Apple's Airport Express reappears in Home app in iOS 12 beta

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 7
The Home app is once more spotting the AirPort Express in iOS 12, raising the hopes for devotees of the now cancelled hardware.

AirPort Express


AppleInsider was able to verify the appearance of the 2012 redesign of the AirPort Express in the Home app after three attempts. However, when tapped, the device is not added as a HomeKit peripheral -- but visibly fails unlike the first time around.

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 12 beta is the second time that it has appeared as a possible HomeKit accessory and AirPlay 2 target, and done nothing when selected. It was pulled about two weeks after the first iOS 11.4 beta.




Since that appearance, Apple has killed off the AirPort line in its entirety.

At present, again, 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 rekindles the old 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 when it was originally called AirTunes.

Once again, other AirPlay-compatible devices were tested after the re-appearance, with none appearing in the Home application.
fastasleep
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    Don't get your hopes up....
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    macxpress said:
    Don't get your hopes up....
    I'm not holding my breath.
    john.b
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    racerhomie3ted13olsaylkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 684member
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    StrangeDaysgatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 21
    ted13ted13 Posts: 62member
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    This is true, but nonetheless Apple’s decision doesn’t make sense: why would they be heavily emphasizing their security, and then dropping the one consistently secure and regularly updated for security router out there, and pretty much guaranteeing that all their customers will end up with far more vulnerable routers, many of them a complete pain to use, etc. etc. 

    And even so, they could upgrade the existing AirPort Express to AirPlay 2 - giving their most loyal customers something that no other vendor supports: a realiable wireless audio feed that can be connected to practically any receiver in existence via a TOSLink cable...
    edited June 7 aylk
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,040member
    ted13 said:
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    This is true, but nonetheless Apple’s decision doesn’t make sense: why would they be heavily emphasizing their security, and then dropping the one consistently secure and regularly updated for security router out there, and pretty much guaranteeing that all their customers will end up with far more vulnerable routers, many of them a complete pain to use, etc. etc. 

    And even so, they could upgrade the existing AirPort Express to AirPlay 2 - giving their most loyal customers something that no other vendor supports: a realiable wireless audio feed that can be connected to practically any receiver in existence via a TOSLink cable...
    Apple and the word “cable”. There’s the problem right there. 

    I wonder how many Apple customers know what TOSLink cable is. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 21
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,728member
    macxpress said:
    Don't get your hopes up....
    As long as I can still AirPlay at all to my older n Expresses, I’m fine, but one final upgrade to AirPlay 2 wouldn’t be unwelcome. :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 232member
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    I agree, but the line really would have needed a major refresh if it were to have continued.

    802.11AX is coming and mesh networking is more and more common.

     :s So many of the new routers look like they belong in Lord of the Rings…
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,062member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ted13 said:
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    This is true, but nonetheless Apple’s decision doesn’t make sense: why would they be heavily emphasizing their security, and then dropping the one consistently secure and regularly updated for security router out there, and pretty much guaranteeing that all their customers will end up with far more vulnerable routers, many of them a complete pain to use, etc. etc. 

    And even so, they could upgrade the existing AirPort Express to AirPlay 2 - giving their most loyal customers something that no other vendor supports: a realiable wireless audio feed that can be connected to practically any receiver in existence via a TOSLink cable...
    Apple and the word “cable”. There’s the problem right there. 

    I wonder how many Apple customers know what TOSLink cable is. 
    Apple built what it needed to get the home wireless networks to 'just work.'   and pushed the industry like it did with top notch built in radios and beam forming.  
    Now wireless comes as a monthly price from cable companies, communities, and your Starbucks bill.  Apple can't/won't compete with them, and shouldn't.   Better to build an AppleTV that just 'plugs into' the network, than to 'be part of the network.'   Less headaches, and really, at what point does being in the wireless space get you a clear win 30-40% profit margin.  

    For ProSumers, yes, there will always be a 'kewl' connection that Apple will probably promote, like CarPlay and AirPlay2, but for the most part, those can run within current networking specs, and to do anything really dynamic/innovative, they can use BT4.x to drive that in most environments that align with the use case of 'your device is with you in the same room,' which eliminates all the crapware between your iDevice and your Target output device.

  • Reply 10 of 21
    I'd love for the APE to be added and connect via AirPlay 2, but I'm just not getting my hopes up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,903member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ted13 said:
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    This is true, but nonetheless Apple’s decision doesn’t make sense: why would they be heavily emphasizing their security, and then dropping the one consistently secure and regularly updated for security router out there, and pretty much guaranteeing that all their customers will end up with far more vulnerable routers, many of them a complete pain to use, etc. etc. 

    And even so, they could upgrade the existing AirPort Express to AirPlay 2 - giving their most loyal customers something that no other vendor supports: a realiable wireless audio feed that can be connected to practically any receiver in existence via a TOSLink cable...
    Apple and the word “cable”. There’s the problem right there. 

