can easily change them. I recommend changing the order of icons to suit your needs.

How to move icons:
  • On the home screen press and hold until icons begin shaking.
  • Select and move the icons to the desired positions.
  • Press the sleep/wake button to lock the icons.

V 1.2 Bigger Icons And Customization Options

Firmware 1.2 has new bigger icons, some people will like it and other will not. With bigger icons it is easier to press an icon, the downfall is that you now have to scroll a lot. If you want to go back to the small icons you can do it through the Settings.

In the Settings icon you can change the icon size from big to small and viceversa, and enable or disable icons.

Now Playing Icon

The Now Playing icon will take you back to whatever source is being played. The source may be your music, a playlist, podcast, audio book, or radio. You will use it quite a bit.

There are different sub panels in the Now Playing icon. Within these sub panels you can play the previous, next, or pause/play the track. If you keep swiping you will see the repeat options, progress bar, genius mix, shuffle, and in podcast/audiobooks you can control the playback speed.

There is also a rating option that can be accessed by pressing the "i" button. The ratings go from 1 to 5 stars.

Playlist Icon

You can create playlists from iTunes or from within the Nano 6G. You can create playlists from within the Nano 6G, add or remove items from a playlist list. It may feel a bit cramped, but it is something that you can do on the fly and later on edit with iTunes on your computer.

Music Sorting Icons

The Nano 6G has several "sorting" icons. With these icons you can quickly find the right music track. Some of these icons are: Artist, Songs, Albums, Genres and Composers.

If you keep your music collection in order and with the right "tags" and metadata then these are a joy to use. If you download music from all sorts of places the songs will not be sorted correctly.

The touch screen gives you a slight advantage over other mp3 players because you can find the music you want to play quicker. The iPod Touch would be even better because of the search capabilities that the Nano does NOT have.

Radio Icon

To enable the radio you must connect your earphones to the Nano 6G, the earphones work as an antenna.

You can use the dial to navigate through different stations, and you can also bookmark/favorite stations (click the star). Once you have bookmarked your stations you can quickly skip through them.

The Nano 6G can pause live radio. Once you pause the system begins recording and later on you can go back or forward on what has been recorded. This feature does NOT save local files (ie you cannot access them later). When you switch to another radio station the live pause resets and the recording begins again.

Under the radio icon you can also view: Local Stations, Favorites, Tagged Songs, Recent Songs. If your local radio stations send metadata over the airwaves you can tag songs (and you can buy them on iTunes later on) and also view them in the "Recent Songs" section.

If you do not add that many songs the Radio icon will be useful to listen to local radio stations.

Podcast Icon

You can sync audio and video podcasts to the Nano 6G. The video part of podcasts will NOT play, but the audio part will. The video podcast files are NOT converted to audio versions, so when you sync them they may take a lot of space.

As always you can play the previous, next, or play/pause the podcast. If you move to the next panel you can see the repeat, go back 30 seconds, and playback speed buttons (1x, 1/2x, 2x). At the bottom it will indicate the progress of your podcast, of course you can drag to a specific location.

Under the information panel you can view the notes/description of the podcast. You can edit the description of each podcast file through iTunes.

There is a little indicator of unplayed podcast, which is a nice touch.

Photos Icon

You can sync photos to your Nano 6G. The photos will be organized within folders, and you can choose to or NOT to sync them from iTunes.

There are zooming, panning, and rotating gestures so you can view your images a bit better. Since the Nano's screen is a bit small you can also connect it to a TV.

There are slideshow options and there are some cool transitions. To change the transition you have to navigate to the Settings icon.

Audiobooks Icon - Sync Audible Books

The Audiobooks icon is one of the "unlockable" icons. Usually unlockable icons require you to perform something first. For the Audiobooks icon to appear you need to buy an audio book through iTunes or Audible. I went the Audible way.

How to synnc Audible Books:
  • Exit iTunes.
  • Go to Audible.com and login.
  • Click on Software link.
  • Choose the platform (PC for me)
  • Pick Apple iPod and iPhone.
  • Install the Audible Audio Manager software.
  • Download a book from your Audible Library.
  • Once the book has been downloaded it should show up in iTunes.
  • iTunes will need your Audible username and password.
  • Plug your Nano 6G to your PC.
  • In iTunes drag and drop a book from your library to the Nano 6G icon.
  • Let it sync, disconnect, and you are done.

