A recent leak suggests the upcoming Google Chromecast might resolve the current model’s most notable flaw — limited storage.
Google launched the 4K Chromecast in September 2020 with just 8GB of internal storage.
Due to the limited storage space, users can’t upgrade the device’s operating system and install apps or app updates simultaneously. Besides, the cached data that apps build over time makes the paltry internal storage even more frustrating.
As a result, several 4K Chromecast users are still running Android 10, two years after the device launched. The 8GB storage has also prevented Google from rolling out regular security updates to the device. However, an upcoming Google Chromecast could address this flaw.
A recent firmware inquiry by developer Kuba Wojciechowski revealed the upcoming Chromecast’s hardware and software details, including 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, Google will name the upcoming device “Chromecast HD.” This confirms a previous report that the streaming dongle will offer a 1080p experience, unlike the current model, which supports 4K. However, the upcoming HD model is also expected to use Google TV UI.
However, Wojciechowski’s most significant finding is that the new Chromecast will support A/B updates. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
Using A/B System Updates to Address Software Upgrade Issues on Chromecast
With A/B System Updates, Google can stream new software directly to the Chromecast HD, removing the need to download the update before installing. In other words, the device doesn’t need ample free space to store and install an update package.
Although the new Chromecast is based on Android 12, the seamless update feature suggests that the device may support Android 13 and beyond. But it’s not that simple.
Wojciechowski’s findings suggest that the upcoming Chromecast has 1.5GB RAM instead of the 2GB on the current 4K model. Since Android 13 requires a minimum of 2GB RAM, the upcoming dongle may not support newer OS versions.
However, Wojciechowski noted that the RAM restriction might not affect Android TV devices:
He tweeted: https://twitter.com/Za_Raczke/status/1569120509840818178
“The device has 1.5GB of ram, compared to 2GB on the 4K model. While this will probably not affect performance much, it might mean that the device will never get A13, as Google has recently raised the requirement to 2GB (it might not affect ATV devices though).”
Be that as it may, the A/B Update system should ensure timely updates to address security and bug fixes. The new Chromecast will also feature Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and Wi-Fi 5.