Inside iOS 11: AirPlay 2 on existing speakers requires firmware update, support for Apple'...

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  • Reply 21 of 44
    pepe779pepe779 Posts: 84member
    eightzero said:
    Obsoleting products is nothing new to Apple. Consumer expectations and company expectations for hardware are often very much different. I suspect Apple internal designs consumer devices for the 3 year time frame. Consumers subjectively expect much longer. I was thirlled to head High Sierra will run on any Sierra mac. Yay for my late 2009 iMac!

    Seems to me that Apple's apparent decision to not make home wifi network products is short sighted. But it is possible that these products have a lot of competition, have low profitability, and there is the risk that the market is easily saturated. Apple can't really justify them on their standalone economics.

    It is also possible they feel the same way about displays.

    I like Apple's airports, and use them exclusively. But I've not upgraded to -ac ones simply because I don't need to. 


    Totally agree, but obsoleting products is one thing (as long as there is some sort of replacement or different direction), abandoning products that your home ecosystem is built upon while giving your customers no other options is something completely different and very anti-Apple in my opinion. Kind of an eye opener and it makes me realize I relied on Apple solutions a bit too much and simply shouldn't trust what Tim Cook has to say about "enriching people's lives".

    williamlondonanantksundaram
  • Reply 22 of 44
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,077member
    Really interested to see how BlueSound will work with AirPlay 2.

    Do we know if HomePod supports CD quality sound or just MP3.   What about HiRes Audio?

    notably absent on the list is Sonos who never had built in AirPlay support for their speakers.  

    I dont think that the HomePod kills Sonos but may take some sales away.  


  • Reply 23 of 44
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    pepe779 said:
    eightzero said:
    Obsoleting products is nothing new to Apple. Consumer expectations and company expectations for hardware are often very much different. I suspect Apple internal designs consumer devices for the 3 year time frame. Consumers subjectively expect much longer. I was thirlled to head High Sierra will run on any Sierra mac. Yay for my late 2009 iMac!

    Seems to me that Apple's apparent decision to not make home wifi network products is short sighted. But it is possible that these products have a lot of competition, have low profitability, and there is the risk that the market is easily saturated. Apple can't really justify them on their standalone economics.

    It is also possible they feel the same way about displays.

    I like Apple's airports, and use them exclusively. But I've not upgraded to -ac ones simply because I don't need to. 


    Totally agree, but obsoleting products is one thing (as long as there is some sort of replacement or different direction), abandoning products that your home ecosystem is built upon while giving your customers no other options is something completely different and very anti-Apple in my opinion. Kind of an eye opener and it makes me realize I relied on Apple solutions a bit too much and simply shouldn't trust what Tim Cook has to say about "enriching people's lives".

    Apple still sells their Airport Extreme and Express lines, on-line and in store.  Apple has made no announcement of any kind regarding its future.  They have not abandoned it (in any way measurable), and as such have no requirement to provide another option.

    Which universe are you living in?
    AppleZuluibill
  • Reply 24 of 44
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    k2kw said:
    Do we know if HomePod supports CD quality sound or just MP3.   What about HiRes Audio?

    I would respectfully suggest that the influence of source file resolution on the ultimate experience pales significantly in comparison to issues like the reproduction capability of a tiny little speaker with a tiny little amplifier in a tiny little enclosure, and all the phasing issues associated with using scattershot tweeters to create an artificial sense of ambience. If purity of reproduction is a priority, a cheap, small, wireless speaker probably isn't the best choice.

    That said, it will reproduce anything iTunes can play.

    EDIT: There are conflicting reports floating around about the maximum sample rate iTunes supports, and whether or not an AirPlay stream is re-encoded/decoded, so I can't say with confidence how an AirPlay speaker will handle a hires source.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 25 of 44
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,094member
    brucemc said:
    pepe779 said:
    eightzero said:
    Obsoleting products is nothing new to Apple. Consumer expectations and company expectations for hardware are often very much different. I suspect Apple internal designs consumer devices for the 3 year time frame. Consumers subjectively expect much longer. I was thirlled to head High Sierra will run on any Sierra mac. Yay for my late 2009 iMac!

    Seems to me that Apple's apparent decision to not make home wifi network products is short sighted. But it is possible that these products have a lot of competition, have low profitability, and there is the risk that the market is easily saturated. Apple can't really justify them on their standalone economics.

    It is also possible they feel the same way about displays.

