Apple’s AirPort line may be discontinued, but AirPort Express got one heck of an update today. Firmware update 7.8 for the latest AirPort Express hardware (2012 2nd-gen model, no longer sold) adds support for AirPlay 2 and Apple’s Home app. The teaser for support has been present since iOS 11.4 beta, but support hasn’t been live before today’s version 7.8 firmware update. —

“I tweeted that this is the most discombobulated thing Apple has done in years, I got a lot of flack, I reassessed, and I still think it’s insane. Apple released a major feature for a product they don’t sell anymore. It’s going to take me at least a week to get over this,” Benjamin Mayo blogs eponymously. “This is way more ridiculous to me than Apple charging $200 for a cruddy leather sleeve, or missing deadline for announced features.”

“The absurd part of this is that they rolled this out to a product that they discontinued months ago, the Express has been delisted from the Apple Store, and there isn’t a replacement product for people to buy that can achieve the same result,” Mayo writes. “What does Apple expect people to do? Scrounge on eBay for some second-hand AirPort Express units and hope they win the treasure hunt bidding war?”

“What I hope Apple introduces is a rebranded/redesigned AirPort Express for $49, that ditches all of the wireless networking stuff and just acts as an AirPlay 2 audio repeater,” Mayo writes. “Maybe it will be manufactured by Apple’s new best friend, Logitech. Perhaps Beats will make one. If such a product existed (and maybe it will in a couple weeks), I would be less riled up.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps there are more pieces to this puzzle yet to be revealed. Of course, if so, Apple could have easily held this firmware update until which time it made more sense.

Apple releases AirPort Express firmware update with AirPlay 2 and Home app support – August 28, 2018