    I wonder how many Apple customers know what TOSLink cable is. 
    Apple built what it needed to get the home wireless networks to 'just work.'   and pushed the industry like it did with top notch built in radios and beam forming.  
    Now wireless comes as a monthly price from cable companies, communities, and your Starbucks bill.  Apple can't/won't compete with them, and shouldn't.   Better to build an AppleTV that just 'plugs into' the network, than to 'be part of the network.'   Less headaches, and really, at what point does being in the wireless space get you a clear win 30-40% profit margin.  

    For ProSumers, yes, there will always be a 'kewl' connection that Apple will probably promote, like CarPlay and AirPlay2, but for the most part, those can run within current networking specs, and to do anything really dynamic/innovative, they can use BT4.x to drive that in most environments that align with the use case of 'your device is with you in the same room,' which eliminates all the crapware between your iDevice and your Target output device.

    You degrade the impact Apple had on consumer networking. They did more than just make it work, they provided a capability that didn't exist in the consumer market, one that extended to the business market as well. As usual, everything just worked, when the current computer networking refused or couldn't figure out how to include Apple hardware. I remember that time very well. Apple was always at the forefront, pushing faster networking speeds in their hardware. I set up a large switched gigabit network with fiber uplinks when PCs didn't come standard with gig-ethernet. When WiFi came along. Apple released easy to configure base stations that worked for every computer, with ports open for specific Apple protocols, something others didn't and continue to not have open without painful configuration. Just because WiFi hardware seems to be a commodity item doesn't mean any of them are all that great. Read the articles about all the WiFi routers being attacked by the Russian malware. I still haven't seen Apple's name anywhere. WiFi hardware is being built like PCs, a new company and new products released every 5 minutes. 

    Because AI is frequented by people who care about security and want things that work, we need to remind those who don't speak up about the benefits Apple provides so they don't take the unchallenged word of sales people at Comcast, et. al., who push corporate-malware-infected products onto them with all sorts of special configurations that push their corporate needs (specifically their other products). The new Comcast gateways are simply a way to entice consumers into purchasing additional services, whether they really need them or not. Do you really want Comcast to have control over everything that happens at your house? Not me but that's what they're pushing. I'm sure you realize that most consumers using rented WiFi routers rarely change the SSID and router admin password supplied with their router. I haven't had to set up a new Airport Extreme lately but Apple usually forces the user to create their own SSID and passwords instead of letting them use the information on the router label. I hope you and others realize that using Comcast's gateway gives them access to your LAN information and also provides other Comcast users with a secondary band using your hardware. (disclaimer: I use a Surfboard cable router, which Comcast has access to, but that's as far as they can go. I use one or two Airport Extremes, with both hardwired and WiFi connections.)

    Apple doesn't need to take a huge chunk of the networking market, they only NEED to provide another excellent product that Apple users can buy. That provides more than enough income to justify that product. Saying Apple is the only company that over charges is debunked every time you get a cable bill with at least a $10/mo router rental fee. 

    I've said it before that Apple has existing products to create a mesh type system right now with a few extra chips in each of them. Take an AppleTV, HomePod, Macs, and you could put together a really nice home system that only requires a fairly inexpensive cable/fiber (DSL needs to go away) router for the basic signal translation. It's time for Apple to think differently again and not simply toss out a few network-using products.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    f1ferrarif1ferrari Posts: 262member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Apple and the word “cable”. There’s the problem right there. 

    I wonder how many Apple customers know what TOSLink cable is. 
    I might be in the minority, but I have an older generation Express linked to a 2.1 sound bar speaker via TOSlink in my kitchen for AirPlay music streaming. 

    I’ve been considering grabbing a new Express just in case it has Airplay 2 added for some speakers on my back porch for cookouts. 
    edited June 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    cawasjicawasji Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Does anyone have a suggestion on how one can interconnect Airplay 2 with an existing stereo using line level inputs? Don't want to buy a Airplay 2 "speaker as I have really great stereo with planers. Thanks
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    payecopayeco Posts: 155member
    cawasji said:
    Does anyone have a suggestion on how one can interconnect Airplay 2 with an existing stereo using line level inputs? Don't want to buy a Airplay 2 "speaker as I have really great stereo with planers. Thanks
    We will no doubt see these types of things hit the market soon enough that support AirPlay 2. There are a bunch of little adapters like these on the market now that support AirPlay 1. They just connect to your home WiFi network and then use an audio out interface to connect to whatever you want to play back on.

    https://www.amazon.com/ANEWISH-Wireless-Receiver-Airplay-Adapter/dp/B01N5FOVAJ/

    You could also use an Apple TV with an HDMI splitter cable that’ll split off the audio from the HDMI signal but that’s going to be more expensive.
    edited June 7 fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,040member
    Rayz2016 said:
    ted13 said:
    Seems strange that Apple would abandon the WiFi home router market when it‘s entering a new phase of expensive mutisite transmitters which requires little user configuration. I would think Apple could take a huge chunk of this market.   I have an AirPort Extreme and it’s the best WiFi router I have ever owned. 
    They can never take a huge chunk of the market.Most people don’t even know routers exist.  They either use one given to them by their Internet provider or buy a cheap one which is worked $10-$15 .
    This is true, but nonetheless Apple’s decision doesn’t make sense: why would they be heavily emphasizing their security, and then dropping the one consistently secure and regularly updated for security router out there, and pretty much guaranteeing that all their customers will end up with far more vulnerable routers, many of them a complete pain to use, etc. etc. 

