Apple makes yet another short-sighted decision: Apple has discontinued a product that it should have made a cornerstone of its home automation and entertainment ecosystem

“After months of rumors, Apple has finally killed off its line of AirPort Wi-Fi routers,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet. “Big mistake.”

“While I think that the days of needing a standalone router are maybe gone, AirPort was more than just a router. One of the models that Apple sold was the Time Capsule, a version that housed a hard drive and made backing up Mac’s easy,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “And AirPort could have fitted in well with other projects that Apple is working on. For example, Combining the AirPort Time Capsule with the Apple TV could have resulted in a very interesting device indeed.”

“Throw in the functionality of the HomePod and the device becomes the ultimate home hub, blowing away the Amazon Echo and the Google Home,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “Apple’s abandoning of the AirPort line is yet another sign that the company is more interested in chasing the mass market – riding the iPhone wave, if you want to think of it that way – than it is about building a broad and functioning ecosystem.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Wi-Fi router capabilities to be built into Apple’s Echo echo? — MacDailyNews, November 21, 2016

Would that it were so. Alas and alack.

A fish rots from the head down.

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49 Comments

  1. Apples biew is all about the cloud for content. Why would they continue with the time capsule? Backups are old news. Syncing is the future. Apple should be spending tons on fixing their cloud solution, not on local storage or networking.

    1. Major, massive flaw in your argument: syncing is NOT A BACKUP!

      Dropbox is NOT a backup. iCloud (Drive) is NOT a backup. Google Drive is NOT a backup.

      They are all mirrors, which have a legit place in a shared/distributed storage solution connecting multiple devices, but by their very nature they are NOT BACKUPS.

      iCloud does allow backup of iOS and Mac, but it’s a monolithic one, the kind I harshly mocked Microsoft Windows for a decade ago. There’s no deltas like Time Machine, and you can’t restore specific files or app settings.

      1. Spot on, mossman!

        The user agreements make it clear that you don’t own anything in a cloud, and the cloud purveyors aren’t responsible for losing anything you thought was saved there. I don’t know why people would blindly trust Apple to care about maintaining proper Time Machine like backups. There are pro level cloud companies that do it, and the cost is astronomical. Local backups are the only way to go for consumers and small businesses. That will not change in the near future.

  2. I am SOOO tired of watching Apple make mistake after mistake after mistake. Meanwhile Eddy Cue and Tim Cook still have jobs.

    FFS, how dumb can Apple’s board be?

    1. Pretty dumb. They have “Internet inventor” Al Fuqqwit Gore on the board for a start.

      But hey, I am John Wrongler, Maths Debater and Flesh light user, so I know about dumb.

    1. Nice to see you had the guts to put your tagline back, Prateler.

      All Microsoft learned is how to badly copy everything Apple does.

      Far Kin heck, fly me to the Zune and back and you’ll but scratch the Surface and merely look through the Windows without walls at the Vista of Microsoft’s idiocratic kakistocracy of a failure of a fascist company.

      But, what would I know? I am John Wrongler after all, the man “Wrong Again’s” name is directed at.

      I love my Fleshlight 🙂 so warm and slippery 🙂

    1. Snotty retorts:

      – Having worked in fish pathology, I can verify that these are not useful ‘truisms’. Sorry.

      – Having worked in business, I can point out that businesses can rot from anywhere. Clean businesses from the boardroom down. Cleaning from the business tail up tends to result in new sorts of rot. Avoid cleaning a business from the stock exchange down as speculators ≠ organizational behavior experts.
      😉

      1. My grandfather used to say “Hindsight is the practice of gazing up your rear end.” He had a lot of sayings, all shocking to a young girl who tended to believe everything the tall people said. He had the most foresight of anyone I knew. “Learn the craft of acting, lass, and learn it well,” he intoned. “You will need it at the next checkpoint.” He also said, squirrel away your money and plead poverty; all the successful men do just that.

        1. hahaha! I remember believing everything the tall people said. Then at 13 I blew that concept up to the maximum extent possible by a teenager. Thereafter, I was looking well past what my culture, parents and peers were tossing at my mind. It wasn’t a pleasant time, but it wonderfully kick-started my personal growth process.

          I’d love to have met your grandfather!!! I’m so glad you had him as a wise, insightful mentor. What a wonderful platform for your own personal growth. 😀

  3. “I am SOOO tired of watching Apple make mistake after mistake after mistake. Meanwhile Eddy Cue and Tim Cook still have jobs.

