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Question: Next Generation of Airport Extreme

Is it real that Apple is going to stop the development on Airport series? Especially AirPort Extreme.

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Mar 4, 2018 7:49 AM in response to Stephen Feng In response to Stephen Feng

Is it real that Apple is going to stop the development on Airport series?

Apple has made not made an official announcement regarding their future plans for the AirPort routers.


All we know at this time is that the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule are still offered by Apple, but the two most recent products.....the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule were introduced almost 5 years ago, and there have been no changes to the hardware on these products since they were introduced.


You might not be aware that Apple recently began to sell the Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi system in their stores and online. This may or may not be a hint regarding Apple's future plans.


Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (3-pack) - Apple

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Mar 4, 2018 7:49 AM in response to Stephen Feng In response to Stephen Feng

Is it real that Apple is going to stop the development on Airport series?

Apple has made not made an official announcement regarding their future plans for the AirPort routers.


All we know at this time is that the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule are still offered by Apple, but the two most recent products.....the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule were introduced almost 5 years ago, and there have been no changes to the hardware on these products since they were introduced.


You might not be aware that Apple recently began to sell the Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi system in their stores and online. This may or may not be a hint regarding Apple's future plans.


Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (3-pack) - Apple

Mar 4, 2018 7:49 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:27 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Do you have any suggestions for replacing AEX units with a similar device? Eventually they will become unsupported and I notice that the Linksys Velop does not address Airplay in any way or form. There must be millions of people like me with AEX supporting legacy hifi, or in my case, high quality active loudspeakers.

Mar 4, 2018 10:27 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 12:46 PM in response to Walter Brewster In response to Walter Brewster

Do you have any suggestions for replacing AEX units with a similar device?

No, unless you want to consider using an AppleTV4...(which is also AirPlay2 compatible).....and simply not use the video capabilities of the product. There is no analog audio output on the Apple TV, so your amplifier or speakers will need to have an HDMI input.

Mar 4, 2018 12:46 PM

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Mar 4, 2018 1:00 PM in response to Walter Brewster In response to Walter Brewster

Building any sort of audio DAC or controls into a router is pretty unique to Apple. There is no others. Nothing equivalent on the market. And of course Apple controls airplay via licensing. So I doubt they are going to allow a third party to build a router or simple external bridge device.


You can purchase speakers or amplifiers with built in Airplay. You can buy whole systems like Sonos which has successfully built this market on top of iTunes etc for many years now.


Apple of course has also just introduced the homepod. Combined with Apple TV 4 the Express is not required. I think Apple now has no reason to want to sell the express .. and would rather sell you a far more expensive smart speaker.

Time will tell.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinmurnane/2018/03/04/the-homepod-is-a-prime-exam ple-of-one-of-apples-core-problems/#34c4…

Mar 4, 2018 1:00 PM

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Mar 4, 2018 9:21 PM in response to Stephen Feng In response to Stephen Feng

but you can try Netgear R7800

No audio out.


For the poster he needs audio out..


There must be millions of people like me with AEX supporting legacy hifi, or in my case, high quality active loudspeakers.

Legacy hifi having no network or airplay capability.


Almost any router can pass airplay in the local network.. what is missing is built in airplay receiver and optical or analogue output.

Mar 4, 2018 9:21 PM

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Mar 5, 2018 4:26 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

I have active speakers which include 2 optical out connections. I also have access in the room to ethernet and wifi 5Ghz.

My head is spinning because I've only thought Apple but there must be a device I could connect via optical to the speakers. What I can't figure is how the likes of iTunes would send to such a device in the regular 'Airplay' type manner. Some people have mentioned Volumio and a device like this but I don't see it connecting to Apple Music or other streamed services.


The suggestion of an ATV certainly works and because ATV3 has optical out I can connect this directly to my active speakers. ATV4 and 5 have HDMI which of course my speakers don't have! This really should be so easy. It really feels like all the big companies just want to push customers to digital assistants.

