Tag - AirPort Express
Recently, Electronista got its hands on the latest version of the Airport Express, which has undergone a recent redesign. While the previous version was widely considered a good deal (even at its retail price of $99) due to its ease of setup and unobtrusive design, the new version trades in the direct-plug approach for an Apple TV-type look and several important new features, backed up by a new version of Airport Utility.
Apple took a surprise step Monday by completely reworking its desktop AirPort app. AirPort Utility 6.0 (14.1MB) is reworked to look like its iOS counterpart and starts off with a visual topography for the user's network including the active status and whether or not updates are waiting. Any router on the network, and the Internet connection itself, gets a pop-over that shows both common settings as well as an option to edit settings for that device.
Bang & Olufsen set out to have an upscale approach to networked media hubs Monday and unveiled the BeoSound 5 Encore. The device serves as both a central control and aggregator for media in the home, both taking in music from the local network as well as serving as a gateway for most any USB and line-in device, including external hard drives, iPods, and AirPlay through an AirPort Express. As many as eight of the 10.4-inch touchscreen devices can be linked together and share the same collection eve as they play music in different rooms.
An off-hand tip in a report late Thursday hinted that Apple's upcoming Time Capsules would borrow a cue from the current Apple TV. One source said that the new router, and possibly regular AirPort devices, would use either an A4 or an A5 chip and a heavily modified iOS foundation. The Ars Technica contact made no mention as to why, but it's presumed the backup option would require more computing power.
Multiple reports Wednesday night slipped word that Apple retail stores were running out of the company's wireless routers. A number of readers mention the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule all being out of stock, often all at the same time. MacRumors had heard just of stockouts, but TUAW had heard that even one store with stock might have been asked to return unsold inventory, indicating that it was a discontinuation, not just a supply issue.
Sonos on Tuesday rolled out two major supported updates at once. Audio devices like the ZonePlayer S5 can now pipe audio through AirPlay using an indirect route. Wiring up an AirPort Express to a Sonos device through Ethernet and the line-in jack will let any AirPlay audio go through a ZonePlayer as though it were another source on the network.
Most of Apple's networking peripherals sold only adequately during 2009, according to data from the NPD Group. The firm notes that Apple TV sales were up less than 10 percent in 2009, continuing a lethargic trend that emerged in 2008. The product has not been helped materially by the release of the Apple TV 3.0 firmware -- adding features like Internet radio -- or a price cut down to $229.
Apple as promised has launched its Black Friday sale, currently ongoing in the US, Canada and Europe. The Friday-only discounts are highlighted by a $101 price cut for all iMac and MacBook Pro models regardless of size. The iPod touch also sees heavy discounts, bringing the 64GB model down to $358, the 32GB version to $268 and the 8GB model down to $178.
Apple today released an update to its software for its line of branded wireless routers, including the AirPort Express Base Station, the AirPort Extreme Base Station, and Time Capsule. AirPort Utility 5.4.2 includes general fixes and compatibility updates for the following applications: AirPort Utility and AirPort Base Station Agent, Apple said. It also also installs AirPort Disk Utility on Macs running Tiger. An updated version for Windows PCs is also available.
Apple has released a combined update for AirPort base stations and the Time Capsule, bringing all of the devices' firmware up to v7.4.1. Though mainly intended for new dual-band models, the firmware can also be applied to older hardware; in the latter case it enables remote administration, and remote access to attached USB drives through Back to My Mac, though not for an AirPort Express. Creating Time Machine backups on a Time Capsule has also been made more reliable.