    FFS, how dumb can Apple’s board be”

    Could not have said it better. Apple releases half done products when they have anything new to release. Doesn’t keep up there current products except for the phone and maybe the watch. I’ve redone my Wi-Fi network to the Google Mesh, which looks like an Apple product or at least the product Apple should have come out with. Except for the iphone and watch, I haven’t bought an Apple product for 5 years. Apple management is skimming the business now. Has more money, people, facilities than they have ever had and what do we get? Sorry about the Mac, the operating system, home automation, iTunes, Aperture, to just name a few, and now this. Where has the imagination and leadership gone too? Where has the credibility gone too?

  4. All of this is reminiscent of aging companies whereby they become complacent, lazy and automatic in their thinking. Keeping a business entrepreneurial, which is the core goal of any continually successful company, is constant hard work.

    We’ve (we elders) have seen Apple geezerify itself before. The Copland and Gershwin OS strategy, which ended in total failure, were the initial signs of blurred insight. The 1996 explosive manufacturing of Performa computers that nobody wanted was the last straw that broke Apple’s rheumatic back. The company had to write off $1 BILLION in warehoused Performas. A new CEO made no difference. What was required was a work culture change, a removal of the old guard and the arrival of an entrepreneurial new gaurd. In this case, it was Apple’s purchase of NeXT and the re-arrival of Steve Jobs. They brought back the creative spirit and kicked out the door the complacent spirit.

    Much as I’ve admired the great work Tim Cook has done after the demise of Steve Jobs, he’s increasingly distracted from keeping his eye on the ball. The garbage that was the initial Apple Maps was IMHO the first sign of rot. I hope we don’t have to see another $1 BILLION catastrophe, or worse, in order for Apple to BREATHE, as I call it. Out with the bad air, in with the NEW AIR!

    1. BTW: The new cornerstone of any home automation and entertainment system is going to be the HomeBot. They’ve had a slow and difficult gestation, but they’re here. Now they need to grow up and become indispensible killer devices of both form and function. I personally hope and pray that they do NOT have faces. Machines will never be people.

      Robots: The compliant slaves we humans apparently crave. Just don’t pretend they’re humanic. Not possible.

        1. It’s not. But it’s logical within the word creation system of the mess we call English. I’ve been into creating new words since 2010 for nefarious purposes I shall, for the moment, keep to myself. 😉

        1. From my meagre study of the subject so far, I know that Pepper is already successful in Japan classrooms. Meanwhile, just this past week a new edition of Asimo was released, implying that it has been successful as well. The new Asimo is much more curvy and puppy-like. To use my word bastardization technique of the week, Asimo is now more puppyic. 😉

          Clearly, the Softbank android and the Honda canidroid (again, my invented word) are the landmark products of the moment to which the onslaught of other home robots will be compared.

          The developing terminology for these gadgets is interesting. The term ‘candroid’ is currently being used as a descriptor of all robots that don’t look humanic, aka human-like. I believe ‘candroid’ was originally a clever descriptor of typical can-looking robots. But I’ve been seeing the word used to describe creature looking robots, such as robotic falcons. I suspect there will be further robot descriptor word construction in the near future.

      1. Derek, faces are superfluous; their voices are sufficient to suggest their humanness. Disembodied words, cannily crafted, can fool the most determined skeptic. Hello, I am Eliza. Why do we humans apparently crave compliant slaves?

        1. I was thinking along those lines this past weekend. Personal assistant tech began with speaking voices. The amusing original concepts in sci-fi were monotonic voices, the definition of robot voices. The Mac computer brought with it a system for vocalization of text (text-to-speech) that included the factors of:
          • Voice pitch
          • Speech rate
          • Modulation
          • Volume

          All of those factors remain in Apple’s current voices, although they’ve recently done their best to set default voice pitch and modulation, hiding those alteration options from users.

          I remember Tom Bender, the creator of Tex-Edit, coming up with amusing lyric-to-song scripts for pre-PlainTalk voices. I don’t know if that’s possible with contemporary Apple voices. Tom was the fellow who created Eliza and its evil twin Azile for Mac OS. He and I have had some fun email chats over the years.

          Q: Why do we humans crave control in general?

          A: Security.

          Once that base need is fulfilled, we humans tend to veer off into fulfilling the usual vices, if only to fill the emptiness of boredom. But there are many of we humans who recognize the pointlessness, in fact self-destructiveness of vice and motivate ourselves into positive directions.

