Tuesday, January 17, 2023

New Chromecast with Google TV?

I said last Spring that I so wanted to like Chromecast with Google TV, but had a hard time liking it.

When I first tried it out, I did like it. However, it didn't remain a favorite for long. After a few months use, it became apparent that the device didn't match up to Roku in a couple of ways.

Most prominently was the fact that the storage for apps was small, even though it was larger than Roku devices at the time. The main difference is the way the two platforms handled apps.

On Roku, if you run out of space, Roku will remove the oldest app (in terms of how long it's been since you launched it) to make room for the newer app. Only, they still left a shortcut on your device, meaning that if you went to run the older app again, it acted as if it was still there, removed the oldest remaining app, and re-downloaded the app again for you to use it.

The effect was that it seemed as if the storage was never full, because it managed the storage space so well.

Other devices, including Chromecast with Google TV, don't manage storage well. They won't let you download apps if the device is full. You have to remove an app, which takes it from your menu. It's a pain, and the way Roku handles it, it's not a pain at all.

The device could use a bump in storage. And it could use a couple of other improvements as well, but the storage is the big thing.

Good news may be coming down the pike soon. According to 9to5Google, a new Chromecast device is in the works.

In the latest preview update to the Google Home app, the company includes early preparation for a new Google TV device, referred to as “YTC.” Elsewhere in the code, it’s directly confirmed that this is indeed a “Chromecast with Google TV” — alongside previous models “YTV” (Chromecast with Google TV) and “YTB” (Chromecast HD).

Considering Google has already released a lower-end model of Chromecast, we believe the company is on schedule to release something with a higher set of specs to replace its current flagship offering. For now, though, we’re not able to confirm any specs of Google’s next Chromecast.

At a bare minimum, we’d like to see Google include more storage on the next Chromecast with Google TV. The processor should also see an upgrade, as Android TV somewhat recently changed its hardware requirements.

We’d also love to see the next Chromecast include a second USB-C port for plugging in accessories or additional storage. To do this today, you need to purchase a USB-C dock/dongle with passthrough power, and this also prevents you from using Google’s official power adapter with Ethernet.

It would be great if the Chromecast got an upgrade, and got it soon. I so want to like the Chromecast with Google TV, but it just gets annoying after a bit. Some upgrades would make it something I would use, and recommend, for both my and your Streaming Life.

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