Google’s new Chromecast HD could have a huge storage advantage

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Google Chromecast with Google TV in a table-style photo

David Imel / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • The specifications of the next cheapest Chromecast have been 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 could solve one of the biggest pain points of the current 4K Chromecast.

The specifications of the upcoming Google Chromecast streaming dongle have been leaked thanks to firmware research by developer Kuba Wojciechowski. After seeing leaked photos of the device last week, the new information reveals the nitty-gritty, namely the hardware and software details of the new Chromecast and its official branding.

The build I got is from July and is probably the same one that will be pre-installed on the device. It is based on Android 12 with Google TV. It also confirms the “Chromecast HD” brand. pic.twitter.com/KHL02I9uRW

Based on Wojciechowski’s findings, the next cheapest Chromecast will be called “Chromecast HD.” This is because it will 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 that the new model could solve.

The good news is that the new Chromecast software is based on Android 12. The 4K Chromecast with Google TV is still stuck on Android 10 two years after its release. That’s because it has one major flaw: limited storage. The device includes only 8 GB of internal storage, which makes it impossible to update its operating system while still having enough space for new apps and app updates. Not to mention the cached data that apps accumulate over time. It is even difficult for Google to issue regular security updates for the device due to negligible storage.

No more storage problems?

It seems that the so-called Chromecast HD could solve this problem. Wojciechowski reports that the device will support A/B updates. Also called embedded updates, they allow new software to be pushed to A/B devices, eliminating the need to download the package before installing it. Streaming means that the device does not 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 can still support future system updates to Android 13 and beyond. However, Wojciechowski also points out that the upcoming dongle features 1.5GB of RAM instead of 2GB on the Chromecast 4K. This may prevent future Android updates because Google already requires devices to have a minimum of 2 GB of RAM to support Android 13. However, this restriction may not apply to Android TV devices.

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

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



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