Category: Time Capsule

Apple Silently Updates AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule

Time Capsule

Time Capsule

Today Apple has quietly updated both the AirPort Extreme WiFi base station and Time Capsule backup drive, but the changes have left many wondering what exactly has changed. A noticeable change to the Time Capsule is a bump in storage capacities with Apple now selling a 3TB model.

Alongside the Time Capsule update which appears to offer nothing more than a capacity bump, Apple also updated the pages for the AirPort Extreme. To help prove that the model available really is new Macworld has published the change in model number from MC340AM/A to MD031AM/A.

The changes are sure to create a stir in Apple rumour circles with some speculating that the new AirPort and Time Capsules feature Apple A5 processors and run iOS software. Such changes could allow features to be unlocked or updated in the future. The truth is presumably closer to Apple updating to more modern, cheaper and readily available components.

Rumour Roundup: WWDC 2011

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011

Moscone West adorned with Apple logos for WWDC 2011 | Photo: kiel

It’s that time in the Apple calendar again, the biggest event of the year is upon us and this years looks set to be one of the best for many years. Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 kicks off on Monday June 6 and will run through until Friday for the 5,000 developers in attendance. Held at the Moscone West building in San Francisco Apple has in the past used the stage for unveiling new iPhone hardware—but not this year.

2011 has been something of a special year for Apple so far, over the past couple of years it looked like the company had settled into a routine which went something like: iOS preview in March followed by iPhone hardware release in June and public release of iOS a week or so later. Other hardware had reasonably set release dates and iPod hardware was always refreshed in September—to be fair this will probably still be the case but likely overshadowed by iPhone hardware.

What we know about this years WWDC is that it’ll be primarily a software show, in fact if Apple’s press release is to be believed then it’ll be a completely hardware free zone. Apple is playing a PR game; due to the previous release cycle of the iPhone the general media and consumer are expecting new iPhone hardware but with this not happening until September at the earliest they’ll be left disappointed so Apple has been careful to outline exactly what it’ll use the stage at WWDC for.

In Apple’s press release the company said that it will discuss Mac OS X Lion, the next major iOS release and a new service called iCloud. That was the first time Apple has revealed the name of an unreleased product in a press release in the company’s history, some might say they’re desperate to calm expectations.

iOS 5

World of Apple has already written an extensive piece on the fifth major update to iOS as part of our Fast Forward series, here’s what to expect in iOS 5:

  • Totally overhauled notification system, removing intrusiveness and adding functionality.
  • A departure from the current look of iOS, exact details unknown.
  • Extensive integration with Apple’s iCloud. Whilst details are very slim expect streaming music from iTunes, over-the-air delivery of Apps and possibly their data. Same goes for contacts, calendars and bookmarks.
  • Ability to auto-download App updates.
  • Media streaming feature where media is synced to iCloud and propagated to devices sharing the same stream.
  • Twitter integrated at a system level with the ability to send photos and video straight to the third-party service. No word on Facebook but don’t be surprised if its in too.

Based on historic evidence, Apple will put iOS 5 into developer testing. The first build will presumably be in developers hands immediately after the keynote on Monday, Apple will test iOS 5 in the developer community until September when we’re expecting the next iPhone hardware refresh.

iCloud

Next up is Apple’s iCloud. World of Apple has also penned an exhaustive look at what iCloud could consist of as part of our Fast Forward series. As mentioned above this is the first time that a product name as been released ahead of it being unveiled and with little clue as to what it is. Whilst this is evidently a move by Apple’s PR team to try and deflect some attention away from a lack of iPhone hardware it looks like iCloud could be impressive enough to absorb the fall.

As described by many in the Apple rumour field iCloud is one of Apple’s best kept secrets in years but is the key to bringing Mac OS and iOS together. Here’s the lowdown on iCloud:

  • iTunes locker is a feature of iCloud but not the whole of iCloud.
  • iTunes locker will scan libraries for storage in the cloud so no uploading. New purchases will go to the locker rather than be downloaded to a particular library.
  • Music will be streamed from the cloud to iOS devices and iTunes.
  • iTunes locker will be free initially with a $25/year charge in the future.
  • MobileMe will be merged into iCloud and turn completely free, at least for those purchasing Mac OS X or an iOS device.
  • Apple will offer Dropbox like file storage and syncing, replacing iDisk.
  • Media streaming feature on iOS devices allowing instant sharing of photos and movies.

In addition to the scant information above about iCloud, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has written a short piece on what he expects Apple to unveil during the WWDC keynote. Staring the post by saying, “The big picture regarding iOS 5 and iCloud […] is an utter mystery to me.” Gruber goes onto highlight that iCloud is not a music storage service, “Music storage is a feature of iCloud; iCloud is not a music service.”

