On Monday, Apple released the first beta of iOS 11.4, and after a few days of testing, the first news started popping up one of these, this time related to (old / forgotten?) AirPort Express, whose second generation was launched in 2012.
Some users of Reddit, during testing with the framework HomeKit have published that the router appears in the pairing area with a new AirPlay 2 device. However, no users were able to successfully connect to the device. Earlier models of AirPort did not show the same activity, to the sadness of various users.
The question then arises whether Apple is possibly working on a software or hardware upgrade for AirPort Express to allow the connection between Apple's new service and the primacy of the router to take place.
If the rumors are confirmed, the thought that AirPort would end could be delayed a little further, as the product's hardware division has been reduced to professionals who keep it running as safely and as long as possible; remembering that the last software update for the line took place in December 2017, before testing with AirPlay 2 began.
Although all this is suspicious, the site iClarified recalled an email sent to Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, in August 2017 asking if the product would be designed for AirPlay 2. VP's response corroborates recent events:
Subject matter: Bringing AirPlay 2 to AirPort Express?
Craig: Thanks for the note. We will keep this request in mind 🙂
Rumor or not, work on iOS 11.4 has just started and there is still a lot of sand ahead. So there is no guarantee that even as the mid-year release of the final software release comes, the Wi-Fi router will even be included in HomeKit.
We just have to follow the iOS 11.4 beta development cycle and wait for more news.
Very outdated, still based on the IEEE 802.11n protocol, AirPort Express continues to be officially marketed by Apple. It costs $ 100 in the United States and $ 830 here in Brazil (or $ 746.10, view).
Update by Bruno Santana 4/17/2018 s 15:40
, friends, what good lasts short. In the second beta of iOS 11.4, released yesterday, the cones of AirPort Express gone of the pairing screen with AirPlay 2 devices. As a result, speculation about a possible resurrection of the product has cooled although the inexplicable appearance in the previous test release may continue to be a sign that Apple is, in fact, working on a new version of the product. router, but far under the cloth, and what happened was a quickly corrected slip.
To be? We'll have to wait and see.