    I like Apple's airports, and use them exclusively. But I've not upgraded to -ac ones simply because I don't need to. 


    Totally agree, but obsoleting products is one thing (as long as there is some sort of replacement or different direction), abandoning products that your home ecosystem is built upon while giving your customers no other options is something completely different and very anti-Apple in my opinion. Kind of an eye opener and it makes me realize I relied on Apple solutions a bit too much and simply shouldn't trust what Tim Cook has to say about "enriching people's lives".

    Apple still sells their Airport Extreme and Express lines, on-line and in store.  Apple has made no announcement of any kind regarding its future.  They have not abandoned it (in any way measurable), and as such have no requirement to provide another option.

    Which universe are you living in?
    It's called reality. The Apple refurb site lists their airport extreme at $129. And just after I typed a comment here, I saw a refurb linksys -ac wifi router for $40. What justifies that 3x markup on a product 4 years old? 

    This whole thread is about a news article that airport express support might not have a future. Apple could have made an announcement today, but chose not to. Their silence was a tad telling.
  • Reply 26 of 44
    pepe779pepe779 Posts: 84member
    brucemc said:
    pepe779 said:
    eightzero said:
    Obsoleting products is nothing new to Apple. Consumer expectations and company expectations for hardware are often very much different. I suspect Apple internal designs consumer devices for the 3 year time frame. Consumers subjectively expect much longer. I was thirlled to head High Sierra will run on any Sierra mac. Yay for my late 2009 iMac!

    Seems to me that Apple's apparent decision to not make home wifi network products is short sighted. But it is possible that these products have a lot of competition, have low profitability, and there is the risk that the market is easily saturated. Apple can't really justify them on their standalone economics.

    It is also possible they feel the same way about displays.

    I like Apple's airports, and use them exclusively. But I've not upgraded to -ac ones simply because I don't need to. 


    Totally agree, but obsoleting products is one thing (as long as there is some sort of replacement or different direction), abandoning products that your home ecosystem is built upon while giving your customers no other options is something completely different and very anti-Apple in my opinion. Kind of an eye opener and it makes me realize I relied on Apple solutions a bit too much and simply shouldn't trust what Tim Cook has to say about "enriching people's lives".

    Apple still sells their Airport Extreme and Express lines, on-line and in store.  Apple has made no announcement of any kind regarding its future.  They have not abandoned it (in any way measurable), and as such have no requirement to provide another option.

    Which universe are you living in?
    I guess I can ask you the same question :) Apple never announced they're abandoning the iPod product line either, correct? The fact that they're still selling the remaining stock of some product does not mean they're actively developing it or even having any future plans at all with it, that's the universe we all live in my friend. AirPort Express was last updated in 2012, AirPort Extreme in 2013, those are the hard facts. I'm happy for you that you're still believing Apple has "not abandoned it in any way measurable".
    superkloton
  • Reply 27 of 44
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,598member
    k2kw said:
    Really interested to see how BlueSound will work with AirPlay 2.

    Do we know if HomePod supports CD quality sound or just MP3.   What about HiRes Audio?

    AirPlay has always been lossless, albeit at 16-bit 48 kHz max.
  • Reply 28 of 44
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,070member
    pepe779 said:
    brucemc said:
    pepe779 said:
    eightzero said:
    Obsoleting products is nothing new to Apple. Consumer expectations and company expectations for hardware are often very much different. I suspect Apple internal designs consumer devices for the 3 year time frame. Consumers subjectively expect much longer. I was thirlled to head High Sierra will run on any Sierra mac. Yay for my late 2009 iMac!

    Seems to me that Apple's apparent decision to not make home wifi network products is short sighted. But it is possible that these products have a lot of competition, have low profitability, and there is the risk that the market is easily saturated. Apple can't really justify them on their standalone economics.

    It is also possible they feel the same way about displays.

    I like Apple's airports, and use them exclusively. But I've not upgraded to -ac ones simply because I don't need to. 


    Totally agree, but obsoleting products is one thing (as long as there is some sort of replacement or different direction), abandoning products that your home ecosystem is built upon while giving your customers no other options is something completely different and very anti-Apple in my opinion. Kind of an eye opener and it makes me realize I relied on Apple solutions a bit too much and simply shouldn't trust what Tim Cook has to say about "enriching people's lives".

    Apple still sells their Airport Extreme and Express lines, on-line and in store.  Apple has made no announcement of any kind regarding its future.  They have not abandoned it (in any way measurable), and as such have no requirement to provide another option.

