It came as a great surprise to me that Apple has reportedly disbanded its Airport engineering team. This is an unfortunate development, as the Airport and Time Capsule devices offered seamless interoperability with Macs and iOS devices. Configuration of Apple’s routers has always been a piece of cake using the Airport Utility. Anyone who has configured competitors’ routers knows the stark difference in ease of use.
Aside from the “elegance” of Apple’s routers, they also offered nifty features. For example, a hard drive can be plugged into an Extreme, turning the unit into a NAS device. (Plenty of folks use this setup for Time Machine.) Also, the Airport Express can be used with a pair of powered speakers to stream music via Airplay.
Apple’s networking equipment was not typically the fastest on the market. But they “just worked.” I’m using an Airport Extreme from 2009. The thing just won’t quit!
I’m going to miss the Airport line. We’ll see if Apple partners with another company to produce routers that meet Apple’s specs. It would be a shame if Apple’s customers lose the Apple experience when setting up a home or small office network.