Apple today has issued a rare update for its AirPort Utility application on iOS. While the AirPort hardware itself has long been discontinued, Apple continues to support the ecosystem when necessary.
One week before Apple unveils the iPhone Xs, the company has updated its AirPort Utility iOS app for the iPhone X screen size that was introduced a year ago. The new update also looks sharper on 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros.
AirPort Utility is a built-in Mac app that is used to configure and control Wi-Fi networks using Apple’s AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule. The AirPort Extreme is a base station router like you would use when setting up your Wi-Fi network. An AirPort Express is used to extend a Wi-Fi network to a larger area, or can be used to stream audio using AirPlay. A Time Capsule is a combination of an AirPort Extreme and an external hard drive, and comes in 2 TB or 3 TB. It automatically backs up all Macs on your network.
AirPort Utility has the ability to set limits on what time of day the network (and therefore the internet) can be accessed from specific wireless devices. This can be helpful in situations where parents want to keep kids off of the internet after a certain time. Time limits can be set for different times on different days of the week.
Apple has issued a minor bug fix update to both AirPort Utility on OS X and on iOS. The OS X Update is available via Software Update on the Mac App Store, while the iOS version is in the App Store on iOS and iTunes.
The update, on both platforms, is to squash a bug for AirPort Base Stations not begin recognized by the app. Apple, last month, pushed out AirPort Utility updates to add compatibility for the new 802.11ac AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsules.
In OS X Mavericks-specific news, Apple has pushed out an update to testers for the OS X Recovery function. Thanks, D!
A number of users on Apple’s support forums noticed that the latest Airport/Time Capsule 7.6.3 firmware released last week seems to disable IPv6 tunneling on various devices. It isn’t a big surprise to many users that have experienced the functionality being disabled with past versions of the firmware, and it will likely be fixed in a future release. You can revert to a previous version of the firmware until Apple fixes the issue by using the instructions below:
- Open AirPort Utility.
- Select your base station and choose Manual Setup, or double-click on the Wi-Fi base station icon.
- Choose Base Station > Upload Firmware…
- From the window that appears, select a firmware version and click OK. If you select Other from the Upload Version menu, you will be prompted to manually locate the firmware update.
- Open AirPort Utility.
- Select the base station you want to downgrade.
- Place the mouse cursor over the version number and hold down the Option key to turn it into a pop-up menu. Press and hold the mouse button to open the menu.
- From the menu that appears, select a firmware version and click OK. If you select Other, you will be prompted to manually locate the firmware update.
Apple last week bumped up its Time Capsule wireless backup appliance to 2TB and 3TB models, priced the same $299 and $499, respectively. In addition, Apple appears to be now using consumer public drives from Western Digital (bumped up from Hitachi Deskstar drives). That, plus the $499 price point puts the new 3TB Time Capsule pretty much out of reach on price-conscious buyers. In fact, you’re better off, as we explained, hooking up an external USB drive to your 1TB Time Capsule.
But if you hate the clutter and yearn for a sealed, elegant solution with only one plug, you needn’t pony up $200 extra for a 3TB Time Capsule: It would seem that the wireless gizmo accepts 3TB internal drives, if properly partitioned. According to a HardMac reader:
I personally installed a 3 TB WD Caviar Green 3To (by chance!), when it came out 5 months ago, in a 1 TB Time Capsule that I bought around that time as well. I formatted it with Airport Utility to have the 3 partitions that are necessary for Time Machine and it was immediately recognized as a 3 TB disk. I’ve been using it ever since without any problem.