    Which universe are you living in?
    I guess I can ask you the same question :) Apple never announced they're abandoning the iPod product line either, correct? The fact that they're still selling the remaining stock of some product does not mean they're actively developing it or even having any future plans at all with it, that's the universe we all live in my friend. AirPort Express was last updated in 2012, AirPort Extreme in 2013, those are the hard facts. I'm happy for you that you're still believing Apple has "not abandoned it in any way measurable".
    Airport devices meet current WiFi standards. There hasn't really been anything to update so far, has there? Current needs are ably met by the devices available on the shelves right now. Also, if they were just selling off remaining stock, then the to-do a year ago about Apple 'abandoning' Airport would've meant they ought to have shown some evidence of that "remaining stock" thinning out by now, oughtn't they? Search online for in-store stock and the things are still available everywhere. 

    I think the Homepod announcement is just the first shoe to drop in answering the rest of these questions. There will probably be further announcements later in the the year addressing the future need for integrated networking and some kind of HomeKit hub. It's purely speculation on my part, but it seems like an Apple sort of thing to do would be to offer a router/networking device that securely eliminates the need for multiple device hubs for security cameras, locks, lights, etc. I think Homepods are probably a piece of that puzzle. They're currently not emphasizing certain capabilities of those devices, because they're not ready to announce the rest of it. If Airport goes away, it's not going to be because they're just abandoning networking, it's because they're re-imagining the whole way all these networked devices will function together. For instance, I don't think this announcement says anything about it, but if you're going to have a Homepod listening for you to call out Siri's name, you're going to need device integration that tells your iPhone to defer to Homepod. Apple isn't going to allow both to respond when you just want one. That would just be sloppy. How are they going to do that? Seems fairly evident to me that we're looking at the shapes of where some missing puzzle pieces will be filled in, and probably soon.

    All this is why Apple usually isn't the first to enter a category of devices. People with Amazon and Google voice controllers are going to also have a cluster of home control device bases connected to third-party routers, all with basic, minimal compatibility and weak, inconsistent security. Calling out to Alexa or Google will yield conflicting, simultaneous responses from multiple devices. It'll be a mismatched mess, but they'll be able to say they were "first." Meanwhile, Apple will come in with Homepod, plus whatever upgrades or replaces Airport while eliminating the need for multiple third-party base stations, and it will all be integrated together and work securely and seamlessly. 

    I could be wrong, but I bet I'm not far off the mark. I think Apple has been laying the groundwork over the last couple of years, and will soon be rolling into the home automation arena in a big way. People who are looking at Homepod as an Apple version of Echo Dots and also worrying about Airport being 'abandoned' just aren't seeing the forest for the trees.
    edited June 2017 PirateLifeargonaut
  • Reply 29 of 44
    Stream to multiple speakers? iTunes been doing that forever
  • Reply 30 of 44
    grlymgrlym Posts: 23member
    So about 4 months ago, I asked an acquaintance of mine who has been intimately involved with the apple wireless group for a while, if they had been disbanded.  He said no, simply renamed and still hard at work.
    tenthousandthingsAppleZulubrucemcpscooter63argonaut
  • Reply 31 of 44
    pmb01pmb01 Posts: 25member
    This affects me -- I've got two 2008 and three 2012 Expresses all just for audio, and I'm not expecting it to work. Basically each Airplay 2 device will need to have a little computer in it, and I don't think Airport Express has that. They are just routers. A Firmware update won't change that. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

    I do have a couple of old Apple TV 3s around here somewhere. I'm guessing those will work (as replacements for Airport Express audio) with a firmware update...
    The 3rd gen Apple TV is no longer supported so I highly doubt it's gonna get any more updates at all.
  • Reply 32 of 44
    pmb01pmb01 Posts: 25member
    pepe779 said:
    This has been, at least for me personally, one of the most disappointing and irrational decisions Apple has made in recent years. They basically ripped the heart out of their own ecosystem (from a "household setup" perspective) and instead decided to rely on 3rd party solutions. Needless to say, I still wasn't able to find a truly solid replacement for their AirPoirt routers (from the overall functionality and ecosystem integration point of view). Then again, my last gen AirPort Extreme has died twice (each time the same design/manufacturing problem, each time after roughly 1 year), so I'm also not going to invest in that model again. The AirPoirt Express has a very weak signal coverage, so unfortunately even the existing AirPort solutions no longer work for me. Apple not only abandoned their own product line in this case, they have also abandoned their own customers without providing them with any other solid options.
    Apple hasn't decided or abandoned anything. The AirPort Express and Extreme are both still widely available and supported. They got a firmware update back in December, around a month after the abandonment RUMORS. You people are too gullible.
    brucemc
  • Reply 33 of 44
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,598member
    robintosh said:
    Stream to multiple speakers? iTunes been doing that forever
    iOS, however, has not, ever. 
    superkloton
  • Reply 34 of 44
    spheric said:
    robintosh said:
    Stream to multiple speakers? iTunes been doing that forever
    iOS, however, has not, ever. 
    And there is a big difference between what Airplay 2 will do -- synchronized streaming -- versus what iTunes in macOS does now. Depending on your setup, it might seem like it is synchronized, but it isn't.

