A new firmware update for the AirPort Express 2012 802.11n models was released yesterday afternoon. The new firmware, identified as version 7.8 offers support for AirPlay 2.
Finally, the Apple Router gets AirPlay 2
The latest version 7.8 firmware for AirPort Express 2012 802.11n models can be downloaded to these devices using AirPort Utility, which is a free application for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
According to MacRumors, some users who have already downloaded and installed the firmware update have reported that they can use their AirPort Express with other AirPlay 2 compatible devices when running iOS 11.4.1 or iOS 12. In 2012, AirPort Express models with AirPlay 2 Update will support multiple audio rooms while working with other devices such as the HomePod, Apple TV, and Sonos speakers.
Since AirPlay 2 appeared as an AirPlay 2 accessory in the iOS 12 Beta in the Home application, there has been much speculation about the idea of adding support for this technology to AirPort Express, which has finally happened.
Last April, Apple announced the discontinuation of its full range of wireless routers, including AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. The model that receives this update today is sold out, so it is no longer available, at least not in the brand’s stores.
Based on that information, it was not clear whether the Express model would be compatible with AirPlay 2, but Apple decided to be “generous” to those customers who still use it. In fact, the company plans to offer service and spare parts for existing AirPort base stations over the next five years.