Feeds

Apple iPod team seeks Wi-Fi engineer

Portable player as AirPort Express remote control?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Apple is looking for two iPod hardware engineers both with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi experience, opening the possibility that the portable music player may be upgraded with wireless connectivity.

The job applications - which you can view here and here - were posted on behalf of Apple's iPod division and call for candidates with "a consumer electronics background dealing with high volume, low power, high quality products".

The iPod is certainly a good candidate itself for wireless connectivity. Its PDA-style synchronisation with not only iTunes but Apple's own PIM apps suits it to quick wireless data transfers. Bluetooth is probably not a suitable alternative to Firewire or USB 2.0, but Wi-Fi would be.

But we suspect Apple has its eye on wireless not as an alternative to the cable connecting the iPod to a host Mac or PC, but to equip the device with the tools needed to communicate remotely with said host and Apple's AirPort Express music-routing Wi-Fi access point.

Right now, there's no way of sitting in a living room in which an AirPort Express unit is hooked up to a hi-fi and to control what's being streamed off the Mac up in the spare room. If the computer's portable, you can bring it down, or you can pop into the other room and change iTunes' playlist. What's needed is a remote control.

With its display and smart UI, the iPod is an obvious choice. What it needs next is AirPort support, along with a corresponding Salling Clicker-style remote control facility built into iTunes itself.

Indeed, Apple may even be considering offering such software itself, for the smart phones and PDAs iSync operates with. They would be limited by Bluetooth's range, allowing Apple to offer a Wi-Fi iPod as the superior solution, for range, UI and performance.

Alternatively, the iPod division may be behind the mysterious 'tablet Mac' we reported on recently, which has also been described as a possible iTunes/AirPort Express remote control unit.

At the very least, Apple is keen on increased integration between Wi-Fi and iTunes, and there's a big hole in its product line here: the remote control system. Whether it has in mind something a simple as an 802.11-enabled iPod, a more complex tablet-style computer, or both, remains to be seen. ®

Related stories

Euro filing reveals Apple 'handheld computer'
Delayed tablet Mac to launch next month?
Apple contracts Quanta to build wireless display report
A Bluetooth iPod (and three other Apple distractions)
Macrovision: iPod support for lock-in CDs in Q4
Apple files 'chameleon' computer case patent
Apple coughs up for iTunes Music Store patent
MS to 'quietly launch' iTunes rival this week

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.