    Sonos has been the leader in mastering this. They will take a hit. It fits what DED was talking about in one of his recent articles -- about if Apple is two years behind you in something, get your affairs in order...
  • Reply 35 of 44
    ... Basically each Airplay 2 device will need to have a little computer in it, and I don't think Airport Express has that. ...
    Of course Airport Express has a "little computer" in it. What makes you think it doesn't?
  • Reply 36 of 44
    ... Basically each Airplay 2 device will need to have a little computer in it, and I don't think Airport Express has that. ...
    Of course Airport Express has a "little computer" in it. What makes you think it doesn't?
    When I wrote that, I was thinking that a Wi-Fi processor didn't really count. But the consensus seems to be that's wrong and there's a decent chance Apple will be able support it.
  • Reply 37 of 44
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    grlym said:
    So about 4 months ago, I asked an acquaintance of mine who has been intimately involved with the apple wireless group for a while, if they had been disbanded.  He said no, simply renamed and still hard at work.

    Which is pretty much what I’ve been speculating since the stories of Airport abandonment first came out. The original story that led to all those other stories said the Airport group was disbanded and the engineers moved into the Apple TV group (not let go). Apple getting out of the wireless router business was all just an assumption everyone made with absolutely no supporting evidence. Why would the Apple TV group need a bunch more wifi engineers unless there was more than just Apple TV updates on the drawing board?

    Practically speaking, the only wifi tech the current routers don’t support is mesh networking (beyond the existing methods of extending networks). The Airport group could have been put to task creating new versions of Airport that supported mesh networking, but if you are going to promote customers scattering nodes around their house, why not do that work in concert with other devices that would create a smart home ecosystem? If you make every Apple TV and HomePod, and whatever other devices they might create, also be able to act as a node on a mesh wifi network it would be that much more reason for customers to invest in the Apple ecosystem.

    A smart speaker makes perfect sense as a wifi mesh network node. You’d want to place them both in the places in your home where you most frequently spend your time to provide the best coverage. (The only drawback is the HomePod apparently doesn’t have a wired Ethernet port which would be useful as a backhaul to the main router.)

  • Reply 38 of 44
    I would be a bit surprised if they didn't update the current Airport Express to support AirPlay 2. Older ones, not so much. I use 3 Airport Expresses connected to older stereo gear that still sounds great. I suspect that 2 of those 3 won't be updatable, but of course AirPlay 1 will continue to work.
  • Reply 39 of 44
    HBW1 said:
    Updating it would be problematic.. as new Airport Utility does not support them, and old Airport Utility does not run on newer OS's.
    Which update are you talking about and which old model are you referring to? They won't roll out these things with such big problems. 
    Probably confused by the fact the first Airport Express (2004) can't be managed with Airport Utility 6. Doesn't know the 2008 and 2012 models can. But this brings up a good point:
    "In the fine print on Apple's own website, the company notes that a firmware update may not be enough for some devices to support AirPlay 2."
    "Some devices" could just mean the 2004 Airport Express, no more.
  • Reply 40 of 44
    If they issue an update for the ancient AirPort Express to allow AirPlay 2 support so that you can have a quick easy and free way to do multi-room audio...how are they ever going to sell you a HomePod?

    But more seriously, maybe the AirPort Express simply isn't capable. Or maybe they're concerned about the experience of multiple AirPort express with unnamed types of speakers connected to them, playing in tandem.

    I do hope they issue an update for it. I would be happy to dig the AirPort Express out of the drawer, and maybe get another 1 or 2, and hook up some crappy speakers around the house.
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