Apple issues AirPort Express firmware update adding support for AirPlay 2

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 63
    Hmm, I'm not able to control individual volume of both speakers connected to 2 different Expresses, only globally. 
    Anyone with the same issue?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 63
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    mbenz1962 said:
    Lol, there were quite a few commenters poo-pooing the chance of this ever happening when discussed previously.  Good work, Apple!
    Yep, I decided to round them up and give them a shout out.  This way we know to give their predictions (especially in such absolutest terms) the respect they deserve.  And the Hall of Fame-rs are:

    @Hagar --Just let it go already. This is never going to happen. 
    @Metriacanthosaurus --Flat out: Not happening.

    Honorable mentions:

    @Fallenjt --AirPort Express hardware is too old. It doesn't even support 802.11 AC. 
    @Pbrutto --Not only has their been no indication of a router update but their have been multiple stories saying Apple is completely out of the router business now going back months. So, why do you think they may be updated?
    @Bradford_kirby --The airport express is over.

    There were a few more that could have been put in the honorable mention category, but their comments seemed more like reasonable opinions than snarky critiques of Apple and the fans that held out hope that Apple could squeeze a little more life out of a great product that is riding into the sunset.

    You track and document the passing commentary of other posters here regarding minutia like this? Seems a bit much.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 43 of 63
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,695member
    JanNL said:
    Does it apply to the 2008-2012 sold 802.11n Airport Express  (Gen 1)?

    Apple's website is ambiguous:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1975?locale=en_US


    Now, what about adding APFS support to Time Capsules?!

    Also, what about iOS Time Capsule file storage access?!!!!!!
    It only applies to the 2012 remake, as pictured in the article.
    That's right, couldn't resist and tried the Gen 1. This firmware stays on 7.6.9 .
    My Time Capsule must be older than I thought, same 7.6.9. and no offer to update from AirPort Utilities ... Damn!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 63
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 187member
    Looks like there are different levels of AirPlay 2 compatibility.

    While HomePods and Apple TV (4 or 4K) appear in the "Sound devices" menu as independent devices, my updated Airport Express did not. ..and therefore it could not play Apple Music without the help of iTunes or an iOS/Apple TV device.
    And I could not allocate the Airport Express to a room in the Home app either.

    But what is new is that it can now be used to play music simultaneously to other AirPlay 2 devices like a HomePod pair.

    I do not really need just that, so for now, my old AirPort Express is back to a drawer...
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 45 of 63
    MacPro said:
    My Time Capsule must be older than I thought, same 7.6.9. and no offer to update from AirPort Utilities ... Damn!
    Time capsules area version of the Airport Exterme.  They don't offer AirPlay functionality. (Only the Express does.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 63
    dysamoria said:
    mbenz1962 said:
    Lol, there were quite a few commenters poo-pooing the chance of this ever happening when discussed previously.  Good work, Apple!
    Yep, I decided to round them up and give them a shout out.  This way we know to give their predictions (especially in such absolutest terms) the respect they deserve.  And the Hall of Fame-rs are:

    @Hagar --Just let it go already. This is never going to happen. 
    @Metriacanthosaurus --Flat out: Not happening.

    Honorable mentions:

    @Fallenjt --AirPort Express hardware is too old. It doesn't even support 802.11 AC. 
    @Pbrutto --Not only has their been no indication of a router update but their have been multiple stories saying Apple is completely out of the router business now going back months. So, why do you think they may be updated?
    @Bradford_kirby --The airport express is over.

    There were a few more that could have been put in the honorable mention category, but their comments seemed more like reasonable opinions than snarky critiques of Apple and the fans that held out hope that Apple could squeeze a little more life out of a great product that is riding into the sunset.

    You track and document the passing commentary of other posters here regarding minutia like this? Seems a bit much.
    I’ll admit that it seems petty AF, but I’m also really tired of the dismissive attitude some people have regarding other’s opinions. You can disagree with a post or an article, but do it should be done with the same tone you would have face to face.

    watto_cobratenthousandthingstenthousandthings
  • Reply 47 of 63
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    MacPro said:
    JanNL said:
    Does it apply to the 2008-2012 sold 802.11n Airport Express  (Gen 1)?

    Apple's website is ambiguous:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1975?locale=en_US


    Now, what about adding APFS support to Time Capsules?!

