Apple deals: displays and accessories
Apple's online store has dropped the price on the refurbished Apple 27-inch LED cinema display by $200, cutting the cost down from $999 to $799. This display offers 2560x1440 resolution, LED backlighting, 178-degree viewing angles and three USB ports along with built-in iSight camera, microphone and 49-watt speaker system. Quickly and easily set up a wireless network using an iDevice, Mac or PC and the refurbished AirPort Express. It has been reduced by $24 down to $75.
May back rumors of impending refresh
(Updated with possible new hardware features) The Apple TV now has its own separate section at Apple's online store, checks show. Until today, the Apple TV had been categorized as an iPod-related accessory. The new section in fact lists its own set of accessories, including HDMI cables and AirPort routers.
Single release covers both routers
Apple has released a firmware update for its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule routers, v7.7.2. The code fixes three problems, including one that would cause periodic loss of an Internet connection. Another prevented USB hard drives connected to an Extreme from being used by Time Machine.
Changes almost entirely cosmetic
Beginning a wave of anticipated first-party app updates for iOS 7, Apple has released new versions of AirPort Utility and Apple Store. In both cases the apps have been redesigned mostly to accommodate iOS 7's "flat" look. AirPort Utility, however, now sports an integrated status/navigation bar.
New Genius Shuffle prioritizes music
Apple has released iTunes 11.1, a critical update of its media jukebox and sync software. The update is essential for syncing with iOS 7 devices, and also adds desktop support for iTunes Radio, an otherwise iOS 7-based streaming service. Another new feature is the concept of Podcast Stations, which lets users organize groups of auto-updating podcasts. Stations, subscriptions, and play positions should sync with the iOS Podcasts app.
Expected to feature iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C
As anticipated, Apple has sent out invitations for a press event to be held September 10th at the company's Cupertino headquarters. The event will start at 10AM Pacific time, but beyond that, no other details have been revealed. "This should brighten everyone's day," the invitation's slogan reads.
Unit could be refreshed at September 10th Apple event
A number of Apple Store and Best Buy outlets are out of the AirPort Express, inventory checks show. While Apple's online store and some of its physical locations have units ready, many shops are listing the Express as either "Unavailable for Pickup" or something that has to be shipped in. Affected Best Buy stores are simply out of the product.
Deals with Time Capsule, IPv6 and Wi-Fi connection issues
On Tuesday, Apple issued a firmware update for its line of Airport Wi-Fi routers, including the AirPort Base Station, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme. The new version, 7.6.4, is available through the Airport Utility program itself as well as Apple's support website. The update addresses three issues, including a problem that could cause Airport Time Capsules to falsely report that the backup disk is in use; another that sometimes caused the devices to report that the backup disk is in use, along with two other issues.
Small Mac, iOS releases
(Updated with iOS AirPort, OS X Mavericks updates) Apple has posted a small update for the Mac version of AirPort Utility, v6.3.1. The patch deals with a single bug that prevented AirPort base stations from being detected. The file is a 21.6MB download, and available either through Apple's support site or OS X's Software Update feature.
Service technicians advised to replace troubled gear, send defectives back
Apple's 802.11ac wireless launch has been somewhat less than perfect. In an effort to diagnose problems reported in some new Apple devices sporting 802.11ac compatibility, the Cupertino manufacturer has instructed its service centers to "capture" customers' computers if they are suffering from Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Additionally, technical research has been published noting that Apple uses a sub-optimal network setting built into the wireless protocol, limiting the connectivity speed of the new standard at least temporarily.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Compatible with 802.11n, does not add 'ac' capabilities
Apple has issued updates for the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, releasing minor upgrades for the firmware (now at version 7.7.1) and AirPort Utility software (now at version 6.3) to add compatibility for the newly-announced, redesigned AirPort hardware that supports the forthcoming 802.11ac standard. The new standard, which uses the 5GHz bandwidth of 802.11n, is backward-compatible with earlier Wi-Fi but supports faster speed and greater range. The new MacBook Air is the first model to feature 802.11ac.
First solid glimpse at new iOS
Apple has posted several videos on its website in the wake of today's WWDC keynote. These include the keynote itself, designer Jonathan Ive's introduction to iOS 7, and the "Designed by Apple" corporate branding ad narrated by Ben Affleck. The keynote video is roughly two hours long.
Beamforming to improve performance for specified devices
Phil Schiller has revealed updated versions of its AirPort base stations at WWDC, made to accommodate the improved Wi-Fi in the revised MacBook Air, confirming earlier rumors. The new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsules can now connect wirelessly over three-stream 802.11ac, which will provide up to 40-percent faster file transfers compared to previous versions the networking performance of 802.11n connections.
AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule may get matching updates
The MacBooks on the verge of a WWDC update are MacBook Airs, a source indicates. New pricing data for leaked SKUs is said to match that for current-generation Airs. Conversely, there has yet to be any leaked pricing for new Retina MacBook Pros, despite low stock of the notebook. That could mean the Pro will only be updated sometime after the Air.
Downgrade only solution so far
Last week's AirPort/Time Capsule firmware update is breaking IPv6 tunneling for some users, according to complaints on Apple's support forums. Tunneling allows IPv6 traffic to flow through IPv4 links. Without fixed firmware, the glitch could prevent some sites and services from connecting through Apple routers.
Enables guest features on multi-point networks
Apple has posted a new version of AirPort Utility for the Mac. The tool is used to configure Wi-Fi networks created through Apple's Airport line of routers. The v6.2 update makes a couple of rare feature additions, one of which is the ability to extend guest Wi-Fi access across a network with multiple AirPort stations. To support the changes, a firmware update has been issued for some Airport models, and the iOS Airport Utility app has been updated.
Tech would make OS X, iOS Wi-Fi features more practical
Shortages of Apple's AirPort Extreme suggest that the company is about to refresh the peripheral, possibly with 802.11ac support, according to AppleInsider. Amazon and Best Buy's online outlets are in fact out of stock for the router, which may indicate that Apple has halted shipments of current-generation hardware. Like other companies, Apple lets channel inventories drain for a brief time before new hardware debuts.
Supports return of Mac Pro
(Updated with new image showing prices, products) An expanded list of part numbers indicates that Apple is indeed preparing to update virtually all of its Macs, according to a source for AppleInsider. In all, there are 27 new parts, of which 14 are believed to be Macs; all of the parts are said to be in Apple's reseller system. Currently Apple is selling 20 different stock Mac configurations, which implies that it will not update all of them, and/or that it might axe some options.
Apple Airport Utility 6 looks like iOS version
Apple took a surprise step Monday by completely reworking its desktop AirPort app. AirPort Utility 6.0 (14.1MB) is reworked to look like its iOS counterpart and starts off with a visual topography for the user's network including the active status and whether or not updates are waiting. Any router on the network, and the Internet connection itself, gets a pop-over that shows both common settings as well as an option to edit settings for that device.
Macs, iPads, iPods see discounts
A leaked pamphlet shows the some of discounts Apple is planning to offer for this year's Black Friday sale, according to 9to5Mac. In terms of computers, the company is taking $101 off the iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. iPad 2 discounts range from $41 to $61, depending on storage capacity, and a similar philosophy applies to the iPod touch, which is getting between $21 and $41 off. Both the 8 and 16GB iPod nanos are $11 chepaer.
Airport and TC updated to v7.6, MBP to v1.5
Late on Thursday, Apple released firmware updates for the MacBook Pro (all models), as well as the Airport and Time Capsule wireless base stations (802.11n capable models only). The update to the MacBook Pros, which brings the firmware up to version 1.5, resolves an issue where the MBP may shut down under heavy load when the battery charge is very low, even if the unit is actually plugged into power at the time.
We try Apple's new native iOS 5 apps
Apple's two main companion apps for iOS 5, Find My Friends and AirPort Utility, have gone live just hours before the OS itself is available. We've had the opportunity to try both and to gauge how they work in practice. We'll also gauge whether Find My Friends stacks up well against its main rival, Google Latitude.
Look echoed in iCloud version of Find My iPhone
Apple has released Find My Friends, the iOS tracking app announced at last week's iPhone event. Similar in concept to Google Latitude, Find My Friends lets users follow people who have accepted requests in their own copies of the app. Once they give the thumbs up, friends will appear both on a list of contacts and on a Google map.
Could appear alongside iOS 5
Apple is preparing to launch a specific AirPort Utility app for iOS, users of the iOS 5 Gold Master have discovered. One planned feature for the platform has been the ability to configure an AirPort router. Within the iOS 5 GM, though, a pop-up appears if AirPort owners tap a special a button under Wi-Fi settings labelled Manage This Network. "Managing networks requires AirPort Utility," it states. "Would you like to download it from the App Store?"
May get 'tune-ups' shared by other Apple routers
Apple is planning on releasing an updated AirPort Express, AppleInsider indicates. The site quotes a source "familiar with the matter" who says that Apple is finishing up AirPort Utility 5.6, a software update with "Adds support for the AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation) base station" in current developer notes. Resellers are meanwhile reporting problems with present-gen Express availability; Amazon expects new stock in 2 to 5 weeks, while DataVision is claiming that the product has been discontinued. Apple continues to have stock at its online store.
