Apple releases AirPort Utility 6.0 for Mac borrowing iOS app design

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014


Apple has released an update for AirPort Utility that incorporates the greatly simplified user interface that first appeared in the company's iOS app for managing AirPort base stations.



The new AirPort Utility 6.0 now presents a graphical outline of the wireless base stations discovered and how they relate to each other, rather than providing a basic listing. The latest version works exclusively with modern AirPort Express AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule units supporting 802.11n.



The graphic below also indicates firmware updates are available for two of the devices. Clicking on a device opens an iCal-like panel that enables users to perform a firmware update or edit the device's configuration.















Along with the new utility, Apple also released firmware update 7.6.1 for the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule that "fixes an issue with wireless performance and provides support for remote access to an AirPort disk or a Time Capsule hard drive with an iCloud account.









Simpler, smarter, 802.11n only



The simplified interface of AirPort Utility is missing the former version's ability to detail and graph wireless clients' signal strength, list client systems' hardware MAC addresses and DNS assignments, and log details of base station activity.



However, the new interface is now aligned with its iOS app counterpart (below), and the reduction of information presented makes the overall interface both easier to navigate and more straightforward to configure and to keep base station firmware up to date.











A variety of settings pertaining to the Internet connection, DNS and NAT settings, and other complexities are arranged in a much more logical fashion, making it easier for non-technical users to set up and configure Apple's base stations.



Apple also released an update to AirPort Utility 5.6, which retains the appearance and all of the features of previous versions of the software. The 5.6 version is required for configuring older 802.11g AirPort devices. It can not be used to configure iCloud compatible "Back to My Mac" services for the newest AirPort devices, a task that requires the new software.









Apple has progressively advanced the state of the art in wireless networking since its introduction of AirPort in 1999, and the company is expected to add support for the new 802.11ac standard for Gigabit Wireless in its AirPort products later this year.



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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,975member
    Note that it DOES NOT WORK with the 11g spaceship model or anything pre-N.



    Note also that that wouldn't be such a big deal except you can't go back.
  • badtzbadtz Posts: 949member
    - Logs are missing now



    - you can't configure IPv6 settings
  • ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Apple is dumbing down Airport Utility now. Oh well. I don't use the advanced features like others due, but I do use timed access. If they ever take that way...........
  • walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Note that it DOES NOT WORK with the 11g spaceship model or anything pre-N.



    Note also that that wouldn't be such a big deal except you can't go back.



    So to get 5.6 requires a manual download? I made a copy of the old utility as I'm sure I'll need some of its functions from time to time.
  • darrynlowedarrynlowe Posts: 42member
    So does this upgrade the firmware of the device as well?



    I can't get iCloud to work because it only works with MobileMe. If this issue is fixed then I don't care how simplistic the interface is.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    The IPv6 stuff worries me. None of this endears me to the update. It was pretty simple before with the walk-thru config option by default.
  • bspearsbspears Posts: 147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Apple is dumbing down Airport Utility now. Oh well. I don't use the advanced features like others due, but I do use timed access. If they ever take that way...........



    It's still there.
  • sakladsaklad Posts: 3member
    Can you use both v5.6 and v6.0 or does the firmware update prevent using the older, more comprehensive, utility?
  • pika2000pika2000 Posts: 41member
    This is stupid. I like the network map of the routers, but come on, it won't even show you the full list of all the DHCP clients. (the pop up only shows 3 wireless clients, useless).
  • pika2000pika2000 Posts: 41member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saklad View Post


    Can you use both v5.6 and v6.0 or does the firmware update prevent using the older, more comprehensive, utility?



    Yes you can. Software update will only update you to 6.0. You have to get 5.6 manually from Apple's site: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482
  • yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saklad View Post


    Can you use both v5.6 and v6.0 or does the firmware update prevent using the older, more comprehensive, utility?



    You can use both. The Windows version hasn't been updated, but it updated the firmware to 7.6.1 easily. It's going to be a situation like Quicktime, where Quicktime X will be the standard going forward, while the older, more capable version will be available as an optional download.



    The loss of features worries me. There's absolutely no excuse for that. I have no problem with Apple obscuring various features in order to make it easier for the average user to set things up, but why take away those features?
  • gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    So to get 5.6 requires a manual download? I made a copy of the old utility as I'm sure I'll need some of its functions from time to time.



    Yep. And it's here:



    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482



    EDIT: Oh, I see pika2000 beat me to it. Sorry.
  • foljsfoljs Posts: 224member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Apple is dumbing down Airport Utility now.



    You mean "smarting up". As in:



    1) Making the UI smarter and able to show more things in a more obvious way.



    2) Making the app usable by smart people that have other things to do with their highly successful lives than delve into arcane configuration pages.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Note also that that wouldn't be such a big deal except you can't go back.



    You can go back.



    (As mentioned in the article, Apple even updated the ?old style? utility for those who need it.)
  • pika2000pika2000 Posts: 41member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foljs View Post


    You mean "smarting up". As in:



    1) Making the UI smarter and able to show more things in a more obvious way.



    2) Making the app usable by smart people that have other things to do with their highly successful lives than delve into arcane configuration pages.



    "able to show more things in a more obvious way."

    False. Currently, there's no way I can find to simply list all DHCP clients (not just wireless clients). Shouldn't this be a basic feature of a router?

    The older app is not arcane configuration pages. In fact, the older version in a way is easier as it uses a step-by-step wizard by default, something that most people would be more comfortable with since web-based wizard is how other routers are usually using for their configurations.
  • andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I've tried to do this before- the 3rd picture has names like "johns iPad" etc. mine only say the serial number. How can I change that to a custom name? I can't figure it out.
  • kpomkpom Posts: 540member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saklad View Post


    Can you use both v5.6 and v6.0 or does the firmware update prevent using the older, more comprehensive, utility?



    You can have both installed. It identifies the older one as "Airport Utility 5.6" and the newer one as "Airport Utility" if you have them both installed.
  • walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foljs View Post


    You mean "smarting up". As in:



    1) Making the UI smarter and able to show more things in a more obvious way.



    2) Making the app usable by smart people that have other things to do with their highly successful lives than delve into arcane configuration pages.



    Seems to me they could have done both. A basic interface for the most commonly used features. And an advanced mode with a comprehensive set of tools, in one app. It doesn't kill me to keep the old one in Dropbox or something like that. But I don't see why Apple wants to maintain two tools.
  • djames4242djames4242 Posts: 413member
    ...and I hear they still haven't done away with the requirement that the device be restarted for every.single.change.no.matter.how.small. Does adding a new port forward or static IP by MAC address really require a reboot of the router?
  • djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    You can update your firmware without going to version 6. I've also hit some sort of bug where the firmware updated without issue but the actual V6 Airport Utility refuses to install on my 10.7.2 partition, reporting that the software requires 10.7.2 or later.



    I did beta Lion but I have since done a clean wipe and install of the release code.



    Given the comments above, I'm not sure I want to upgrade it to 6 as is. I use the MAC address filtering and would hate to lose that functionality. I also like to be able to view connected clients and apparently that functionality is gone as well.



    Not cool Apple.
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