Apple drops ‘AirPort’ for ‘Wi-Fi’

“Not all the updates in Lion are huge, world-altering features, but for those switching from Windows to Mac, this one might make life a little easier,” Jordan Golson reports for MacRumors.

“Apple appears to be dropping ‘Airport’ from its preferred vocabulary, instead adopting the more widespread ‘Wi-Fi,'” Golson reports. “Wi-Fi has been the preferred term for wireless internet connectivity for most of the tech world , and, notably, iOS applications, for a long time, but AirPort has been Apple’s name for the various 802.11 standards since 1999 when Steve Jobs introduced the first iBook with Wi-Fi capabilities.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. My mother just can’t understand why it’s called airport. No matter how much I tried to explain to her…
      Prob a good thing they changed it.
      For all I care they could have left it airport though.
      Didn’t confuse me.

      1. And I think this is what it is all about. I am as much as “Mac differentiation” nut as the next fanboy, but some things make no sense any more given Apple’s resurrection. These little things actually hinder the adoption curve, getting in the way of the larger brand value. All due apologies to ChrissyOne, my Apple value doesn’t come from chrome tail fins; comes from performance and platform value.

  1. I can sorta understand from the perspective of a switcher.

    However, I don’t like the PCization of my mac.

    I want my “apple” key back. I like “Airport” just fine.
    What’s next:
    MacBook “Wi-fi”??
    Stickers on my computer?

    1. The “Apple” () key is not from original Macs! It was introduced in first wave of “PCization” (with the original iMac?) so that the command (⌘) key would become less intimidating to idiots like Thurrott (didn’t work apparentlty).

      1. The Apple key was not introduced on iMacs. It has been standard on Apple keyboards since the first Apple computer. My Apple ][e had the ‘Open-Apple’ key and the normal Apple key.

        1. Actually, there was no “Open-Apple” or “Solid-Apple” on the keyboard layout for the Apple ][+.
          Those keys started on the ][e and the original Lisa.

  2. I always hated the name WiFI because it doesn’t really mean anything, it just sounds catchy, like Hi-Fi. But really, “wireless fidelity”? Let’s break that down…

    WIRELESS it certainly is. But that name has a built in expiration date. We don’t call cars horseless carriages any more, the horse lost all relevance to personal transportation quite a while back. There’s no reason to bring it up any more. Some people call a wall sconce with a candle in it a “wireless”, which I find equally weird, but hardly anyone says that. One day, probably soon, the idea of a computer having any wires at all will be quaint and anachronistic. So Wireless will lose it’s relevance.
    FIDELITY is where it really falls down. The term was obviously borrowed from the equally passe “HiFi”, which, aside from being the name of my favorite bar, doesn’t get used a lot in home audio parlance any more apart from Don Cheadle in Boogie Nights. High Fidelity is a relative term, meaning that the sound output quality with be highly faithful, or almost the same, as the source material. But digital information doesn’t work with ‘almost perfect’. Bits are bits, and the same bits that go in and the ones that come out.
    So while WiFi is a nice catchy sounding term, it doesn’t really describe what it is.

    Airport, on the other hand, describes PRECISELY what it is. It’s a communication port that works over the air. Simple. Just not quite as catchy. I suppose since no one was using HiFi any more, and we have a lot of airports, that it causes less net confusion in the end. But it’s a name that won’t be around for long.


    1. Since when did radio waves travel over the “air”? Last I heard, they also work in the absence of air, like in space. If you want to be picky about names here, at least be consistent!

      Must be your liberal/communist thinking that allows you to make stuff up!

      1. “Air” just refers to the absence of a wired connection. We don’t live in space or a vacuum, we live on a planet with an atmosphere… it’s all relative.

        1. Umm, actually we do live in space. On a planet travelling through space along with trillions of other planets. I’ll leave the living in a vacuum up to someone else.

        1. Actually, I beat you to it –

          Electrical and environmental requirements
          100-240V AC, 50-60Hz; input current: 0.2 amp
          Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
          Storage temperature: -13° to 140° F ( -25° to 60° C)
          Relative humidity (operating): 20% to 90%, noncondensing
          Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet
          Maximum storage altitude: 15,000 feet

          NO SPACE FOR YOU!!!!

          1. sorry to burst your bubble… but the International Space Station has WiFi…
            and has been hit with a Virus before.

            the specs you list are for the Airport Extreme, not the actual wavelength that Wireless communications use…

            “All laptops aboard the ISS are connected to the station’s LAN via wifi and are connected to the ground at 3Mbps up and 10Mbps down, comparable to home DSL connection speeds.”


    2. WOW. I have read every post, and I agree with every last one, but mostly Chrissy’s, on account of it being the most definitive examination of a term that I never even thought of examining. I too will be looking forward to more of these STBCs. Meanwhile, I propose that wifi and Airport both be abandoned in favor of the Pidgen English phrase that was said (turned out to be BS) to be the word for piano; big fella bockus teeth alla same shark you hit him he sing out. Or something like that. I bet Chrissy could come up with a suitable term, especially before coffee. On second thought, bad

    3. I’m with you on AirPort and the meaninglessness of Wi-Fi, but I’ve always sort of favored “802.11”. But then I always kind of liked “1394” too.

  3. Dear Windows people: you’re welcome to our platform… a few things you should know:

    – WE call “our” wireless network; ‘Airport’
    – WE are going to have a new thing called ‘AirDrop’ – it works with ‘Airport’
    – WE don’t do Control-Alt-Delete

  4. On another note…. unlocked iphone 4’s are now available at the online apple store. MDN published thr “rumor” but never confirmed it. What gives? I guess my local news got the drop on MDN.

    1. MDN also missed the report that game console and boxed game sales are down 14%. Looks like iPad is killing off other game platform sales in addition to netbooks. I would have tipped MDN to this but they ignore all tips except those from Fred Mertz.

  5. I always thought calling the routers Airport and the wireless card on the client Airport too was always to confusing. I think telling someone to use the wifi on the laptop to connect to the airport makes much more sense and simplifies (in a typical apple way) the process much better, and lets someone create a better mental picture of the process.

    1. I agree. Though, WiFi may not be the best way to call it, but it’s the industry standard and recognised. Going against the established trend can only frustrate the user; besides, the word computer itself maybe an aberration for the modern machines under that alias.

  6. As a Mac enthusiast I like Airport.” But I must admit that every time I mention it to anyone outside the Mac family I wind up explaining that it means the same thing as Wi-Fi. So I guess just using Wi-Fi to begin with makes sense.

  7. I just hope that this, in conjunction with supply constraints, doesn’t mean the end for Airport/TC.. Airport has consistently given me more coverage inside my homes.

  8. Now what happens when we go to WiMax for the main connection to the net? Or is this in preparation for that? WiMax is the external network and Wifi is the internal one?

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