Mac mini, iMacs and more
Apple's online store this week has a wide selection of refurbished desktop computers. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.3GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage is now only $929. Save $200 on the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,099.
Single release covers both routers
Apple has released a firmware update for its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule routers, v7.7.2. The code fixes three problems, including one that would cause periodic loss of an Internet connection. Another prevented USB hard drives connected to an Extreme from being used by Time Machine.
Time Machine add-on details backups
Tri-edre has released its latest issuing of its OS X back-up software, Back-In-Time 3. Optimizing users' experience of Apple's Time Machine, Back-In-Time displays the number of different versions of each file backed up and their respective backup dates, as well as whether items have been deleted and their availability within backups. The latest offering includes a new user interface, and improved navigation and search features. Virtual disks can be created for Time Capsule or for other Macs. Additionally, Back-In-Time 3 includes the ability to use the software without the need for administrator privileges. Back-In-Time 3 is available for download in full for $30, or as an upgrade for $10.
Small Mac, iOS releases
(Updated with iOS AirPort, OS X Mavericks updates) Apple has posted a small update for the Mac version of AirPort Utility, v6.3.1. The patch deals with a single bug that prevented AirPort base stations from being detected. The file is a 21.6MB download, and available either through Apple's support site or OS X's Software Update feature.
Service technicians advised to replace troubled gear, send defectives back
Apple's 802.11ac wireless launch has been somewhat less than perfect. In an effort to diagnose problems reported in some new Apple devices sporting 802.11ac compatibility, the Cupertino manufacturer has instructed its service centers to "capture" customers' computers if they are suffering from Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Additionally, technical research has been published noting that Apple uses a sub-optimal network setting built into the wireless protocol, limiting the connectivity speed of the new standard at least temporarily.
New router promises better speed, longer range than previous models
Despite the slightly late adoption of the 802.11g standard -- which had more to do with the hardware refresh product cycle than anything else -- Apple has been on the forefront of wireless home networking. From the first failure-prone Airport base station with an Orinoco Silver PCMCIA card to the newest equipment with custom chipsets built for Apple, Cupertino has seen the value of Internet access not tethered by a cord. The latest effort is the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule 802.11ac model, which brings some advances to the line. Electronista takes a first look at the new networking peripheral from Apple.
Compatible with 802.11n, does not add 'ac' capabilities
Apple has issued updates for the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, releasing minor upgrades for the firmware (now at version 7.7.1) and AirPort Utility software (now at version 6.3) to add compatibility for the newly-announced, redesigned AirPort hardware that supports the forthcoming 802.11ac standard. The new standard, which uses the 5GHz bandwidth of 802.11n, is backward-compatible with earlier Wi-Fi but supports faster speed and greater range. The new MacBook Air is the first model to feature 802.11ac.
First solid glimpse at new iOS
Apple has posted several videos on its website in the wake of today's WWDC keynote. These include the keynote itself, designer Jonathan Ive's introduction to iOS 7, and the "Designed by Apple" corporate branding ad narrated by Ben Affleck. The keynote video is roughly two hours long.
Beamforming to improve performance for specified devices
Phil Schiller has revealed updated versions of its AirPort base stations at WWDC, made to accommodate the improved Wi-Fi in the revised MacBook Air, confirming earlier rumors. The new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules can now connect wirelessly over three-stream 802.11ac, which will provide up to 40-percent faster file transfers compared to previous versions the networking performance of 802.11n connections.
AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule may get matching updates
The MacBooks on the verge of a WWDC update are MacBook Airs, a source indicates. New pricing data for leaked SKUs is said to match that for current-generation Airs. Conversely, there has yet to be any leaked pricing for new Retina MacBook Pros, despite low stock of the notebook. That could mean the Pro will only be updated sometime after the Air.
Downgrade only solution so far
Last week's AirPort/Time Capsule firmware update is breaking IPv6 tunneling for some users, according to complaints on Apple's support forums. Tunneling allows IPv6 traffic to flow through IPv4 links. Without fixed firmware, the glitch could prevent some sites and services from connecting through Apple routers.
