Unexpected update brings AirPlay 2 support to AirPort Express wireless base station

Apple yesterday released a new 7.8 software for AirPort Express, bringing AirPlay 2 compatibility and support for the Home app to its 802.11n wireless base station.

According to a support document detailing the latest firmware update, the refreshed software does add AirPlay 2 compatibility to the Wi-Fi base station.

The firmware can be installed on any 802.11n AirPort Express model from 2012 onward, via the AirPort Utility app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. For more information on the security content of the AirPort Express 7.8 update, check out Apple’s support document.

Because the new software turns your AirPort Express into an AirPlay audio target, it appears in the Home app on iOS 11.4.1 or newer and macOS Mojave 10.14 alongside your other AirPlay 2 devices such as HomePod, Apple TV, Sonos speakers and so forth.

Your AirPort Express is also available as an entry in the system’s AirPlay menus found in various places, like your Control Center, favorite apps and websites that stream media.

Simply choose your AirPort Express’ name from the AirPlay menu on your device to start streaming audio to it, or ask Siri to do it. AirPort Express features a built-in analog-optical audio mini-jack output so it can pass streamed audio to Wi-Fi equipment.

Now might be a good idea to pick up an inexpensive AirPort Express unit on Amazon.

Apple’s disbanded its wireless router unit and discontinued all AirPort wireless appliances. No AirPort devices are available from Apple.com, but Apple continues to support these with compatibility updates. Authorized retailers may still carry AirPort Express until stock runs out.

Are you glad that AirPort Express now does AirPlay 2?

Let us know by posting a comment below.