Apple AirPort firmware update squashes bug, but product’s destiny still in doubt

“Apple updated its AirPort router software with a patch to fix a ‘Back to my Mac’ problem in conjunction with the AirPort Utility, but the update portends nothing for the future of the hardware,” Mike Wuerthele writes for AppleInsider.

“On Tuesday, Apple released versions 7.6.8 for the 802.11n AirPort Extreme, and 7.7.8 for the 802.11ac AirPort Extreme,” Wuerthele writes. “According to Apple’s release notes, the update fixes an issue where the routers would not respond to the AirPort Utility when ‘Back to My Mac’ is enabled. Other fixes noted are un-named security fixes.”

“The update is being held up by some as an example of Apple not abandoning the AirPort hardware platform. However, that may not be the case. AppleInsider spoke with our contacts inside Apple regarding the matter shortly after the update went live,” Wuerthele writes. “‘The hard drive iPod people were gone for a long time, when we issued the last update for the iPod classic firmware,’ we were told by our contacts within Apple. ‘Just because the hardware guys have moved on to other things, doesn’t mean we won’t support the software.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Goodbye, Airport. Hello, Eero!

As with displays, there’s one less thing binding users to / reminding users of Apple. If Apple management thinks that’s a good thing, they’ve got a collective pentalobe screw loose.

The Airport software updates are here: https://support.apple.com/downloads/Airport

SEE ALSO:
The eero home Wi-Fi system is the mesh network solution Apple should’ve made – December 14, 2016
Mossberg: Eero makes Wi-Fi simpler and stronger – February 23, 2016

15 Comments

  1. I’m hoping for a device that is both my WIFI and my voice activated speaker. If possibel make it my router as well. One beautiful unit instead of three different crappy looking devices.

    1. I know it’s just me, but I don’t see the attraction of an immobile personal assistant. Doesn’t everyone here already carry a mobile device or 3 around with them 24/7?

      To my experience, simple dictation has some a long way but actual control is just nowhere close to acceptable. Dragon Dictation will write a very good letter, but Siri can’t pronounce my sister’s name or get basic logic correct. So voice controls looks like a pain in the butt. I know Google, Amazon, MS, Apple, all the major players are dumping billions of dollars into natural language computing, but who actually finds them anything more than a short term novelty? None of them are a pleasure to use. In public, you actually want to turn off Siri etc. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      If I want to reliably control my stereo, I would much rather a proper remote control & graphical interface that I can touch or click. My setup: Synology NAS with Music interface, ethernet to Yamaha network stereo (which is also Airplay compatible). Yamaha patched into multi-zone house speaker system. With a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you can play whatever you want whenever you want in just a moment.

      Best of all, with a network enabled stereo system that isn’t plugged into Big Brother, you don’t have to worry about being politically correct.

      1. I should note that I use both Airport Extreme and Netgear routers for wireless connectivity, but the Yamaha stereo, the Synology NAS, and the Mac Pro are all ethernet connected for optimum performance. I don’t see wireless ever living up to the dream in my lifetime. If you’re serving up music or movies or a lot of data, then invest in wires.

        1. Mike, it’s not just you. I also don’t see the utility in an immovable voice controlled unit. I tried the echo and honestly couldn’t see the purpose of it, nor did it work very well for me. Also am in agreement about investing in Ethernet, but wireless has come such a long way just in the last 5 years I think in our lifetimes it can easily supplant basic Ethernet setups. The device I think might be of utility however is something I mentioned on another thread: an all in one wifi+true wireless charging+Siri Box in the current AirPort Extreme form factor (or a little smaller) could be a very big leap forward. I still have yet to find a more reliable wireless product than the AirPort Extreme, the thing never needs rebooted unless there’s a firmware update, and it’s performance is best in class.

          For example, Just tried the Netgear Orbi because everyone is saying that it is the fastest out there right now. And it is indeed fast, it has faster performance than my AirPort network (not much faster, but faster) but, it suffers from the same flaw that every Netgear wireless device I’ve ever used suffers from… the need to restart the thing on a weekly/bi-monthly basis. The AirPort never needs to do that. Before today’s update I don’t think they have been rebooted since January when i put in the fourth Extreme to extend the network to cover my den which previously only had a wired connection since it is a dead zone. I don’t understand why Apple would stop making these unless they have something better to replace them with, they’re such a good product.

  2. They are just building wireless charging into a new generation of routers. So They have the complete eco-system when they release a phone, laptop and tablet with the tech from Energous.

  3. For many years MDNs favourite take to many articles has been:

    “It’s the eco-system, stupid!”

    The eco-system was, what made the Apple experience special.

    Now, with no more Apple displays and soon no more AirPort routers and whatever else the Apple brass decides to discontinue the eco-system slowly disappears – and the Apple experience is deteriorating.

    I certainly don’t want an ugly LG display on my desk. At least I can hide the WiFi router.

  4. MDN says “Goodbye, Airport. Hello, Eero!”
    1. Airport should not go!
    2. There is no official Airport Kill PR!
    it is likely, but still rumours.
    3. Why Eero? That’s maybe #2 post-Airport. #1 should be “AmpliFi LR” by ex apple engineers
    https://www.amazon.com/AmpliFi-Long-Range-Home-Wi-Fi-System/dp/B01L9O08UM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1481825665&sr=8-1&keywords=AmpliFi+HD&linkCode=sl1&tag=macdailynews-20&linkId=f50e49c7aefd27d7bafba46628d11126

  5. I love my Airport AC. These things just run forever and rarely die. No wonder they don’t sell as much as those cheap overloaded featured junk. If only people realized this, Airport is better and more reliable than most competitors.

    1. True. Like I said up above, I have yet to find a more reliable wireless product. My original 802.11n 2007 models ran until they were replaced with the AC models. Having tried almost every new access point over the years they’re hasn’t even been a close second when it comes to reliability. Every time I install a different brand, I use it the same way as the AirPorts, but inevitably (even without resetting them) I plug the AirPorts back in after a few weeks of using the other ones and they work, continuously, until a lightning storm takes them out or they get replaced with their newer counterpart. Just an excellent product that I truly hope is not going anywhere.

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