Lawyer loses Time Capsule backup, iPhone data
Lawyer Perminder S. Tung, a resident of Surrey, British Columbia, has filed a lawsuit against Apple Canada for the demise of his nearly three-year-old Time Capsule. According to the court documents filed earlier this week, Tung accuses Apple of being in breach of contract for failure to provide promised services and goods, and is seeking over $25,000 in damages for the failure of the networking device and the loss of the "sole backup" of his iPhone, containing irreplaceable "information and memories" not stored anyplace other than the phone and the router.
Low prices on refurbished Apple items
At Apple's online store today save on refurbished iPads starting at $399 for the first generation 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G after a $130 price cut. Refurbished iPad 2 models start at $419 for the 16GB current generation iPad 2, or $499 for a 64GB iPad 2. Or save $100 for the refurb. 64GB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G, now $729.
Could be linked to hard drive shortages
Apple's Time Capsule routers are seeing delays or shortages in different parts of the world, notes 9to5Mac. The company's online stores in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and France are sometimes seeing delivery times of one to three weeks for 3TB models, or one- to two-week delays for 2TB routers. Third-party vendors Amazon and Best Buy are out of 3TB models, and some Australian Apple Stores may be completely out of stock.
Save on refurbished Apple products
At Apple's online store today save on refurbished iMacs like the 21.5-inch iMac with a 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, now $929 after a $170 price cut. For $1269 upgrade to a 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
Apple Airport Utility 6 looks like iOS version
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.
Airport and TC updated to v7.6, MBP to v1.5
Late on Thursday, Apple released firmware updates for the MacBook Pro (all models), as well as the Airport and Time Capsule wireless base stations (802.11n capable models only). The update to the MacBook Pros, which brings the firmware up to version 1.5, resolves an issue where the MBP may shut down under heavy load when the battery charge is very low, even if the unit is actually plugged into power at the time.
Backs Apple's 'PC Free' push
The completed version of iOS 5 should allow people to configure AirPort and Time Capsule routers without having to go through a desktop or notebook, a series of images from an AppleInsider reader show. Within the firmware's Wi-Fi Networks menu, located under Settings, a new "Set up an AirPort Base Station" option is present, listing any AirPort or Time Capsule peripherals in the immediate area. Tapping this prompts users to either create a new network or "Do something different."
AirPort Extreme 2011 ups power, goes green
A pair of looks at the upgraded AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule has shown more upgrades and changes than first thought, including a slightly misleading view of the hard drive. One breakdown shared between AppleInsider and iFixit has shown that the new AirPort Extreme and presumably Time Capsule output about 2.8 times more power, at 392.64mW, than the previous version. A test wasn't immediately possible, but the potential existed for as much as a 60 percent range boost, though only in ideal conditions.
Apple Time Capsule gets capacity boost
Apple's plans for new routers were confirmed Tuesday with a quiet update to the Time Capsule. Although no press release or store update has arrived so far, the company's splash page now shows the hybrid router and network storage as "available in 2TB and 3TB models." It had previously stopped at 2TB, and the 1TB model has now been phased out.
New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule get detailed
Apple's plans for new AirPort hardware were cemented Tuesday after an FCC filing showed a new AirPort Extreme station. Known just as the A1408, few details are available beyond that it would have a 3X3 antenna layout, likely to get 450Mbps peak speeds. Although the online Apple Store is still up as of early Tuesday morning, the FCC filings have the details due to go public the same day, suggesting Apple either launches now or in the very near future.
Mac Pro, Mac mini, AirPort rumors detailed
An unusual plethora of rumors Monday night provided possible details of the new Mac Pro and other near-term Apple updates. The pro tower will supposedly get a "unique CPU" along with its more rackmountable case. What that would entail wasn't said by MICGadget's purported informants, though it's more likely to involve early access to the Xeon E5 due this fall than a genuinely rare processor.
Apple stores prep visual overnight yet again
Apple is gearing up another one of its overnight visual overhauls for Tuesday in what could be a sign of another product launch. A leak has pointed to an update this coming Tuesday night for an unveiling Wednesday. The 9to5 contacts mentioned some stores getting boxes as well, but whether these are display supplies or products isn't evident.
Apple pushing hard on 'PC Free' concept?
Hooks have been discovered in the iOS 5 beta for several undisclosed features. Code references for the Camera app, for instance, point to native panorama support, something currently offered only by third-party apps. The option is not yet live, but could be toggled on in a later version of the beta.