The most revealing bit of information released by the often very accurate Gruber reads:

Don’t think of iCloud as the new MobileMe; think of iCloud as the new iTunes.

The point Gruber is making is that currently iTunes is a single point of contact for device syncing and storage, this will become iCloud. iOS devices will receive data and sync from iCloud, purchased media will go to iCloud rather than iTunes and will be accessible from all devices.

Mac OS X Lion

Apple’s next major update to Mac OS X feels somewhat overshadowed by all this talk of iCloud and iOS 5 but Apple is making it quite clear that all three products will interrelate with each other whilst not relying on each other. Apple’s aim is to create environments that interact seamlessly with each other.

There’s a lot we already know about Mac OS X Lion as it was first previewed by Apple in February this year alongside the release of the MacBook Air. At the time the new features were touted as:

  • a new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
  • AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
  • Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
  • Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
  • Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
  • the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
  • Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

Since the original preview Apple has been giving developers numerous builds for testing purposes, the builds show no significant changes and more importantly show no significant signs of iCloud integration.

Apple has promised a summer release for Mac OS X Lion giving them plenty of time to release a GM developer build with a release expected in mid to late July.

Hardware

Despite Apple’s attempts to convince otherwise, it does look like Apple will unveil some hardware at WWDC this year. But it won’t be a new iPhone. Key to Apple’s iCloud strategy appears to be hosting your own mini-cloud on hardware in your house.

Rumours have this week consistently pointed to a major refresh of Apple’s Time Capsule router/hard drive. According to sources Apple’s Time Capsule will act as the cloud with data saved being backed up immediately to the Time Capsule and then accessible from iOS devices and other Macs. This description is offered from a Cult of Mac article:

Our source didn’t have any information about the hardware, but detailed how the Home Folder access system works. Files saved on your computer are backed up instantly to Time Capsule, which makes them available to remote Macs and iOS devices.

If you make any changes on any computer, those changes are updated through iCloud and stored on your Time Capsule. The Time Capsule archives and serves up your files even when your computers are off. When you get home and fire up your desktop computer or laptop, the files are automatically synced across your devices.

This service will also allow you to upload photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to your Time Capsule. The media will be stored on the device and be made available for other devices to sync. iCloud is the “conduit” through which everything moves, the source said.

“Your computer gets backed up to Time Capsule anyways,” said the source. “Now it’ll serve up your content when you want it, where you want it, right there on your iOS device.”

This of course does not cover Apple’s iTunes in the cloud service that will presumably actually operate from the cloud and not local storage.

WWDC 2011 Coverage

On Monday, June 6 Apple will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. WWDC 2011 will run from June 6-10 and the opening keynote will be hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The company has already outlined that it will discuss iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion. World of Apple will provide full coverage from San Francisco during WWDC 2011.

The keynote will begin at the following times on Monday, June 6:

10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
02:00AM – Tokyo (Tuesday 7th)
04:00AM – Sydney (Tuesday 7th)

New Apple Remote, Updated AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule

Alongside Apple’s main products announcements the company also quietly updated and released several new products.

Behind the scenes Apple gave the Apple Remote a new aluminium look whilst continuing to sell for $19 (£15). The new aluminium Apple Remote can be used with any Mac made since 2005 and will also work with any iPod with a Dock connector and iPhones when used in conjunction with an iPod Universal Dock as well as Apple TV.

Apple also updated both the AirPort Extreme base station and Time Capsule, relatively unchanged the new units are said to offer 50% increased wireless performance and 25% improved range. The improvements are reportedly provided by a revised antenna design.

Apple Predicted to Unleash New Mac Mini, iMac, Time Capsules and AirPort

AppleInsider points towards a post on its own forums from a source who has historically offered accurate information prior to product launches. The information comes hot on the heels of rumours about iMac and Mac mini updates today.

The source claims that three models of Mac mini will be introduced, one with no optical drive, a 21.5-inch iMac featuring a 16:9 ratio widescreen display and updated Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme base stations.

MC207LL/A – K84 BEST BTR- USA
MC238LL/A – MAC MINI 2.26/2x1GB/160/SD/AP/BT-USA
MC239LL/A- MAC MINI 2.53/2x2GB/320GB/SD/AP/BT-USA
MC340LL/A – AIRPORT EXTREME (SIM DUALBAND) – USA
MC343LL/A – TIME CAPSULE 1TB (SIM DUALBAND) -USA
MC344LL/A – TIME CAPSULE 2TB (SIM DUALBAND) – USA
MC408LL/A – MAC MINI 2.53/2x2GB/1TB/NO ODD/AP-BT-USA
MC413LL/A – IMAC 21.5″/3.06/2x2GB/1TB/4670-256MB-USA
MC434LL/A – APPLE VESA MOUNT ADAPTER
MC461LL/A – MACBOOK 60W MAGSAFE POWER ADAPTER – USA

Engadget also points towards a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications commission which has revealed documents that could suggest updated AirPort base stations.