    And even so, they could upgrade the existing AirPort Express to AirPlay 2 - giving their most loyal customers something that no other vendor supports: a realiable wireless audio feed that can be connected to practically any receiver in existence via a TOSLink cable...
    Apple and the word “cable”. There’s the problem right there. 

    I wonder how many Apple customers know what TOSLink cable is. 
    Apple built what it needed to get the home wireless networks to 'just work.'   and pushed the industry like it did with top notch built in radios and beam forming.  
    Now wireless comes as a monthly price from cable companies, communities, and your Starbucks bill.  Apple can't/won't compete with them, and shouldn't.   Better to build an AppleTV that just 'plugs into' the network, than to 'be part of the network.'   Less headaches, and really, at what point does being in the wireless space get you a clear win 30-40% profit margin.  

    For ProSumers, yes, there will always be a 'kewl' connection that Apple will probably promote, like CarPlay and AirPlay2, but for the most part, those can run within current networking specs, and to do anything really dynamic/innovative, they can use BT4.x to drive that in most environments that align with the use case of 'your device is with you in the same room,' which eliminates all the crapware between your iDevice and your Target output device.

    A look through the Apple job ads shows they have more than a passing interest in 5G. 


    fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 21
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 2,896member
    They're just fucking with us!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    YP101YP101 Posts: 27member
    Far as I can tell, consumer does not care how technology works. They only care how much is it and does it not sucks. Also If I am paying top dollars then it should compete with other brand top dollars model.
    That is the part Apple failed. It cost a lot(some of you might say that justified with how it works.) but performance is medicore.(look at the smallnetwork test result)

    This is what consumer think and act upon. Why? Because when they step in retail store, they saw router box said this is #1 performance in marketing sticker. And salesamen recommend it(becuase they can get more $$).

    Most of consumer living single floor house(or apartment) which under $150 any router will work fine. That's why they stick with ISP provided rotuer/modem.
    Most of consumer(I would say around 75%) never update router firmware of entire life span of router.(typically router can service more than 5-7 years. I saw some people put their router inside cabinet with no air circulation and complained why I don't get fast connection. Mean time, router get toasted. When I asked them why did you place here then they said because way it looks.)

    Prosumer is different story.. Some prosumer does not buy Apple router because they can run openwrt firmaware on some what cheap router and they can get away with looks. Time capsule router is another product that Apple should not make it.. They should jump on 2-4 bay NAS instead.
    Still Apple could lunch AppleTV but 4 bay Apple NAS with A chip(include AppleTV function) would rock the comsumer and prosumer NAS market by now.
    Apple could even recycle their rack mount server case to 4 bay NAS.


  • Reply 18 of 21
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,607member
    I think you've completely mischaracterised the market, and Apple's role within that market. 

    Airport came out when literally all alternatives sucked for consumers. 

    There was simply nothing out there that a non-technical user was able to properly set up. DSL was only just getting started, and ISPs weren't giving out wireless routers yet, so you had to buy your own if you wanted wi-fi. 

    Then came wireless music streaming — again, no real consumer option at the time. 

    Along with that came printing via a printer connected to the USB port of an Airport base station. Cheap, easy wireless printing with almost no more setup than a wired connection. 

    Then, Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule — zero-hassle wireless automatic backups. 

    Apart from that last point, every other one has been superseded by a completely changed market: 
    Basic routers shipped by your ISP have wi-fi, easily configured via the setup assistant. 
    Plenty of wireless streaming options exist, from Bluetooth speakers to AirPlay-enabled stereo hi-fi components. 
    Tons of wireless printers are available, and AirPrint is pretty much a standard. 

    In order for Apple to be competitive today, they'd have to jump completely into the mesh wi-fi market and develop an entirely new line of devices — for what gain? To bring easy-to-set-up routers to the market? There's plenty of options for that, nowadays. 

    There is nothing Apple could bring to the table that isn't there. So they don't.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    spheric said:
    In order for Apple to be competitive today, they'd have to jump completely into the mesh wi-fi market and develop an entirely new line of devices — for what gain?
    Airport came out when literally all alternatives sucked for consumers. So why is Apple trusting security to companies that don’t give a shit about it?
  • Reply 20 of 21
    lovemnlovemn Posts: 30member
    Apple routers used to be a good thing, they were very reliable. But the speed was absolutely horrible. I switched to eero pro in April and have not had to reboot my router or modem. My internet speed has increased five-fold and I’m very happy with eero. 
Sign In or Register to comment.