Backs Apple's 'PC Free' push
The completed version of iOS 5 should allow people to configure AirPort and Time Capsule routers without having to go through a desktop or notebook, a series of images from an AppleInsider reader show. Within the firmware's Wi-Fi Networks menu, located under Settings, a new "Set up an AirPort Base Station" option is present, listing any AirPort or Time Capsule peripherals in the immediate area. Tapping this prompts users to either create a new network or "Do something different."
AirPort Extreme 2011 ups power, goes green
A pair of looks at the upgraded AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule has shown more upgrades and changes than first thought, including a slightly misleading view of the hard drive. One breakdown shared between AppleInsider and iFixit has shown that the new AirPort Extreme and presumably Time Capsule output about 2.8 times more power, at 392.64mW, than the previous version. A test wasn't immediately possible, but the potential existed for as much as a 60 percent range boost, though only in ideal conditions.
10.6.8 preps for Lion upgrade
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.6.8, what may be the final major update of Snow Leopard. One of the key features of the code is in fact preparation of the Mac App Store for Mac OS X Lion, which will launch sometime in July. The update is also designed to close several security holes, scrub "known variants" of Mac Defender, and improve VPN reliability as well as support for IPv6 networking.
Could have better range, heat performance
Apple has quietly updated the AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi router, reports note. The device has a new model number, MD031AM/A, but has no publicized changes, and the same $179 pricetag. It had been thought that Apple might drop the hardware's price and/or bump peak speeds up to 450Mbps.
New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule get detailed
Apple's plans for new AirPort hardware were cemented Tuesday after an FCC filing showed a new AirPort Extreme station. Known just as the A1408, few details are available beyond that it would have a 3X3 antenna layout, likely to get 450Mbps peak speeds. Although the online Apple Store is still up as of early Tuesday morning, the FCC filings have the details due to go public the same day, suggesting Apple either launches now or in the very near future.
Mac Pro, Mac mini, AirPort rumors detailed
An unusual plethora of rumors Monday night provided possible details of the new Mac Pro and other near-term Apple updates. The pro tower will supposedly get a "unique CPU" along with its more rackmountable case. What that would entail wasn't said by MICGadget's purported informants, though it's more likely to involve early access to the Xeon E5 due this fall than a genuinely rare processor.
Apple stores prep visual overnight yet again
Apple is gearing up another one of its overnight visual overhauls for Tuesday in what could be a sign of another product launch. A leak has pointed to an update this coming Tuesday night for an unveiling Wednesday. The 9to5 contacts mentioned some stores getting boxes as well, but whether these are display supplies or products isn't evident.
Apple update resolves 'quit during setup' issue
Apple and Microsoft today issued updates for two long-standing products; in the case of Apple, it has updated Airport Utility for Mac and Windows to version 5.5.3 to fix a crashing issue. Microsoft has updated Office for Mac 2004, 2008 and 2011 to address security vulnerabilities as well as bug fixes and enhancements to the suites.
Time Capsule delays in shipping from Apple as well
Several Apple products are becoming scarce in the distribution channel, according to multiple reports, which could indicate an imminent refresh. Sources have told 9to5Mac that Best Buy channels are backordered on Mac minis as well as Airport Extremes, both of which are due for upgrades.
Apple pushing hard on 'PC Free' concept?
Hooks have been discovered in the iOS 5 beta for several undisclosed features. Code references for the Camera app, for instance, point to native panorama support, something currently offered only by third-party apps. The option is not yet live, but could be toggled on in a later version of the beta.
Time Capsule may serve as iCloud home folder share
Apple's upcoming Time Capsule update could have more ambitious plans for remote storage based on an unverified rumor. Although it might not store iOS firmware, it would purportedly make Time Machine backups available online and let iCloud users sync their home folders between Macs. The approach Cult of Mac described would save Apple bandwidth at its North Carolina datacenter but still give an incentive to use the service.
Apple may have two launches June 7 and 14
Two clues Sunday morning have hinted that Apple may have two product or feature launches in the aftermath of WWDC. The company is expected by a source to have a major "visual update" on June 7 that would include both the usual changes as well as a window change, usually a clue as to a major new campaign. Speculation from 9to5 is that it may represent the start of the back to school sale, although it could also be new AirPort and Time Capsule routers.
iTunes reveals Automatic Download for apps
Apple gave a possible clue to an iOS 5 feature with a mention of automatic app syncing in iTunes. A check of the app updates page by Marcelo Alves showed that a device can be enabled for Automatic Download to get both purchased apps and updates directly, without having to link up to iTunes. No feature of the kind exists in iOS 4.3, leading MacRumors to suggest the notice (since pulled) was a clue as to what was in store at WWDC.