For a fine selection of books check audible.com or do it through Amazon to get 2 free audio books. ;)

iTunes U Icon

Another unlockable icon. iTunes U will appear when you download a university presentation through iTunes.

How to unlock iTunes U:
  • Connect your Nano 6G to your computer.
  • Open iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and click on the iTunes U link.
  • Download a collection of university material.
  • Drag and drop the collection to your Nano 6G icon.
  • Let it sync, disconnect the Nano and enjoy!

Description of iTunes U by Apple:
iTunes U - a powerful distribution system for everything from lectures to language lessons, films to labs, audiobooks to tours - is an innovative way to get educational content into the hands of students.

Settings Icon

The video shows settings in firmware 1.0 and 1.1 had. Firmware version 1.2 has many more options.

The Settings icon allows you to customize many elements that affect the other apps/icons, and the Nano's behavior.  I recommend exploring it, but be careful not to change too many things.

If for some reason someone plays a little prank on your Nano you can use the "map" that I have created to fix your settings, or you can just use the "Reset Settings" option which is located at the bottom of the first panel in General Settings.

Voice Memo Icon

The Voice Memo icon is one of the unlockable ones. To get it unlocked you need to connect a set of earphones with microphones, or an iPod compatible mic. (check the Accessories post to view the available options)

Once the mic is set you can record your voice memos. From the Nano you can view all of your voice memos. You can transfer the voice memo files from the Nano to your computer, just use the Nano as a "disk drive" on iTunes.

Genius Mixes

I do not buy music through iTunes, I use Amazon. The Genius Mixes is something that is functional when you buy a lot of music from iTunes. The Nano 6G does have Genius Mixes, but I never used it. The video above should show you how Genius Mixes works. More info about Genius Mixes.

Fitness Icon

The Fitness icon is a neat little feature. This feature sets the Nano apart from most of the other simple mp3 players. With the Fitness icon you can track your steps and workouts.

During firmware V 1.0 and 1.1 you could track your step count, and you would need the Nike+ Spot Kit to track runs. With firmware V 1.2 the Nike+ sensors became optional.

V 1.2 And Fitness Icon

Press Release:
iPod nano now tracks your runs and walks right out of the box with no accessory required, making it even easier to get your fitness program up and running. iPod nano can track the time, pace and distance of your run, the calories you burn, and the number of steps you walk. iPod nano encourages you with motivational real-time voice feedback during your run, available in seven languages, while listening to your favorite music or FM radio station. You can also easily upload workouts to the Nike+ website to set goals, track your progress and challenge friends.

6G's Fitness Description:
The built-in accelerometer in iPod nano gives you real-time feedback on your workout, and you can upload data to the Nike+ website. There’s no need to connect a receiver or use a shoe sensor to track your steps, distance, pace, and time. Just clip on iPod nano and go. In the gym, connect iPod nano to a Nike + iPod compatible cardio machine to keep track of every workout. Back at your computer, upload all your data to the Nike+ website to create personal goals, check your progress, and challenge your friends to top your results.

Clock Icon V 1.0

The Clock icon does the usual clock features, and a little more. To change the clock face you have to go through the Settings.

  • Stopwatch - With lap times options.
  • Timer - With different sounds.

V 1.2 Clock Icon (18 clock faces)

Firmware V 1.2 brings 16 new clock faces, add the existing 2 and you now have a total of 18. These clock faces adjust depending on the Nano's color. There are also digital clock faces which should give you a bit more accuracy when compared to the beautiful analog clock faces.

The Nano now also has a "sleep timer" option.

All Clock Faces



  1. I had no idea you had a site dedicated to the nano 6g. I have been looking into getting one and setting it up as a watch. I like the price and the fact that I basically have 18 watches in one..lol

    1. Sometimes when I think a product can sustain many blog posts I create an entire blog about it, although I will not do that anymore. So I transferred all of the contents of that blog to this blog.

      The 6G is my main mini mp3 player and can do many of the things I want. As long as the battery is good the Nano can work as a watch. Apple stated that the battery can last up to 24 hours playing music, of course this diminishes when you use the screen a lot (and with higher brightness settings it will be even more battery usage). So charging the Nano every or every other day is a must for those usages.

      You can view all of the posts by clicking on the "iPod Nano 6G" label or by going to