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Apple Testing New Time Capsules for Caching Software Updates?


While we noted yesterday that an apparent tightening of supplies of AirPort and Time Capsule products in Apple's retail stores may heighten anticipation for a possible update at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, 9 to 5 Mac reports that it has received word that Apple has at least been internally testing new Time Capsule models capable of caching software updates for users' machines in order to speed the download and update process.
What we do know is that Apple has been internally testing Time Capsules to cache Software updates for both Mac and iOS devices. The way we've heard it works is that the new Time Capsule learns which devices connect to it via Wifi. It then goes out to Apple's servers and downloads Software Updates for those products.

When the user wants to install the software update, the Time Capsule, which is also the router, routes you to the locally stored update, rather than downloading the whole thing over the Internet.
A smarter version of the update capabilities found in Mac OS X Server, the new Time Capsules would know exactly which machines it needed software updates for and download only those packages.

And with Apple's latest iMac and MacBook Pro models already supporting 450 Mbps Wi-Fi, distributing software updates downloaded quietly in the background by a Time Capsule to the actual machines could be accomplished with lightning speed.

As for potential tie-ins to Apple's iCloud service scheduled for introduction next Monday, new Time Capsules could integrate with the service to cache certain large or frequently-accessed files for faster access when on the local Wi-Fi network. Those files would of course instead be distributed directly from the iCloud servers when off the local network.

Related roundup: AirPort

Top Rated Comments

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46 months ago
why couldnt this be just a software update for the current gen time capsules?
Rating: 8 Votes
46 months ago
Everyone has been focused on the music and mobileme aspects of icloud but I'm really hoping that one thing that is arriving is non-connected sync'ing and updating - the whole plugging my ipad and phone into a specific computer regularly is a pain.
Rating: 8 Votes
46 months ago

why couldnt this be just a software update for the current gen time capsules?


It's Apple.
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago
The one feature Time Capsules need is an iTunes background process to serve iTunes content to remote devices over homeshare.
Rating: 3 Votes
46 months ago
It's a nice idea, but I hope there will be an option to deactivate it. Some people have very low bandwidth caps and need to control what they download.
Rating: 2 Votes
46 months ago
This is the sign of the further untethering of iOS devices. I mean otherwise you can just use your computer to download the update can't you? Been awhile since I had an iOS device.

Or its just a feature add to keep the price of their routers high.


I'd like it more if the Time Capsule were an iTunes server.

That would make alot of sense with today's iOS devices, low storage capacity MBAs and even laptops.

I suppose though you might as well just buy a Mac Mini then.

ACTually why doesn't Apple make a $300 iTunes server in the form of a low power Mac Mini. Only needs enough ram and cpu and gpu to be an iTunes server. Doesn't even need a gpu I guess. Put a 1.4ghz C2D in there along with 1gb of ram. 8gb of Flash or so for the iTunes server and updates and some cache. Storage would be external drives. Bonus would be room for user replaceable hard drive. Doesn't need disc drive or any ports except ethernet ports.

would be controlled with iOS device or Mac.
Rating: 2 Votes
46 months ago

What about those who don't have a Time Capsule? :(


They have the option of buying into one.
Rating: 2 Votes
46 months ago

I agree. It's all in the sw unless the CPU is just not capable enough.


We know the drill. Things that could have been done via software updates usually require you to buy new hardware.
Rating: 1 Votes
46 months ago
This will come in handy to download all the virus fixes soon to come out. :D
Rating: 1 Votes
46 months ago
Why not have a cloud in the house? You sync your itunes library to the hard drive connected to the airport device. And then AppleTV or any computer on the home network can stream from it.

I hope the features being added to the time capsule will be compatible with an airport extreme that has a hard drive connected.

And also I think it would be great to have multiple usb ports in the time capsule and airport extreme. That way multiple users can have time capsules on separate hard drives. And perhaps time capsules of external drives connected to a computer could be made instead of just the boot disk.
Rating: 1 Votes

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