Airport Express Gets Firmware 7.8 Update With AirPlay 2 And Home App Support

With the announcement of AirPort Express firmware release today, there is no doubt that the Apple’s router isn’t dead. But the fact here to discuss is Apple only stopped selling AirPort products and not completely RIP the solution.

The Cupertino-based company is still updating the firmware of AirPort Express, and today, it sees a significant one as it adds support for AirPlay 2 and the Home app. In other words, you can now plug speakers into a dusty AirPort Express and turn them into wireless speakers for your home sound system.

AirPort Express Gets AirPlay 2 And Home App Support

In some reports, it was confirmed that Apple has officially killed off its AirPort wireless hardware but with today’s firmware update it is once again clarified that it hasn’t stopped it from adding new features to parts of the lineup.

As in this case, the AirPort Express received a firmware update, taking it to version 7.8, which is interesting. In addition of a headline new feature that will garner the most attention – would be – the support for AirPlay 2 and Apple’s Home app – as part of the update.

For those unfamiliar with that, the AirPort Express was a pretty basic home router, which hasn’t been updated since 2012. meaning that it’s nowhere near a performant as today’s cheap router. It only supports 802.11n while everybody has moved on to 802.11ac.

The Apple’s wireless router called AirPort Express has an access point which has a built-in AUX port that can be used to connect a speaker via line-in. Its Ethernet ports are limited to 100Mbps, so if you have fiber internet, the AirPort Express is not a good solution as it caps your internet connection to 100Mbps.

As previously mentioned that the AirPort Express has an audio jack, something that you can’t find in many Apple products these days. With today’s update makes this AUX relevant again, as it’s a cheap way to get started with AirPlay 2. It has allowed giving a better way get AirPlay 2 support to speakers over the years, and now the AirPlay 2 is supported that looks set to be continued along with the additional features afforded by the updated protocol.

With the support of AirPlay 2 on-board, the AirPort Express can now converse with Apple’s Home app, just like a HomePod or other AirPlay 2-compatible speaker such as the Sonos devices that received similar updates recently, as well as Apple TV. The update itself can be installed via the AirPort Utility app on either iOS or macOS and is something we suggest everyone installs without delay.

You can launch the Home app and add the router as a new Home accessory, too. After installation and full setup, you’ll find the AirPort Express in your AirPlay speaker list. So, along with support for Home, AirPplay 2 support also gives the AirPort Express improved audio performance thanks to lower latency as well as multi-room playback. In order to take full official advantage of AirPlay 2 users will need to have iOS 11.4.1 or later installed on their iOS devices.

Once again, follow along to learn how…

How To Use AirPort Express For AirPlay 2 with Existing Router – Steps

  1. Plug the AirPort Express into the wall and wait until it boots up.
  2. Go into your Wi-Fi settings on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and join the new AirPort network.
  3. Click on the Other Options button.
  4. Select “Add to an existing network.”
  5. Choose your existing Wi-Fi network name from the list. Enter the password.

All things different and interesting in getting AirPort Express for the sole purpose of turning your existing speaker system into an AirPlay 2-compatible speaker system as a whole. You can get AirPort Express from here as Apple no longer sells them.

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