Rumor: So long AirPort, Apple prefers to call you Wi-Fi now in Lion

We wouldn’t have thought that AirPort as a moniker for Wi-Fi would have been all that confusing, but it seems like Apple may just disagree. AirPort is out in Lion, and Wi-Fi is back in business. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple’s left behind references to AirPort in Lion. The menu bar’s wireless signal indicator and connection tool now reference Wi-Fi instead of the previously used AirPort.

This seems like one of those things that may only be available in a beta version of Lion, which everyone’s using right now. Losing AirPort references for Wi-Fi seems like a step backwards since Apple has a product called AirPort Express on the market. Apple also uses AirPort Extreme as a name for their consumer routers.

Leading up to WWDC there were reports that the Time Capsule and AirPort Express could be getting a major overhaul. If true, this could be the first major step in rebranding the products. Wi-Fi could just be a place holder for whatever Apple’s planning on naming the technology in the future. Or, it could be labelled Wi-Fi from here on out.

Curiously, Apple’s introduced AirDrop with Lion. This could be another tell. Until now, Apple’s used ‘Air’ in their products that connect directly to the internet wirelessly in some way. That changed with AirDrop. The new Lion technology is only available on local networks, and is not available over WAN, at least as it is at this point. Apple could be making the move to rid the confusion of AirDevices being WAN related. AirPlay is also a local area network device. Is Apple in the process of distinguishing between the LAN and WAN with Air and iCloud?

Who knows, I’m just publicly prognosticating at this point. What do you think?

Article Via TUAW

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