Apple reportedly testing cached software updates via Time Capsule for Mac and iOS devices

“We’ve been tracking Time Capsule/Airport shortages reported earlier for about a week. Our sources noted that Airport Express has been plentiful but supplies of Time Capsule and Airport Extreme have been tightening globally the way products usually do before a refresh,” Seth Weintraub reports for 9 to 5 Mac.

“What we do know is that Apple has been internally testing Time Capsules to cache Software Updates for both Mac and iOS devices,” Weintraub reports. “The way we’ve heard it works is that the new Time Capsule learns which devices connect to it via Wifi. It then goes out to Apple’s servers and downloads Software Updates for those products.”

Weintraub reports, “When the user wants to install the software update, the Time Capsule, which is also the router, routes you to the locally stored update, rather than downloading the whole thing over the Internet.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. It would be cool if this would work without Time Capsule. I have a Mac Mini connected to a Drobo that acts as a file server as well as my storing all my Time Machine backups. It would be great if I could use that to update all my Macs and my iOS devices.

  2. I wonder if I should return the 2TB Time Capsule I just purchased from Apple. I haven’t opened it yet as it will be a replacement for an existing Airport Extreme, so I could get by without it until a new model comes out.

    1. Honestly, I don’t see why a firmware update couldn’t add this functionality to existing devices. I can’t imagine what kind of a hardware upgrade would be holding this feature back.

  3. This sounds great for anyone that doesn’t have to worry about download quotas. Many of us have to regulate our net usage towards the end of the month. I assume there will be a way to turn this feature off…

    1. This would help, not hurt your usage. This way the TC gets the update and can distribute it to all comp’s in your house. 1 download, many installs.

      Or, download 1 iOS update and apply to all iOS devices in the home.

      1. You’re forgetting that, like the install disks that come with your Macs, updates are not interchangeable. You’ll notice every time Apple releases a major update that they vary wildly in size depending on the target machine.

        1. This is probably true for some kinds of updates, but not for giant ones like OS X combo updates. I always keep these on a flash drive and routinely install them on all kinds of machines without a problem.

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