Time Capsule may serve as iCloud home folder share
Apple's upcoming Time Capsule update could have more ambitious plans for remote storage based on an unverified rumor. Although it might not store iOS firmware, it would purportedly make Time Machine backups available online and let iCloud users sync their home folders between Macs. The approach Cult of Mac described would save Apple bandwidth at its North Carolina datacenter but still give an incentive to use the service.
Apple may have two launches June 7 and 14
Two clues Sunday morning have hinted that Apple may have two product or feature launches in the aftermath of WWDC. The company is expected by a source to have a major "visual update" on June 7 that would include both the usual changes as well as a window change, usually a clue as to a major new campaign. Speculation from 9to5 is that it may represent the start of the back to school sale, although it could also be new AirPort and Time Capsule routers.
iTunes reveals Automatic Download for apps
Apple gave a possible clue to an iOS 5 feature with a mention of automatic app syncing in iTunes. A check of the app updates page by Marcelo Alves showed that a device can be enabled for Automatic Download to get both purchased apps and updates directly, without having to link up to iTunes. No feature of the kind exists in iOS 4.3, leading MacRumors to suggest the notice (since pulled) was a clue as to what was in store at WWDC.
New AirPort routers may share iOS foundations
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.
Tech could be introduced next week
Future Time Capsules could be used to automatically cache updates for Macs and iOS devices, a report suggests. Apple is said to be testing the concept internally; in practice, a Time Capsule would learn which devices connect to it, and fetch updates in advance. If a person chose to install an update, the router would then use the local copy, 9to5 said, rather than start a new download.
Apple stocks out of AirPort, Time Capsule
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.
Apple case focuses on MacBooks, AirPort
A new lawsuit is accusing Apple, HP and several other companies of violating patents related to Wi-Fi antennas. Filed by Linex Technologies, the case specifically targets the defendants for breaking US patents 6,757,322 and RE 42,219, titled Space diversity and coding, spectrum antenna and method and Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) spread spectrum system and method, respectively. "Defendants' Accused Products infringe the asserted claims by receiving and processing multiple spatial streams using multiple receive antennas," a critical part of Linex's complaint reads. "The infringing MIMO mode is described in, for example, Table 20-30 and related portions of the IEEE 802.11n standard."
Available in single or dual mount versions
Following on from their previous NuShelf mount for the older Mac minis, Newer Technology has introduced the NuShelf Mount for the 2010 Mac Mini or Apple Time Capsule, and is aimed at owners who would like to save desktop space or better secure those items under a desk, shelf or cabinet. The new NuShelf version retains open access to ports, cooling vents, power buttons and the underside as well as the front of the Mac mini, and uses a thicker laser-cut acrylic to support heavier loads.
Updates for both Mac and Windows users
Apple has posted a firmware update for all 802.11n-capable Airport base stations and Time Capsules, as well as new versions of Airport Utility for Mac and Windows. The firmware update, labelled 7.5.2, closes several security holes as well as bolsters stability under IPv6. It also fixes issues with Airplay streaming, USB connectivity, addresses some issues with NAT port mapping and disables TKIP security for 802.11n in accordance with the Wi-Fi Alliance specifications.
Apple explains US Black Friday before sale
Apple has detailed the US discounts it plans to have on Black Friday in advance of the sale itself. The Apple Store will sell all iPads at $41 off, bringing the price of a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad down to $458. The 13-inch MacBook Air, all iMacs and all MacBook Pros will also see their prices drop $101; the discount brings the Air down to $1,198 while the iMac and MacBook Pro will cost $1,098 for the one-day promo.
LaCie Wireless Space merges router and NAS
LaCie today became one of the few to follow Apple into the combination of a router and network-attached storage by launching the Wireless Space. Like the Time Capsule, it can share both an Internet connection over 802.11n Wi-Fi and to three Ethernet-linked computers, though with more sharing features. The NAS can serve content to other devices with DLNA or UPnP as well as serve as an iTunes host for a device like an Apple TV.
Units may suddenly stop working
A recall notice has been issued for a select number of Time Capsule routers. Some models may suddenly shut down again after startup, Apple notes, or simply not power on at all. The faulty units were sold between February and June of 2008, and should have serial numbers ranging between XX807XXXXXX and XX814XXXXXX.