          Among the vices, accumulation of wealth beyond reason is very common. It will take brave professional psychologists to figure that one out. There are apparently an assortment of barriers against the progress of psychology. The studies of human sexual behavior as well as psychopathy, as examples, are currently in swirling eddies of stagnation, unable to improve our insight into these common human phenomenon.

          In my usual scatterbrain pattern of creativity, I’ve turned to a series of stories that came directly out of my dreaming addressing the concept of the Ultimate Power to which mankind aspires. When my dream series came to its conclusion, I was surprised at the answer, or at least the answer according to my subconscious mind. I also discovered yesterday that the dream series is a direct extension of a day dream series I’d started years ago. I enjoy surprising myself. It’s a strange sort of discipline that gets me writing. I’m trying to make it a habit.

          1. My first experience with a voice system was S.A.M. (Software Automatic Mouth) for the C64 published in the year 1982 by Don’t Ask Software (now SoftVoice, Inc.). It was used as the basis for Macintalk.

          2. I suppose you know that artists and poets have ever embraced altered states of consciousness in sparking their creativity;— and dreams were always more accessible than substances or arcane practices. The German chemist Kekulé discovered the structure of benzene whilst in a revery sitting in a bus (I always think of him when I hear the middle part of A Day in the Life). Salvador Dalí went to extremes, painting his dreams before he could forget them by ascetically disciplining his patterns of sleep and awakening.

            There is this thing called lucid dreaming, something of a crossover between states of consciousness. Carlos Castaneda described this in his books about Toltec shamanism. I’ve started having such dreams. It’s a bit disconcerting and I’m not sure how to interpret them.

            These ultra-realistic dreams started about a year after I got my first iPhone, a 3GS. Until then my anxiety dreams had been the conventional ones described by Freud, “student dreams” where I raced to a classroom for a final exam I’d forgot, or panicked trying to remember my locker combination. After the iPhone, the dreams were about getting lost in a big city or airport terminal, losing track of my companions. Siri seemed to lurk silently in the shadows.

            In the dreams, I’ve learnt to recognise that I am in fact dreaming — aware that the design of the phone I hold in my hand is unlike any I’ve seen, or the UI is incomprehensible, or the device mechanically falls apart when I try to operate it. I soon realise that this is a non-existent device, invented by an unconscious wish for technological salvation, for a reprieve from my human and social duties. Then I wake up. I don’t know what it means.

  5. I think it’s the math that has them all F’d up….They bring trucks loads of cash from their phone sales and everything else pales in comparison….In other words…Fat Dumb and happy except us loyal customers !!! They could be so much richer if they would just make what we are willing to peel open our wallets for!!! It’s just the numbers just don’t add up like the phones….

    1. Do you think Apple is clear about what their plans are??

      They abandon pro/ power users for years… then they reverse course..
      They abandon displays .. then they reverse course.
      They abandon schools.. then the revers course.
      They get headstart with Siri.. then they neglect it and fall massivly behind .
      Etc. etc
      Now Aitport/router…

      As they grow bigger.. their ecosys grows smaller and less comprehensive .

      Does that look like we are the idiots?

      1. Agree. I think that Apple has a very clear vision of their roadmap in Mobile, but that’s about it. With everything else they seem to just be winging it and things should certainly be executed better in their other product lines.

        However, I’m glad that at least they haven’t fallen into the trap of all the pundits who say “Apple should buy XYZ company in ABC sector” because they have the cash. Things could be so much worse. Just look at the fiasco that Amazon is dealing with with Nest. It probably would have been worse if Apple bought them.

  6. Over at AppleInsider, one reader made an interesting point: the Apple TV could have been made into a home wireless router.

    This makes great sense as most homes have the main internet line coming in on the TV Cable line or a twinned line and it is located in the Living Room or Family Room right next to the TV. If you made an Apple TV that included a wireless router it could keep the wireless stream off of the capacity of the wireless LAN, eliminate clutter (one fewer plug and two fewer cables), justify a higher retail price and profit margin and you could also still offer a version with internal storage for a local cloud or a USB connection for attached networked storage. The Apple TV is already being used as the server for HomeKit to the internet for remote access.

    Apple seems to have a lack of imagination or the balls to act upon good ideas. Tim Cook & Company seem happy to iterate what already exists or copy what others have already done. No thinking different from the company that one used that as it’s mantra.

    Tim in case you forgot:
    Narrated by Steve Jobs himself.

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