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.