    Also, what about iOS Time Capsule file storage access?!!!!!!
    It only applies to the 2012 remake, as pictured in the article.
    That's right, couldn't resist and tried the Gen 1. This firmware stays on 7.6.9 .
    My Time Capsule must be older than I thought, same 7.6.9. and no offer to update from AirPort Utilities ... Damn!
    It doesn't have audio out to begin with.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 63
    jeromec said:
    Looks like there are different levels of AirPlay 2 compatibility.

    While HomePods and Apple TV (4 or 4K) appear in the "Sound devices" menu as independent devices, my updated Airport Express did not. ..and therefore it could not play Apple Music without the help of iTunes or an iOS/Apple TV device.
    And I could not allocate the Airport Express to a room in the Home app either.

    But what is new is that it can now be used to play music simultaneously to other AirPlay 2 devices like a HomePod pair.

    I do not really need just that, so for now, my old AirPort Express is back to a drawer...
    Not surprising.  HomePods and Apple TVs are full fledged tvOS devices that can operate independently from other devices.  The Airport Express is not and was designed primarily as a router.  I would imagine that other Airplay 2 devices like a stereo receiver would act in a similar fashion.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 63
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,942member
    This is pretty cool. I have to wonder though exactly why Apple would do this. Would it really drive sales of home pod that much? I mean I’d love to have a home pod or two but not having airplay 2 on my old express was not holding me back... I guess I’m in the minority there, but I’m hoping that this is a subtle hint that their wireless routing days are not over but just experiencing a restructuring. It seems we mostly all agree that Apples router offerings were an important part of their integrated ecosystem and very well done. And with security being such a priority at Apple, it seems that this segment could still benefit from the Apple focus, care & attention to detail that wireless routing deserves. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 63
    sflocal said:
    It breaks my heart that Apple discontinued their Airport products.  They are by far the best built, most reliable units I've ever owned.  Sure, others like DLink, NetGer, Linksys, etc.. may have more features for tech-savvy people, but their quality is crap, are unstable, and always require a restart.

    What a shame.
    Even some of us tech-savvy people prefer stuff that just works. I did the whole DIY thing with both routers and home automation, but in the long run I in both cases ended up switching to Apple products. My time is just better spent adding stuff on top of what just works, than wasting time dealing with doing everything from scratch.
  • Reply 51 of 63
    I too had wanted support to airport express as I had 8 speaker zones in my house driven by individual airport expresses, but having just made the change to HomePods and Apple TV 4K to fully enable Airplay 2, it was worth the change. With the old airport express and the new update to enable Airplay 2 there still is no native way to turn the zones’ amps on/off that are connected to the airport expresses. I had developed a work around to voice control using Alexa and amps on/off by adding SmartThings hub, Ham Bridge, Insteon Switches, and a very long AppleScript to control it all. This worked but remained somewhat unreliable. So, I decided to update the hardware for using Airplay 2, Siri control and to enable better functionality. HomePods replaced several zones nicely and for those zones where HomePod was impractical, such as outdoor speakers or existing home theater system, I used Apple TV 4K connected via HDMI cable to a CEC capable receiver which then turns the amp on/off automatically when Apple TV streams audio or video. This comprehensive hardware/software replacement now gives complete and easy control using IOS and Siri, and full functionality to Apple Music. It however still lacks good integration with my Mac Mini which in practical use of this new setup I found would be better served to be the base for streaming when playing multi rooms simultaneously.  Whole house streaming from an iPhone is not very practical. So, I now have to steam from one of the HomePods to Apple TV 4Ks, it would just be easier and simpler for the Mac mini to to serve as a whole house music server that could receive Siri commands from HomePod and also have HomeKit control. Hopefully the next OSX will fix that.
  • Reply 52 of 63
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member
    BrianJ said:
    sflocal said:
    It breaks my heart that Apple discontinued their Airport products.  They are by far the best built, most reliable units I've ever owned.  Sure, others like DLink, NetGer, Linksys, etc.. may have more features for tech-savvy people, but their quality is crap, are unstable, and always require a restart.

    What a shame.
    Apple really should offer their own mesh wireless system. It doesn't matter that there are many competitors in this space, when people go in to buy an Apple solution, they want to buy everything Apple sells. It's just money they're leaving on the table, IMO.
    There are a lot of things that Apple leaves on the table which allows for others to provide a solution.  Apple likes to focus on the big and flashy things that people replace all the time.  Routers are boring and too commonplace for Apple to get excited about.  They pretty much gave up on them 5 years ago, and it really shows.  There is so much more that could have been done with them that would make for a better home network experience, but again, too boring, so they hit the chopping block.