Mar 5, 2018 4:26 AM

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Mar 5, 2018 11:21 AM in response to Walter Brewster In response to Walter Brewster

I am far from expert in this area.. but I have done a short hunt around for alternative solutions.. so take the following with as many grains of salt as required.. oceans of it perhaps.


Sonos Connect is a possible.

The price is eye watering though.


Yamaha build something similar.. I am not sure of the price but it is probably in the vicinity of the Sonos.


From the point of view of finding a suitable network link for your optical active speakers nothing quite fills the space Express has.


As a DIYer I have recently thought about it.

Someone recently tossed me a dead Home Theatre Amplifier. ( I used to do electronic repairs before everything became unserviceable). One of the power amplifier stages is blown. But the whole thing is not worth repair... I checked every output and found they were all running too hot with bias current all over the place. However there is nothing wrong with the pre-amp in the unit.. and all the switching is working just fine. It should be possible to simply cut power to the amp side.. and use the pre-amp which is airplay (and various streaming service) compatible over both ethernet and wireless. You can simply switch the output and use pre-amp out to your speakers.. using either optical or analogue...and you can buy good units for $100 or less on ebay with blown amp stages.. I am getting too old.. and my ears are less than audiophile these days.. to have a lot of energy to pursue it.


The problem is you want a little unit for each speaker I guess. The Volumio you mentioned using Rasberry Pi is a neat idea.. but Apple license airplay and that is going to make connections difficult.

Mar 5, 2018 11:21 AM

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Mar 6, 2018 10:47 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, and well-researched, reply! The Sonos has an amp so I won't need to think about that expense as my speakers are active and have built in amplification. The Home Theatre idea sounds good. I will have a look around.


I also wondered if Apple would revamp the Mac Mini and leave an optical port in that. Expensive, if it ever happens.


I may just buy a 'new' AEX unit and hope that at some point in the future another alternative emerges. There are other technologies and solutions out there but they don't permit the easeful streaming of Apple Music. Here is one http://www.tech-boom.com/asus-clique-r100-audio-player-via-streaming/http://


If money is no object https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/kii-audio-threehttp://


As you can see, after that I thought another AEX was the cheapest solution! If and when Apple stop supporting the units through things like Airport Utility then it might be time to look at different music streaming solutions. Chromecast Audio is obviously cheap as chips but I've not tried one.

Many thanks.

Mar 6, 2018 10:47 AM

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Mar 11, 2018 4:08 AM in response to Stephen Feng In response to Stephen Feng

Hi


I use a Apple Extreme 6G and two 4G (flat) routers and they are the best solution I have found. All are second hand but the airport app and setup are just so easy for Apple devices and the speed and connection for me is the best.


IF, and its still a big IF Apple have indeed pulled out it maybe that they have realised that AC wifi is still very fast and that it doesn't need to be updated every year. Previous Gens (5th, 4th,3rd) etc just updated the N wifi band until the 6th Gen came out and offered AC and a newer shape.


I think they have been pulled off the project for 5+ years.


To be honest, why would Apple not make these? They are excellent devices to connect their products and with the dedicated Airport utility. If they did stop then they would have to rely on a third part for the Wifi in future years and with a perfectly working product why not just update it slightly and rerelease it


It works, don't break it.


It would be sad that in 5 more years we have no Apple Wifi Hardware.


Cheers

Mar 11, 2018 4:08 AM

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Mar 11, 2018 6:34 AM in response to RKGB In response to RKGB

support marketing and extensive test and release of patches for issues in form of security

would be reasons if they don't make enough revenue on the products


when jobs returned to apple back in the day it was a bloodbath in terms of discontinued products apple made, so it would not be a new thing, same deal with their monitor line.


in terms of wireless audio they are currently pushing their homepod initiative

Mar 11, 2018 6:34 AM

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Question: Next Generation of Airport Extreme