Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

New Time Capsules to Run iOS on A4/A5 Processors?


Earlier this week, we noted that a number of Apple's retail stores have run dry of stocks of Time Capsules, AirPort Extremes, and in some cases AirPort Expresses, leading to speculation that a refresh could come at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. Reports quickly arose claiming that Apple has been known to have at least internally tested new Time Capsules capable of caching software updates for Macs and iOS devices, delivering them quickly to the machines for updating.

In a separate report, Ars Technica briefly notes that it has received word that the new Time Capsule may actually follow the pattern of the Apple TV, taking on an A4 or A5 processor from Apple and running iOS to manage the more advanced functions that could appear in the device.
Our own source tells Ars that the revised hardware is believed to be built around Apple's own A4 or A5 processor, and will run iOS much like the most recent Apple TV model.
Harnessing the power of iOS directly within the Time Capsule device, even if on a scaled-down basis as in the Apple TV, naturally opens the door to further speculation of how Apple could tie together iCloud services with local storage on users' own networks, whether it be caching some iCloud content to the Time Capsule for faster access when on the local network or even pushing some of the Time Machine functions included on the current Time Capsule out to iCloud itself.

Separately, we've heard an unconfirmed tip that iOS 5 may finally be bringing wireless syncing to iOS devices, including the intriguing claim that the wireless syncing could be performed directly with the new Time Capsules, bypassing the need to sync with a specific computer.

Related roundup: AirPort

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

42 months ago
This could be big.

I know at least one person who considered an iPad as her only computer at home but she gave up on that idea because of the need to sync it with a full computer.

If a time-capsule really could sync/update/backup an iPad then I can think of 3 or 4 people I'd suggest an 'iPad-Time Capsule-Bluetooth Keyboard-Apple TV' home system to. *

As iOS grows there will be more and more people who fit that profile.


* These are people who currently own a single Macbook and only use 1/10th of its potential. So yes, that sort of customer does exist.
Rating: 15 Votes
42 months ago

I'd like to see the reverse. Give them the complete AppleTV treatment. Tiny $99 black boxes, no onboard storage. Put a bunch of USB ports on the back, all compatible with external hard drives or printers. Kill the Airport Extreme (or Time Capsule, depending on which name Apple wishes to keep.)


What if they used Thunderbolt instead of (or along with) USB? Or maybe TB enabled units would be an option?

For strictly wireless access, TB doesn't make much sense over USB. More expensive, less options, wireless speeds won't let you take advantage of TB's throughput. But... if you had some systems hooked up via gigabyte ethernet, having a TB attached HDD would make sense.

If download caching was being built in, imagine how fast an update would appear when wired into the TC/AE?

Next week is going to be very interesting indeed, eh?


This could be big.

I know at least one person who considered an iPad as her only computer at home but she gave up on that idea because of the need to sync it with a full computer.

If a time-capsule really could sync/update/backup an iPad then I can think of 3 or 4 people I'd suggest an 'iPad-Time Capsule-Bluetooth Keyboard-Apple TV' home system to. *

As iOS grows there will be more and more people who fit that profile.


* These are people who currently own a single Macbook and only use 1/10th of its potential. So yes, that sort of customer does exist.


I think you are onto something here. I think this is Jobs real dream. That for many many people, an Apple iPad and an Apple "device" that attaches your iPad to the internet is all the computing power you need. Then you just need external storage for all the Apple provided content you are going to buy. I give your comment 3 thumbs up!!
Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago
Great. Time for arn to create a “Time Capsule” section in the Buyer's Guide. :D
Rating: 7 Votes
42 months ago
i hope there black like apple tv2
Rating: 6 Votes
42 months ago

That was exactly the thought that occurred to me. One of the biggest complaints about ATV is you need a running iTunes to serve up media from your own network. I'd have thought that it would be fairly trivial to stick an HDMI port on that thing and get a nice video out, giving you an ATV with a stonking big local disk for media storage and backups.


Does anyone else think it is a dumb idea to have your router/firewall serve that purpose (the HDMI bit)? So now instead of having an ATV that can be moved around or turned off, I now have my router/firewall that had to be right where my cable/dsl modem is and can't be turned off serve that purpose. Who has their cable/dsl modem in their living room anyways?
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago

probably not but they might up the storage, to 2TB and 3TB :)


I'd like to see the reverse. Give them the complete AppleTV treatment. Tiny $99 black boxes, no onboard storage. Put a bunch of USB ports on the back, all compatible with external hard drives or printers. Kill the Airport Extreme (or Time Capsule, depending on which name Apple wishes to keep.)
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago
This is interesting, but... maybe not.

What I Hope: Apple is using A4/5 + IOS because it provides a powerful, flexible, extensible environment. The new TC is an extensible media server that can handle 3rd-party services, protocols and content.

What I Expect: Apple is only using A4/5 processor + IOS because it's convenient. The new TC has some really nice but limited media serving capabilities and is not extensible.
Rating: 4 Votes
42 months ago
Hopefully these will operate as a deluxe AppleTV too. No need for two pieces of hardware.
Rating: 4 Votes
42 months ago
Intriguing. Hopefully they'll drop the price on the darn things as well.
Rating: 4 Votes
42 months ago

probably not but they might up the storage, to 2TB and 3TB :)


I'd prefer if they offered a mirrored raid option for more data security.
Rating: 4 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]