Wednesday, August 29, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

AirPort Express Update Adds AirPlay 2

Zac Hall (tweet):

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.

What a nice surprise. Now how about making the Apple TV 3 remote work from Control Center?

Benjamin Mayo:

This is honestly the most discombobulated thing Apple has done in a long time; release a major new feature for a discontinued product.

Marco Arment:

Alright, who had “significant AirPort Express software update” on their bingo card?

Jason Snell (tweet):

My ancient AirPort Express, pulled out of a drawer, is now playing music on an external speaker synced with my HomePod stereo pair and my Mac’s external speaker, which is an iPod Hi-Fi. (Oh goodness, if I attached the iPod Hi-Fi to the AirPort Express, it would be an AirPlay 2 speaker. Would the universe implode?)

Matt:

Thanks Craig 😀

Zac Hall:

The AirPort Express that got AirPlay 2 today came out the same day as the “NEW” Mac Pro from the original @atpfm artwork

Previously: Apple Officially Discontinues AirPort Router Line, iOS 11.4 and Messages in iCloud.

Update (2018-08-29): Nick Heer:

According to John Voorhees over at MacStories, this only works for the second-generation AirPort Express that looks like a white Apple TV, and it needs to be added manually to the Home app — that is, you can’t just scan it to add it.

Update (2018-08-30): Benjamin Mayo:

I am not saying that this is bad for owners of the second-generation AirPort Express. It’s great that there is now a way to bring dumb speakers into the AirPlay 2 ecosystem, connecting via the Express’s aux input. Specifically, 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.

[…]

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.

See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Update (2018-09-05): Juli Clover:

Just ahead of when Apple plans to release new 2018 iPhones, the company has quietly updated its AirPort Utility app to introduce support for the longer display of the iPhone X.

AirPort Utility is one of the last remaining Apple apps that have gone for months without an iPhone X update.

2 Comments

Screw $50, I hope Apple introduces a $20 AirPlay 2 audio repeater. Why shouldn't it be as cheap/cheaper to add AirPlay 2 to a setup as it is to get a Chromecast dongle. Until then, I'll be one of the people scrounging a last-gen AirPort Express off of eBay.

Yeah, wait a minute. $49 for a device that is just a receiver for audio? That's absurd. Nigel has it right, $20 seems about right. When a full blown video Chromecast is $35, Fire Stick is $40 and retail price of the Roku stick is $49 (never minding deals), $50 for audio only won't cut it. Ps Apple will likely never release such a product. Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapters were $19 back in the day, I have to imagine Apple would price a AirPlay 2 audio device quite a bit more.

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