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The new Google Chromecast HD might have a big advantage over its predecessor

It looks like Google finally addressed one of the biggest pain points of the 4K Chromecast.
By
September 12, 2022
Google Chromecast with Google TV on table style photo
David Imel / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Specs of the upcoming cheaper Chromecast have leaked thanks to a firmware build.
  • It confirms the official name of Google’s new streaming dongle and also reveals its hardware details.
  • The device might resolve one of the biggest pain points of the current 4K Chromecast.

Specs of the upcoming Google Chromecast streaming dongle have leaked thanks to firmware sleuthing by developer Kuba Wojciechowski. After seeing leaked photos of the device last week, the new information reveals the meat of the matter, aka the hardware and software details of the new Chromecast and its official branding.

The build I obtained is from July and is most likely the same as the one that will be preinstalled on the device. It is based on Android 12 with Google TV. It does also confirm the “Chromecast HD” branding. pic.twitter.com/KHL02I9uRW
— Kuba Wojciechowski⚡ (@Za_Raczke) September 12, 2022

According to Wojciechowski’s findings, the upcoming cheaper Chromecast will be named “Chromecast HD.” That’s because it’ll only support 1080p streaming instead of 4K like the previous Chromecast with Google TV. That said, the newer model will also carry the Google TV UI.

The current Chromecast with Google TV has a major flaw which the new model might resolve.

The good news is that the software of the new Chromecast is based on Android 12. The 4K Chromecast with Google TV is still stuck on Android 10 two years after its launch. That’s because it has one major flaw — limited storage. The device packs just 8GB of internal storage, making it impossible to upgrade its operating system and, at the same time, have enough space for new apps and app updates. Not to mention the cached data that apps build up over time. It’s even difficult for Google to issue regular security updates to the device because of the paltry storage.

No more storage problems?

It seems the so-called Chromecast HD could resolve this problem. Wojciechowski reports that the device will support A/B updates. Also called seamless updates, they allow new software to be streamed to A/B devices, removing the need to download the package before installing it. Streaming means the device doesn’t need to have enough free space to store the update package.

So even if the new Chromecast comes with a limited amount of storage, it may still support future system updates to Android 13 and beyond. However, Wojciechowski also notes that the upcoming dongle features 1.5GB of RAM instead of 2GB on the 4K Chromecast. This may deter future Android updates because Google already requires devices to have a minimum of 2GB of RAM to support Android 13. Although, this restriction may not apply to Android TV devices.

At the very least, the new A/B update system should ensure timely security updates and bug fixes from Google’s end. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest pans out regarding major Android updates.

Meanwhile, the firmware accessed by Wojciechowski also has a diagram of a remote that looks identical to the remote that comes with the current Chromecast. It also reveals the new HD streamer will feature Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.