This was a movement that had been rehearsing for some time, as we can see here and here. Of course, part of our convictions led us to believe that everything was just a false alarm, but not now official: Apple is updating the firmware of the AirPort Express to add device support to the broadcast protocol AirPlay 2.
With the novelty, it is now possible to direct the audio from your device by running the iOS 11.4.1 (or higher) to an AirPort Express along with all other devices that support AirPlay 2 that you may have in your home, the small router appears there in the list of available devices. This is great, for example, for you to connect AirPort to an old speaker, with no connections wireless, and give her wireless skills.
The surprising novelty is that, it is worth remembering, AirPort Express was definitely discontinued a few months ago with the entire AirPort line and is no longer sold. As I mentioned earlier, it is strange (but great) for Apple to effectively build a new feature for a device already filed in its catalog; on the other hand, owners of small routers that have already exchanged them for more modern solutions will be able to reuse them as a wireless audio transmitter, which is always good.
It is worth noting that the upgrade to the second generation 802.11n base, launched in June 2012 (image above). The older one (first generation, launched in 2008 as a Mac charger format, remains incompatible with AirPlay 2.
More details on the latest AirPort Express firmware update can be obtained here. To update your device, simply access the AirPort Utility app, available for iPhones / iPads, Macs and PCs.