    There's another issue and that's that with many cable providers, if you opt for the highest speed service (like Gigabit, even though I don't get anywhere near that), the router is built into cable modem and you have to use theirs.   So I was using AirPort Express originally, but no more.   
  • Reply 53 of 63
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    zoetmb said:
    BrianJ said:
    sflocal said:
    It breaks my heart that Apple discontinued their Airport products.  They are by far the best built, most reliable units I've ever owned.  Sure, others like DLink, NetGer, Linksys, etc.. may have more features for tech-savvy people, but their quality is crap, are unstable, and always require a restart.

    What a shame.
    Apple really should offer their own mesh wireless system. It doesn't matter that there are many competitors in this space, when people go in to buy an Apple solution, they want to buy everything Apple sells. It's just money they're leaving on the table, IMO.
    There are a lot of things that Apple leaves on the table which allows for others to provide a solution.  Apple likes to focus on the big and flashy things that people replace all the time.  Routers are boring and too commonplace for Apple to get excited about.  They pretty much gave up on them 5 years ago, and it really shows.  There is so much more that could have been done with them that would make for a better home network experience, but again, too boring, so they hit the chopping block.

    There's another issue and that's that with many cable providers, if you opt for the highest speed service (like Gigabit, even though I don't get anywhere near that), the router is built into cable modem and you have to use theirs.   So I was using AirPort Express originally, but no more.   
    Not necessarily. You can also buy one that works in bridge mode or at least disables DHCP and wireless and use your own router. 
  • Reply 54 of 63
    So... after updating the firmware on my express:
    I can no longer control the volume at that Express using the "Remote" App on my phone.  The volume slider shows, and I can move it, but it doesn't affect the volume. (Music is playing on the iMac, through the APExpress and amped speaker attached to it.  It all worked fine right before the update (and for years prior).

    Anyone else have an issue???
  • Reply 55 of 63
    jonyojonyo Posts: 117member
    I'm not sure why no update is appearing for me. I pretty sure I have the 2012 version, it's the only one with a power cord (no integrated plug prongs like a MacBook power brick), and 2 ethernet ports instead of 1, right? Right in the iOS airport utility app it even says "Airport Express 801.11n (2nd Generation)" under hardware info. Yet, in airport utility on both MacOS and iOS, no update appears. I tried power cycling the AE, still nothing. It says "This Airport base station's firmware (version 7.6.9) is up to date."

    Anyone have any ideas?
  • Reply 56 of 63
    jonyo said:
    I'm not sure why no update is appearing for me. I pretty sure I have the 2012 version, it's the only one with a power cord (no integrated plug prongs like a MacBook power brick), and 2 ethernet ports instead of 1, right? Right in the iOS airport utility app it even says "Airport Express 801.11n (2nd Generation)" under hardware info. Yet, in airport utility on both MacOS and iOS, no update appears. I tried power cycling the AE, still nothing. It says "This Airport base station's firmware (version 7.6.9) is up to date."

    Anyone have any ideas?
    No, but if it’s part of a larger network, try rebooting the whole network. That is, power everything off (including the modem), then back on, from inner to outer, with the Airport Express last...
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 57 of 63
    burnsideburnside Posts: 17unconfirmed, member
    Speculation - one of the engineers re-works AE firmware to include Airplay2. Shares with others. Team thinks, "why not just release this?". Alternative speculation - Apple looks at stats on how their products are used and realizes there are millions of AEs used for music streaming. Adding Airplay2 won't sell more AEs, but it might help sell the next iPhone. I bought 3 off eBay about a month ago - still my best option for whole-house music streaming.
  • Reply 58 of 63
    After updating Airport Expresses, I now have "unable to extend network" messages...
  • Reply 59 of 63
    iPod HiFi + AirPort Express + TOSlink, the thing that wouldn't die. I've been using this combo for nigh on to 15 years and have never even had to think about it, except when I replaced the older AE with the newer, Apple TV shaped one. Once I got a pair of HomePods, I was thinking about retiring the beastie. Now I'll just move it to another room. And I thought AirPods were amazing. (Oh, they are, they are, but this latest trick just makes me smile.)
    svanstromburnside
  • Reply 60 of 63
    My only disappointment is that it seems I can't send music from my HomePod to the AirPort Expresses. It's great that I can choose multiple outputs from my iPad/iPhone that now include the AEs, but I rarely stream from my phone or iPad.  Typically I'm just asking HomePod to play music OR I'm setting up a long playlist in iTunes on my Mac, which could already send music to the HomePod and AEs.
Sign In or Register to comment.