New AirPort routers may share iOS foundations
An off-hand tip in a report late Thursday hinted that Apple's upcoming Time Capsules would borrow a cue from the current Apple TV. One source said that the new router, and possibly regular AirPort devices, would use either an A4 or an A5 chip and a heavily modified iOS foundation. The Ars Technica contact made no mention as to why, but it's presumed the backup option would require more computing power.
Apple stocks out of AirPort, Time Capsule
Multiple reports Wednesday night slipped word that Apple retail stores were running out of the company's wireless routers. A number of readers mention the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule all being out of stock, often all at the same time. MacRumors had heard just of stockouts, but TUAW had heard that even one store with stock might have been asked to return unsold inventory, indicating that it was a discontinuation, not just a supply issue.
Expands AirPlay streaming options
A developer, James Laird, has reportedly reverse-engineered the private key used in the AirPort Express. The immediate result is a piece of open-source software called Shairport, which emulates the Express and allows iTunes streaming to normally unsupported third-party software or hardware. Officially the Apple technology is intended for AirPorts and a limited selection of other AirPlay-compatible hardware.
Hot on heels of 10.6.6
Apple is already seeding the first beta of Mac OS X 10.6.7 to developers, reports say. Listed as build 10J842, the delta update measures 338.6MB, while the combo version is 992.9MB. Little else is known about the update so far except that several testing focus areas are listed. These include AirPort, Bonjour, SMB and the operating system's graphics drivers.
Updates for both Mac and Windows users
Apple has posted a firmware update for all 802.11n-capable Airport base stations and Time Capsules, as well as new versions of Airport Utility for Mac and Windows. The firmware update, labelled 7.5.2, closes several security holes as well as bolsters stability under IPv6. It also fixes issues with Airplay streaming, USB connectivity, addresses some issues with NAT port mapping and disables TKIP security for 802.11n in accordance with the Wi-Fi Alliance specifications.
Aim is to entice food sales, coming to LaGuardia
iPads are now installed at Delta seating areas in New York's JFK airport that feature internet access, games and to allow waiting passengers to order food and drink, USA Today reports. The mounted iPads accompany three new restaurants built in the waiting area in Terminal 2 at gates 21 and 22 as well as gate 15 in Terminal 3.
Downloads available for Mac and Windows
Apple on Wednesday released updates to its AirPort utilities for Mac and Windows systems, along with a firmware update for Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme Base Station devices. AirPort Utility 5.5.1 has been improved with a number of bug fixes, helping to prevent problems when importing settings or propagating MAC address control lists using an extended network.
Public update imminent?
Apple is seeding a new test build of Mac OS X 10.6.3 to developers, 10D552. The code is said to continue many of the troubleshooting efforts taken with the last two builds, correcting problems with AirPort, OpenGL, graphics drivers and QuickTime X, while improving the performance of 64-bit Logic. Also fixed are some compatibility and reliability issues with third-party printers, and a glitch which causes background message colors to behave badly in Mail.
Bag fits either 13-inch or 15/17-inch Mac notebook
Booq has launched an airport-savvy notebook bag, the Taipan lift. The new bag features the ability to quickly unfold, leaving the notebook section unobstructed for quick inspection at airport security checkpoints. The front pocket provides compartments for paperwork and other items such as a boarding pass, wallet and water bottle. The opposing side holds either a 13-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro in the small version, while the large variant accommodates a 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro. The bag has two handles, a removable shoulder-strap, and a quick-access 30-degree opening in addition to the zippered 180-degree opening.
Apple TV 3.0 and price cut accomplish little
Most of Apple's networking peripherals sold only adequately during 2009, according to data from the NPD Group. The firm notes that Apple TV sales were up less than 10 percent in 2009, continuing a lethargic trend that emerged in 2008. The product has not been helped materially by the release of the Apple TV 3.0 firmware -- adding features like Internet radio -- or a price cut down to $229.
802.11ac process underway
The IEEE has recently begun the first steps of voting on a major improvement to Wi-Fi standards due in two years. The 802.11ac standard should upgrade 802.11a to use 80MHz or even 160MHz channels that provide much more bandwidth than today. Combined with about a 10 percent increase in efficiency for modulating the actual frequencies, the speedup should improve the theoretical transfer speeds to as much as 1Gbps, or more than three times the 300Mbps 802.11n reaches for now.