On Monday, Apple released the first beta version of iOS 11.4 and, after a few days of testing, the first news has already started to pop up – one of them, this time, related to (old / forgotten?) AirPort Express, whose second generation was launched in 2012.
Some users of Reddit, during tests with the framework HomeKit, published that the router appears in the pairing area with a new AirPlay 2 device. However, no user was able to successfully connect to the device. Previous AirPort models did not show the same activity, much to the dismay of many users.
Soon, the question remains whether Apple is possibly working on an update – be it software or hardware – for AirPort Express, in order to allow the connection between Apple’s new service and the prima router to happen.
If the rumors are confirmed, the thought that the AirPort would end could be postponed a little longer, since the product’s hardware division has been reduced to professionals who keep it running “as safe and for as long as possible”; remembering that the last software update for the line happened in December 2017, before the tests with AirPlay 2 started.
Although all of this is suspect, 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. The VP’s response corroborates recent events:
Subject matter: “Bringing AirPlay 2 to AirPort Express?”
Craig: “Thanks for the note. We will keep that request in mind … 🙂 ”
Rumor or not, work with iOS 11.4 has just started and there is still a lot of sand ahead. Therefore, there is no guarantee that, even at the launch of the final version of the software – scheduled for the middle of the year -, the Wi-Fi router will be included in HomeKit.
It remains for us to follow the iOS 11.4 betas development cycle and wait for more news.
Quite outdated, still based on the IEEE 802.11n protocol, AirPort Express continues to be officially marketed by Apple. It costs US $ 100 in the United States and R $ 830 here in Brazil (or R $ 746.10, in cash).
Update, for Bruno Santana Apr 17, 2018 at 15:40
Yeah, friends, what’s good is short-lived. In the second beta of iOS 11.4, released yesterday, AirPort Express icons gone of the pairing screen with AirPlay 2 devices. As a result, speculation about a possible resurrection of the product has cooled down – although the unexplained appearance in the previous test version may remain a sign that Apple is, in fact, working on a new version. of the router, but much under the hood, and what happened was a slip quickly corrected.
It will be? We will have to wait and see.