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Apple releases AirPort Utility 6.0 for Mac borrowing iOS app design

post #1 of 38
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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.
post #2 of 38
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.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 38
- Logs are missing now

- you can't configure IPv6 settings
post #4 of 38
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...........
post #5 of 38
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.
post #6 of 38
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.
post #7 of 38
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.
post #8 of 38
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.
post #9 of 38
Can you use both v5.6 and v6.0 or does the firmware update prevent using the older, more comprehensive, utility?
post #10 of 38
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).
post #11 of 38
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
post #12 of 38
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?
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Video editor, tech enthusiast, developer.

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post #13 of 38
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.
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post #14 of 38
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.
post #15 of 38
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.)
post #16 of 38
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.
post #17 of 38
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.

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #18 of 38
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.
post #19 of 38
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.
post #20 of 38
...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?
post #21 of 38
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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post #22 of 38
Oddly enough it installs on my older 24" iMac without issue. Not sure what's going on \

Post Update: It looks like the MAC Address Filtering is still there, it's all just under the "Timed Access" button, so that's fine. I also see the connected clients by name under the main page so the functionality I use still seems to be there.

Now I just need to figure out why it won't install on my 27" iMac.
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

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.

You don't lose it Not to my knowledge, at least.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You don't lose it… Not to my knowledge, at least.

Yeah I see it here under 'Timed Access'. I was able to get the update on my older iMac without issue. No idea why it won't install on my main machine. It's already on 10.7.2 as well but the updater refuses to install both via the old 'Update' feature in the Airport Utility, or via a manually downloaded copy of 6.0. The manual download was how I discovered it doesn't seem to realize that my version is already at 10.7.2. It just reports the following:

"Airport Utility can't be installed on this disk. This software requires Mac OS X version 10.7.2 or later."

I'm already at 10.7.2 of course.

Irritating.
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post #25 of 38
You folks keep us posted, if you would. The last time I updated my Airports I spent half a day fighting with them and half rolling back.

I'm all for updates but I'm sitting this one out for a few days... : )
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

You folks keep us posted, if you would. The last time I updated my Airports I spent half a day fighting with them and half rolling back.

I'm all for updates but I'm sitting this one out for a few days... : )

Well on the bright side I will report a substantial boost in speed. Anywhere from 1-3 MB/s on my local network so the firmware update is more than worth it. No issues to report other than manually having to unplug my airport express, which immediately connected after a hard reboot. You don't need 6.0 to update the firmware regardless of what you may be reading. 5.6 works perfectly fine to update the firmware and it will allow you to do so without updating Airport Utility.

My Airport Extreme firmware updated without issue and did not require a hard boot or anything of that sort.
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post #27 of 38
post #28 of 38
It also no longer shows the S.M.A.R.T status of the hard disk in the later Time Capsule models
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Well on the bright side I will report a substantial boost in speed. Anywhere from 1-3 MB/s on my local network so the firmware update is more than worth it. No issues to report other than manually having to unplug my airport express, which immediately connected after a hard reboot. You don't need 6.0 to update the firmware regardless of what you may be reading. 5.6 works perfectly fine to update the firmware and it will allow you to do so without updating Airport Utility.

My Airport Extreme firmware updated without issue and did not require a hard boot or anything of that sort.

Same exact thing for me. After updating the Airport Utility and the firmware for both my Extreme and Express, the Express wasn't being found on my network, just a solid yellow light. After I unplugged it for a few seconds and powered back up, it connected fine and re-joined the network. Very weird. Other than this though, the updates went very smoothly.
post #30 of 38
I like it. I like the network diagram when it starts up. And none of the settings they took out were ones I used. Perhaps some of those things have autoconfiguration protocols now, that's why they took them out.
post #31 of 38
After updating my TC and Express everything seamed fine. The network map looked good and all. Then after about 15 minutes the Express started to show the warning symbol. I looked at the Express and sure enough the amber light was flashing. I unplugged it which removed it from the network map and plugged it back in. The green light came on for a few seconds and then the amber light came back on. Also it no longer shows up in the network map so I can't select it to see what's wrong.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mretondo View Post

Also it no longer shows up in the network map so I can't select it to see what's wrong.

Can you connect with an ethernet cable to see what's wrong?
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Same exact thing for me. After updating the Airport Utility and the firmware for both my Extreme and Express, the Express wasn't being found on my network, just a solid yellow light. After I unplugged it for a few seconds and powered back up, it connected fine and re-joined the network. Very weird. Other than this though, the updates went very smoothly.

I have the same proplem only no matter how may times I plug it in it still shows an amber light. I'm off to the Apple store on Saterday so the genous can have a look at it.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Can you connect with an ethernet cable to see what's wrong?

I had tried that but I got the same error message about can't finding it and to try again.
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mretondo View Post

After updating my TC and Express everything seamed fine. The network map looked good and all. Then after about 15 minutes the Express started to show the warning symbol. I looked at the Express and sure enough the amber light was flashing. I unplugged it which removed it from the network map and plugged it back in. The green light came on for a few seconds and then the amber light came back on. Also it no longer shows up in the network map so I can't select it to see what's wrong.

Identical problem only mine lasted about 2 minutes.
post #36 of 38
Yuck. It doesn't even work properly; failed to update firmware properly and now I can't even reconnect to the AirPort it was trying to update. Lately Apple keeps "upgrading" their software with crap that does't work. How tiring! Looks like my Saturday will be spent fixing my network, again.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hzc View Post

Yuck. It doesn't even work properly

Does for me and virtually everyone else, I'd imagine. What sort of errors were you getting?

Quote:
Lately Apple keeps "upgrading" their software with crap that does't work.

I've not noticed that to be the case, but I've only been paying attention for the last couple of decades.

Quote:
Looks like my Saturday will be spent fixing my network, again.

Think of it as a preference cleaning.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mretondo View Post

After updating my TC and Express everything seamed fine. The network map looked good and all. Then after about 15 minutes the Express started to show the warning symbol. I looked at the Express and sure enough the amber light was flashing. I unplugged it which removed it from the network map and plugged it back in. The green light came on for a few seconds and then the amber light came back on. Also it no longer shows up in the network map so I can't select it to see what's wrong.

I've found that it doesn't always connect reliably according to the utility, but if you go to FILE -> Configure Other and just put in the IP it will connect every time. This will let you bypass the flaky scanning for the airport utility and directly connect instead.
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