TBH I’m more upset at the death of the routing more than the wifi. They were significantly behind in wifi tech for the past few years. But I loved their management and reliability. And updated product with mesh wifi would be an instant buy for me.
You can easily get cynical about corporate shenanigans.
Take a reasonably successful product, kill further development and let it languish for years in comparison with other, newer products on the market. Then kill it off after demonstrating subsequent low sales as a justification.
Apple seems to be an enthusiastic partaker of this strategy for numerous loved products.
Not sure what you mean by bridging. Do you mean extending? If so, then yes as others have said extending different manufacturer hardware is flakey for all brands.
From my 15 years experience with wifi, I strongly believe one should always have all the wifi access points in an environment be the same revision of 802.11, identical authentication, and from the same manufacturer to ensure devices can roam, etc. If you upgrade one AirPort device from 802.11n to 802.11ac then you need to update them all. This was one of my annoyances with the AirPort Express never getting updated to 802.11ac - making a mixed install of Extremes and Expresses no longer possible.
AirPort gear is not “corporate sector” gear. And even so, as you say, it plays beautifully with other Apple AirPort hardware. I’d say that (as per my second point above) I don’t think one should ever mismatch hardware, certainly not in a “corporate sector” environment anyway.
I know is really not, but when I was doing my prac at schools for my education degree I did see a lot of airports rolled out in a lot of schools. I know you shouldn’t really mix and match hardware, this is my common sense and doing my IT diploma (many years ago which is no longer current).
The problem is, your ISP gives you one piece of hardware and then invariably you have two types of hardware, unless you’re on a type of cable that supports the Airport Extreme, which is not the majority in Australia outside of metro areas. You end up stuck with an option that is far from ideal and then the Airport. Then:
You bridge your router to the Airport Extreme.
You need another airport device as an extender.
This adds the premium cost of the Airport device.
This also adds an ugly solution of having to have a bridged device on top of your Airport. This is particularly true for those of us stuck on the copper rather than fibre NBN fraudband.
Most people do no have a rack (or multiple racks) or a good way to mount so many devices in their house in a way that isn’t ugly and overburdening. The Airport option then becomes ugly.
It was kinda good to have a USB port for a printer (or hard drive). You could basically replace a small home NAS or have print services, or both, which replicated a small home service, it also had itunes support.
The problem is… Spotify is a far better solution that works with all your connected devices even over 4G and more modern routers that you now get even with budget ISPs tend to provide far better network attached services at faster speeds now.
When I got spotify I archived all of my music on another hard drive. I saved space and the quality of the high quality streams are almost not discernible between WAV or any other non-compressed format. You also get access to literally every type of music you could think of. I am going to say “you can think of” because I’m sure there’s not everything, but for a low price of $11 a month it beats the hobby of finding second hand CDs and ripping them to your hard drive. Moreover, it also increases your range and taste in music.
Spotify is also an open ecosystem software service. It works no matter whether you are on OS X, Windows, iOS and Android, Linux, even your PS4 (basically everything unless you’re running a potato). It streams over any wifi hardware to and from your computer, phone or tablet and it seamlessly integrates into your life.
Streaming audio over your personal home network was cool about 15 years ago. Now I use an Apple TV3 for that purpose hooked up to an optical to analogue DAC and the only purpose I use that for is to force audio from my computer onto my valve amplifier that has no digital inputs.
The bridged modem is something you can’t get around for the majority of Australian services, this is going to be the case for everyone unless you get an all in one job.
The bigger issue for many people is that copper/cable outlet is in a location that isn’t ideal for wireless meaning the need for an extra WAP becomes greater, especially as we get more and more devices in each house.
As for extender, you would always be better off having a cable run to the ideal location for the second device otherwise you’re into the mesh space which I’ve never been particularly fond of, although I understand that some people won’t get much of an option (eg rentals).
I did just that and had a Printer and a HDD hooked up at different times. These days it’s easy enough to get a wireless printer and even wireless HDD’s or one/two drive NAS units are very affordable. The value offered by the Apple devices has got less and less over the years, while they did work pretty well, especially the Time Capsule, most of the value for me was in those extra services which I have otherwise replaced anyway.
To be fair, so does Apple Music, Google Music and probably most of the other ones too. I do tend to agree that the local storage of media is dead for most people since it’s just so convenient and cheap to stream… that and I’d probably argue that the “normal” person never had a huge ripped library anyway. These same people probably don’t even have an external HDD for storage only keeping all their precious photos on their one crappy laptop.
This phase out has been coming for a long while, the hardware hasn’t been updated in 5 years and I don’t think this really surprises anyone.
And it’s also far easier to navigate and find music I want to listen to in than Apple Music is. I find Apple Music almost completely unusable, it’s as though the interface was designed by a committee who didn’t speak the same language
Damn typos… Yeah, that’s what got me on the Spotify system. It doesn’t matter whether I’m using it on my phone, on my MacBook, or on my desktop Windows PC. It even pushes on to my valve amplifier via my Apple TV. It’s just a really simple service that has a back end that pretty well works with anything.
Spotify is one of the most perfect examples of good user interface, and service design. It seamlessly integrates with you. I wish Apple would learn from that kind of design sometimes rather than being a company for pretentious hipsters.