Time Capsule Now Available in 1TB and 2TB Capacities

Apple has today quietly updated Time Capsule, the companion product to Mac OS X’s Time Machine. Apple has doubled the capacity of the wireless router, network attached storage devices while keeping the same previous price points.

Time Capsule is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities and priced at $299 and $499 respectively.

In addition to increasing the capacity of the Time Capsule Apple also added the ability to run dual-band WiFi and guest networking, features that were added to the AirPort Extreme base station several months back.

Rumours of a 2TB Time Capsule were first started by ClubMac in April 2009.

Apple Updates Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware

Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.4.2

The Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Express Base Station with 802.11n Firmware 7.4.2 update provides several fixes, including:

  • Fixes some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks
  • Fixes an issue with clients that enable 802.11 “Power Save”
  • Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices
  • Fixes an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE
  • Fixes some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers

2TB Time Capsule Coming Soon?

Third party Apple retailer ClubMac is currently displaying an image on its website that shows a Time Capsule packaging box with a stated capacity of 2TB. Apple currently sells Time Capsule units in 500GB and 1TB units only.
2TB Time Capsule
The source of the image is unknown but it may suggest that Apple is due to release a new Time Capsule model.

AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule Now Feature Dual Band Wi-Fi

Amongst today’s flurry of updates Apple also updated the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule.

They both now feature simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking for optimal performance, range and compatibility. An innovative Guest Network feature allows setting up a secondary network for friends and visitors with Internet-only access so you don’t have to hand out your WiFi password.

Time Capsule is available in a 500GB model for $299 and a 1TB model for $499. The AirPort Extreme Base Station is also available immediately for $179.

Apple Store Goes Down, iMacs, Mac Minis, Mac Pros and More Expected

As online Apple Stores around the world begin displaying the familiar “We’ll be back soon” message, it looks increasingly likely that Apple will introduce minor updates to the iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro as well as updating the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme.

As detailed by Mac Rumors part numbers and specs were posted to their forum which correspond with last minute rumours that began circulating yesterday.

The iMac will now be available in one 20-inch model and three 24-inch models, processor speeds are on par with the current line-up but memory and hard drive has been doubled in most cases.

MB417LL/A – IMAC 20″ 2.66/2GB/320GB/SD/MSE/KB-USA
MB418LL/A – IMAC 24″ 2.66/4GB/640/SD/MSE/KB-USA
MB419LL/A – IMAC 24″ 2.93/4GB/640/256/SD/MSE/KB-USA
MB420LL/A – IMAC 24″ 3.06/4GB/1TB/512/SD/MSE/KB-USA

Two Mac mini models will now be available with Mac Rumors speculating that the low-end model will be at a new price point of $499 down from $599.

MB463LL/A – MAC MINI 2.0/1X1G/120/SD/AP/BT-USA
MB464LL/A – MAC MINI 2.0/2X1G/320/SD/AP/BT-USA

Although not originally thought to be updated today the Mac Pro appears to also be receiving a minor update. Of particular note is the adoption of the new ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card. The specs for the two Mac Pro models are as follows:

MAC PRO 2.26_8CX/6X1G/640/GT120/SD-USA
MAC PRO 2.66QCX/3X1GB/640/GT120/SD-USA

As detailed yesterday, the release of the FCC filings suggest an imminent update to the AirPort Extreme base station and Time Capsule.

Apple Readying New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Units

Filings with the Federal Communications Commission suggest that Apple is preparing to released new versions of both the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule.

The reports indicate that Apple is not intending to change the form factor of the units but is instead going to add a combined mode allowing its AirPort base stations to support both iPhones and other 802.11b/g devices operating at 2.4GHz, while also broadcasting 802.11n wide signals in the 5GHz band to maximize throughput for notebooks and devices such as Apple TV.

AppleInsider has also posted today that six new Apple product numbers have appeared in some inventory systems.

Stock of AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule units remain healthy in the United States but availability across some parts of Europe has become non-existent over the last few weeks.

The FCC documents can be viewed as follows:

AirPort Extreme: Authorisation Letter, Request for confidentiality, and Test report.

Time Capsule: Authorisation Letter, Request for confidentiality, and Test report.