found drama

get oblique

plays well with others

by Rob Friesel

the new AirPort ExtremePerhaps this is stating the obvious but amongst today’s clamor of Apple’s miscellaneous product updates ^^Each model in the desktop line got refreshes today: new Mac minis, new iMacs, and new Mac Pros.^^^ was a related, relatively silent update:  the new AirPort Extreme.

It’s an important but understated move that acknowledges two other products which did not get updated today:  the iPhone and the tv.

With respect to the first, the dual-band nature of the new AirPort Extreme is a direct nod to the iPhone.  Apple is selling shitloads of iPhones – shitloads of them, by just about every available account.  But the iPhone’s wi-fi is 802.11g; and there is no indication that 802.11n is going to debut in that handheld device any time soon.  This “deficiency” more/less directly cannibalizes (or otherwise damages) sales of the previous generation of AirPort Extreme.  Why pay a premium for an 802.11n router when you’ll just need to step down to g for that fancy new phone?  No longer:  setup dual-band to add simultaneous g and n connectivity and suddenly you’re golden.  And you don’t have the added hassle of bridging your n and g networks manually.  So you could do things like (you know) use that Remote app.

And that there is our oblique nod to the tv.  What’s represented in the iPhone ^^…and/or iPod touch.^^^ Remote app is part of that digital hub vision.  Your phone (i.e., iPhone) likely doesn’t leave your hand/pocket/side.  With a little AirPort (nee wi-fi), you can control the music etc. from wherever you are in the house (i.e., on the network).  Where the dual-band re-enters the equation here ^^Since 802.11g has been a trust home sidekick for so many years now with nary a re-buffered moment of iTunes streaming, eh?^^^ is that Remote remains useful (over g) while still allowing you to maximize throughput (over n) to tv for music and (increasingly) video ^^Didn’t Steve Jobs allege during its introduction that tv was something of a hobby for him? a personal project?^^^.  Acknowledging the iPhone/tv relationship in this equation also includes one other oblique nod:  to the other, non-Apple devices in the home’s digital hub that are quickly falling into the 802.11g ghetto ^^Roku Netflix player, I’m looking in your direction.^^^.  The dual-band nature not only says We’re here for the iPhone, it also says We’ll play well with others.

    About Rob Friesel

    Software engineer by day. Science fiction writer by night. Weekend homebrewer, beer educator at Black Flannel, and Certified Cicerone. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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