Downloads available for Mac and Windows
Apple on Wednesday released updates to its AirPort utilities for Mac and Windows systems, along with a firmware update for Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme Base Station devices. AirPort Utility 5.5.1 has been improved with a number of bug fixes, helping to prevent problems when importing settings or propagating MAC address control lists using an extended network.
Apple Black Friday discounts active in US
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.
Stores and shares photos, images and data files
Stardom has introduced the Safe Capsule, a RAID 1 storage system designed for use with Apple’s Time Capsule. The device enables users to add up to 2TB of network storage for keeping backups, photos, music or other data files. The drives are configured as a RAID 1 array which mirrors the disks to protect against data loss if one drive fails. Safe Capsule also provides an auto-rebuild function to automatically rebuild the data after a hard drive fails. The rebuild status can be quickly viewed using an LED indicator.
Devices integrate new antenna design
Alongside the announcements of new Macs and the Magic Mouse, Apple on Tuesday quietly introduced updated AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule devices. Like its predecessor, the new AirPort Extreme base station utilizes the same dual-band communication on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. A redesigned antenna, however, is claimed to improve data speeds by up to 50 percent, while extending the effective range by 25 percent.
Issues persist after months of complaints
Apple's Time Capsule network drives are still suffering from power failures, complaints on official support forums indicate. The failures are allegedly occurring without warning, and are thought to be attributable to faulty power supplies, though some owners have suggested problems with chips or connectors. Most at risk are older drives, as a number of the dead units are said to have been bought in early 2008. Apple last refreshed its Time Capsule line in July.
New 2TB Time Capsule
Apple has quietly introduced an upgraded Time Capsule drive, which can now store as much as 2TB. The new capacity trumps an earlier 1TB option, which has been reduced in price to $299. The 2TB model is priced at $499.
AirPort BS Firmware 7.4.2
Apple on Tuesday evening release an update to its software for its wireless router devices. The Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.4.2 (with 802.11n support) fixes five specific problems, according to the company: (1) some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks; (2) an issue with clients that enable 802.11 "Power Save;" (3) Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices; (4) an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE; and (5) some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers. Apple recommends that AirPort Utility 5.4.2 or later be installed before upgrading to Firmware version 7.4.2 (including the version 5.4.2 for Windows).
AirPort 5.4.2 fixes bugs
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.
AirPort, Time Cap. 7.4.1
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.
Time Cap. MobileMe support
In tandem with the release of the new dual-band Time Capsule, Apple has expanded the functionality of MobileMe, which can now be used to remotely access files held on a Capsule. Drives must be registered through a user's MobileMe account, but then appear in a remote Mac's Finder sidebar, allowing file transfer. The technology functions similarly to the Back to My Mac function in Mac OS X Leopard, and in fact is not compatible with Windows computers.
AirPort Utility update
Following the launch of new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule devices, Apple has released updates to the AirPort Client and AirPort Utility. The AirPort Client Update 2009-001 addresses issues with roaming and network selection in dual-band environments. The new wireless routers can simultaneously communicate across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 2MB download is recommended for all Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.5.6.
New AirPort Ext, Time Cap.
In addition to its updates to the iMac, Mac Pro and Mac mini, Apple has also released new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule peripherals. Both of the devices now support simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHz wireless connections, allowing the creation of separate networks, such as distinct 802.11n and 802.11b/g connections, or a Guest Network which restricts users to Internet connectivity.
FCC filing for AirPort
FCC filings indicate that Apple is set to release updated versions of its Time Capsule and AirPort Express 802.11n devices, according to AppleInsider. Testing documents show that the wireless routers could support simultaneous communication on the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band. The expanded capabilities would allow the base stations to work with 802.11b/g devices, such as the iPhone, while sending 802.11n signals to a computer or set-top box.
Macworld forecast roundup
Despite the rumors of an iPhone "nano" and a tablet sized iPod touch, Apple is more likely to use the Macworld expo to announce updated versions of several existing products, according to a variety of sources. Analysts' forecasts have focused on a new line of iMacs and a refreshed 17-inch MacBook Pro utilizing aluminum unibody construction. The company could also be prepared to launch a new Mac mini and Apple TV, along with the latest versions of Time Capsule and iWork.