Apple released two AirPort-related software updates Monday afternoon. AirPort Utility 6.0 is a new, Lion-only version of the software to set up and configure Apple’s base stations. An updated AirPort firmware adds compatibility with iCloud-based accounts for connecting to home computers using Back to My Mac.
AirPort Utility 6.0 adopts the graphical interface used in the iOS version of AirPort Utility. Your AirPort devices are displayed in a graphical hierarchy, with a dot signaling if the device is working (green) or not (yellow or red). A badge indicates if there are warning or error messages. Clicking a device in the setup brings up a pop-over tab with information about the device, as well as buttons to edit the settings. When applicable, It will also allow you to install firmware updates or configure a new device.
The AirPort Extreme at the heart of our home network indicated that it needed a firmware update. That firmware, AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.6.1, is available now. The update applies to all 802.11n capable Airport Extreme, AirPort Express, or Time Capsule base stations. In addition to fixing an unnamed “issue with wireless performance,” the update also allows users to remotely access Time Capsule or AirPort Disk volumes using an iCloud account and the Back to My Mac feature. According to Ars contributor Glenn Fleishman, Back to My Mac access would no longer work once MobileMe accounts were switched to iCloud.
AirPort Utility 6.0 is available via software update for Lion users running 10.7.2. Your AirPort base station’s firmware can still be updated with AirPort Utility 5.5.3 or later running on Snow Leopard or Lion, or AirPort Utility on iOS.
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Apple gives AirPort Utility an iOS makeover, supports iCloud