AirPort Express popping up in some Home apps, raising possibility of AirPlay 2 compatibili...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 4
Reports are circulating that the third generation AirPort Express is popping up for users trying to add a HomeKit accessory in the iOS 11.4 beta, but the appearance is not universal, nor does the networking peripheral actually get added when selected.




AppleInsider was able to verify the appearance of the 2012 redesign of the AirPort Express in the Home app after five attempts. However, like all of the rest of the accounts, when tapped, the device is not added as a HomeKit peripheral.

The last update to the AirPort express was in December 2017, for the KRACK exploits from earlier in the year. AirPlay 2 wasn't in testing at the time, with the AirPort patch happening well after the first round of testing of the technology, and before the abortive second round with the iOS 11.3 betas prior to its removal very near the end of the cycle. The update prior to the KRACK fix to the AirPort Express was delivered in December 2016.

The appearance of the device in the iOS 11.4 beta is the first time that it has appeared as a possible accessory.

At present, the development status of AirPort hardware is somewhat up in the air, with reports confirmed by AppleInsider saying that the network hardware development division has been mostly dissolved, with some engineers relocated to other departments, and others keeping the device "as safe as possible, for as long as possible" in software.

At present, the appearance of the old hardware appears to be nothing more than an aberration of the testing process -- but the fact that it appears at all is a bit of a mystery. It is obviously related somehow to the device's AirPlay functionality, as the the AirPort Express has been a playback target for some time, since it was originally called AirTunes.

Other AirPlay-compatible devices were tested, with none appearing in the Home application.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,733member
    Crossing my fingers the 2008 1st gen N model gets AirPlay 2 support. :) They still work well and are dirt cheap on eBay (~$20). I've got four of them in my house.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Crossing my fingers the 2008 1st gen N model gets AirPlay 2 support. :) They still work well and are dirt cheap on eBay (~$20). I've got four of them in my house.
    Me, too. I have the third gen but it brings down my entire network when I attempt to use it, so I have the second gen attached to my receiver. If it turns out it’s AirPlay 2 compatible and the old ones are not then I may try to update the firmware (it's currently unused) or get a new one. 
    edited April 4 watto_cobraaylk
  • Reply 3 of 11
    prokipprokip Posts: 135member
    I have  AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express and Time Machine on my network.  Brilliant products.  They all work flawlessly.  I recently added a Netgear Nighthawk X8 with all the ‘active’ antennas, MIMO etc etc etc.  What a load of useless marketing nonsence.  Disconnecting the X8 ensured I had a better performing network.
    The Apple wireless gear is best-in-class, yet the number crunchers at Apple want to give it the boot?
    Honestly Tim, old mate,  put those numbers fellas back in their box and keep AirPort going and improving.  Please !!
    williamlondoncaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    mike54mike54 Posts: 247member
    I no longer use my Airport Express since I had to get an updated modem/router, there is no point is having something else plugged in when no need to. But that Airport Express worked flawlessly for years, management was easy, a really good unit.
    I hope Apple will make a modem/router. It's critical piece of internet access in people's houses.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 779member
    To Fastasleep: I suggest you study the history of Apple's updates to really old equipment (2008 was, of course, 10 years ago) for a clue on how likely your hope is. I hate to rain on anyone's parade but ... don't hold your breath.

    Naturally I would love it if my last revision AX became AirPlay 2 compatible, but even that one I'm not really holding out much hope. Apple seems to be out of the AirPort business and it makes me sad.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    JoefonzJoefonz Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    This is entirely possible. Airplay 1 on MAC allows for multiroom music streaming. The limitation was with iOS.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    Joefonz said:
    This is entirely possible. Airplay 1 on MAC allows for multiroom music streaming. The limitation was with iOS.
    Multiroom streaming is not the same as AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 synchronizes the disparate sources, and multi-room streaming with AirPlay 1 from iTunes makes absolutely no effort to do so.

    edited April 5 watto_cobraaylk
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Multiroom streaming is not the same as AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 synchronizes the disparate sources, and multi-room streaming with AirPlay 1 from iTunes makes absolutely no effort to do so.

    Actually Mike, this is not correct. AirPlay 1 does indeed do active synchronization, and synchronized multi-room streaming can easily be done -- today -- with iTunes and AirPlay devices. There are also third party and open source implementations that implement synchronization. AirPlay 1 does not deal with Bluetooth, which might account for your experience, but you absolutely can have your computer's speakers and multiple sets of Airplay speakers playing synchronized audio.
    raoulduke42
  • Reply 9 of 11
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,733member
    chasm said:
    To Fastasleep: I suggest you study the history of Apple's updates to really old equipment (2008 was, of course, 10 years ago) for a clue on how likely your hope is. I hate to rain on anyone's parade but ... don't hold your breath.

    Naturally I would love it if my last revision AX became AirPlay 2 compatible, but even that one I'm not really holding out much hope. Apple seems to be out of the AirPort business and it makes me sad.
    The last firmware update that was released for the Airport line included the 2008 small 'n' Airport Express. I know, because I updated all of mine at the same time as my two Extremes. So, they've been updating it as recently as any of the other Airport models.

    I've been using Apple's hardware since the Apple II and Macs since the SE/30. I know my history. :)
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    As a follow-up, It's been removed from the second beta.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    As a follow-up, It's been removed from the second beta.
    Figures. But maybe it will return at a later date. One can hope...

    Thanks for the follow-up. 
    edited April 16
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