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Old May 27, 2014, 03:44 PM   #1
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Apple Tested USB Hard Disk Support for 2012 AirPort Express




Apple may have considered including USB hard drive support in the AirPort Express initially released in June of 2012, according to an early support manual unearthed by French site Journal Du Lapin (via iPhone in Canada).

Available in PDF format, the older manual references a section suggesting a USB hard disk or USB hub could be connected to the AirPort Express, allowing all computers on the network to access those devices.

Quote:
Connect a self-powered USB hard disk to your AirPort Express. All of the computers on the AirPort network can access the information on the hard disk.

Connect a USB hub to your AirPort Express, and then connect multiple USB devices, such as printers or hard disks. All of the computers on the AirPort network can access those devices.
These references are not found in the final product's manual [PDF], which only includes a section on connecting a USB printer to the device. USB hard disk compatibility would have potentially allowed the lower-cost AirPort Express to function in the same way as the more expensive AirPort Extreme, suggesting Apple possibly once considered merging these two products before making the decision to release the AirPort Express without external hard drive compatibility.

While Apple's AirPort Extreme retails for $199 and includes the ability to connect to a USB hard drive that can be accessed by all computers on the network for sharing and storing files, the AirPort Express, priced $100 less at $99, remains a no-frills entry level WiFi solution for consumers for the time being.

Article Link: Apple Tested USB Hard Disk Support for 2012 AirPort Express
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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I wish!

That'd be a great way to be able to network drives within homes as most consumers are looking to drop Airport Extreme prices!
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:46 PM   #3
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That's a shame

Even with that functionality, the Airport Extreme is a cleaner, more integrated solution so most people would have bought the Extreme anyway.
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:48 PM   #4
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It would have also been nice for Apple to include Airplay and stereo audio output on the Extreme and Time Capsule.
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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I have one of these, great product. Would be wonderful if I could attach a USB hard disk to it for time machine backups!
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icaras View Post
It would have also been nice for Apple to include Airplay and stereo audio output on the Extreme and Time Capsule.
Copy that...

I've also thought a combo AppleTV+Airport device would be useful. At least for the house I'm currently in, it turns out that my WiFi and AppleTV sit within a couple feet from each other.
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by arkmannj View Post
Copy that...

I've also thought a combo AppleTV+Airport device would be useful. At least for the house I'm currently in, it turns out that my WiFi and AppleTV sit within a couple feet from each other.
Hey, I am in UT too, Murray/Cottonwood Heights. Where are you approx?
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Old May 27, 2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Icaras View Post
It would have also been nice for Apple to include Airplay and stereo audio output on the Extreme and Time Capsule.
totally agree but how would they sell Apple TV then? That's what I had to do to stream music. Oh well...
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:00 PM   #9
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Configured right, it might've given okay performance. I wouldn't expect anything great though, smaller antennas for one.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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bring back the wall plug form factor
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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It pisses me off that they crippled the Airport Express. I imagine a firmware update would allow network disk access from an Airport Express.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:06 PM   #12
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totally agree but how would they sell Apple TV then? That's what I had to do to stream music. Oh well...
The Apple TV would still retain it's strength of being able to Airplay both audio and video. The Airport Express allows only audio because of just the 3.5mm stereo output which is nice when you have an available stereo system near it.

But I guess it's sort of getting insignificant now anyway since you can now get amplifiers and receivers with airplay built in.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:15 PM   #13
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bring back the wall plug form factor
Yes please!
Hands down the best form factor yet.
Would like ATV/AEBS combo in current ATV form factor, express in wall plug form factor.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Yvan256 View Post
Even with that functionality, the Airport Extreme is a cleaner, more integrated solution so most people would have bought the Extreme anyway.
Huh?

Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
Bigger, more powerful antennas too.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Huh?

Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
I believe the Extreme also has Gigabit Ethernet in those ports while the Express doesn't. Plus the Wifi is up to ac standard. So at least on paper it's faster.
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Old May 27, 2014, 04:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tliede20 View Post
That'd be a great way to be able to network drives within homes as most consumers are looking to drop Airport Extreme prices!
How can you make a claim like "most consumers are looking to drop Airport Extreme prices", and be mad about it? Just because there are cheaper routers on the market doesn't mean that the Airport routers are equal on all fronts, but at a higher price. The hardware and software is generally superior to many third-party options, even from a pure integration with Macs and iOS devices standpoint.

Apple is a hardware company and needs to make money. The "bargain" they offer (and there is one!) is the longevity of their hardware and software. You get more than you paid for it, easy. If you want a cheaper router, get a cheaper router.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by street.cory View Post
It pisses me off that they crippled the Airport Express. I imagine a firmware update would allow network disk access from an Airport Express.
Crippled? That's a bold claim. You do realize that these devices are mini-computers, right? They do a lot of work beyond just routing your network traffic. The Airport Express is a tiny device, and to cram even more functionality and demands into it may have exceeded processing and heat thresholds beyond Apple's quality of standard. What if they decided to roll out that Network Disk feature to the Express and it performed poorly? How pissed would you be then?
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Old May 27, 2014, 05:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Huh?

Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
"USB hard disk compatibility would have potentially allowed the lower-cost AirPort Express to function in the same way as the more expensive AirPort Extreme."

But yeah, I was mixing up the Airport Express/Extreme with the Time Capsule.
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Old May 27, 2014, 05:26 PM   #19
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How about adding Airplay to Airport Extreme instead of making people double dip to get a Airport Express at the same would be the smartest move for Apple.
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Old May 27, 2014, 05:55 PM   #20
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Strange story to surface now.

Unless it hints at some hybrid Apple TV/Airport Express combo. (Just kidding)
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Old May 27, 2014, 06:14 PM   #21
Alphabetize
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Huh?

Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
And 802.11ac
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Old May 27, 2014, 06:16 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
Bigger, more powerful antennas too.
I'm not sure if this is true. I have one of each at home and was looking to swap them to improve signal strength where it's needed, but from what I was able to gather from the Internet, the output signal strength is identical between the two.
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Old May 27, 2014, 06:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post
Huh?

Functionally, the only thing the Extreme has is extra ethernet ports.
And 802.11ac w/BeamForming tech plus USB HDD Access, which is what the article is all about...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikiaf View Post
I'm not sure if this is true. I have one of each at home and was looking to swap them to improve signal strength where it's needed, but from what I was able to gather from the Internet, the output signal strength is identical between the two.
No it's not. You have to use 802.11ac ready equipment to see the BeamForming tech advantage.
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Old May 27, 2014, 07:23 PM   #24
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Copy that...

I've also thought a combo AppleTV+Airport device would be useful. At least for the house I'm currently in, it turns out that my WiFi and AppleTV sit within a couple feet from each other.
Wouldn't that be a welcoming product! How about a Time Capsule with ATV built in?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icaras View Post
The Apple TV would still retain it's strength of being able to Airplay both audio and video. The Airport Express allows only audio because of just the 3.5mm stereo output which is nice when you have an available stereo system near it.

But I guess it's sort of getting insignificant now anyway since you can now get amplifiers and receivers with airplay built in.
True.
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Old May 27, 2014, 07:29 PM   #25
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bring back the wall plug form factor
http://www.cyberguys.com/product-det...roductid=47158
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