At Mac360, we preach backups. Apple recognized the need to automate user backups and provided Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard.
From what we know of Leopard’s Time Machine, it’s great. From what we know of Time Machine, Apple may have goofed up big time. Think wireless.
If you don’t know what OS X Leopard is, then you’re probably not up on Time Machine, Apple’s eerily simple, highly technical automated backup system, coming soon to a Mac near you. By all accounts, Time Machine is the big cat’s meow.
Simply put, Time Machine backs up all the files on your Mac and makes it almost as easy to find a file you can’t find as it was to backup your Mac’s in the first place.
Time Machine is always on, saves everything approach makes backing up your files a complete no brainer. Now, add Time Machine to an external hard drive (required, by the way) connected to a new Apple Airport Extreme Base Station, and you get the ultimate backup system.
Effortless, wireless, everything stored away, but easy to retrieve. What could be cooler in the world of backups? That’s the Apple way, right? Almost. And not quite.
Developer builds of Mac OS X Leopard, and the Apple web site, until recently, touted the wireless feature using Time Machine and the “Airport Disk” to backup files over wireless to the Airport Extreme Base Station. Suddenly, the Apple web site details about using Time Machine via wireless connection to an Airport Disk, well, uh, they just disappeared. Vanished. Gone.
Uh oh. One of the coolest features of Leopard just took a hit. No wireless backup via Time Machine. Or, so it seems.
Mac developers say that Time Machine’s wireless capability was pulled at the last minute from OS X Leopard. And many Mac fans are not happy about it, either. There’s noise from Mac users on Apple’s discussion boards, noise from Mac software developers, and soon, once Leopard ships and we confirm everything, noise and more noise.
Apple’s list of Time Machine features can be found here. Nothing about wireless backup capability using Time Machine. The original advertising copy has been removed from Apple’s web site, but this is what it said:
What happened? Without direct information from Apple, which is highly unlikely, we can speculate. Hey, that’s what we do weeks prior to any new release of Mac OS X anyway, right?
Many Airport Extreme customers have complained about wireless file transfers not being very fast, so perhaps performance was an issue, especially when setting up Time Machine’s initial backup routine, which will take a considerable amount of time over a wireless connection.
Perhaps there are last minute bugs that proliferated and need to be quashed, and a future Leopard update or Airport Extreme firmware update will correct the problem. Whatever it is, removal of the feature puts a healthy dent in the plans of many Mac users who want to use Time Machine to backup files via wireless.
What’s your future backup plan with Time Machine? Do you plan to add an extra hard drive to your Mac when installing OS X Leopard? If you could, would a wireless backup plan be preferred? Talk Back to Mac360 and share your frustration in the Comments section below.