[POLL] Would you still buy Chromecast with Google TV (next-gen) even with the current poor software support?— PiunikaWeb (@PiunikaWeb) May 8, 2022
Vote below & read our article here: https://t.co/LPtWSUlZgx
[Poll results live] Is Chromecast with Google TV's lack of regular updates becoming a deal-breaker?
New updates are being added to the bottom of the story…
Original story (from May 08) follows:
The annual Google I/O developers event will be held on May 11, 2022. A bunch of new stuff is expected to be announced at this event, but we still don’t know everything that’s coming.
Apparently, Google could be eying a piece of the Shield TV market with a premium version of the current Chromecast, probably with better specs and features. But this is still speculative.
Either way, having used the Chromecast with Google TV for well over a year, all I can say is there’s plenty of room for improvement. Make no mistake, at $50, the latest Chromecast is hands-down one of the best streamers around.
For this price, which may occasionally get discounted to as low as $35, you are getting things like Google Assistant support, up to 4K picture quality, and even YouTube TV for those in supported regions.
Even better is that, unlike previous dongles that relied on casting content, the latest Chromecast has access to the Google Play Store, meaning you can download and install pretty much all the major streaming apps.
The Chromecast with Google TV also marked the first time the company included an actual remote for easy navigation. But this isn’t to say it’s a perfect product.
The good thing, however, is that most issues plaguing the Chromecast with Google TV are software-related. These can be fixed with a simple software update. Unfortunately, this is where Google has been terrible.
The Chromecast with Google TV is now a couple of years old. I wasn’t surprised when Google didn’t refresh it last year. After all, the company never releases new Chromecasts annually.
This is likely why speculations of a premium version of the Chromecast with Google TV and not its direct successor are doing rounds.
As you’d expect, Google has remained coy on the matter. But we all know only fire can produce smoke, and it’s only a matter of time before we find out.
It’d be nice if the new streamer came with improvements like more onboard storage, easier ways of expanding storage, and faster processing power.
Besides hardware improvements, Google also needs to prioritize the overall Chromecast software experience to even stand a chance against the likes of Apple TV and NVIDIA Shield TV. The Chromecast, like Pixel phones, deserves regular updates.
Here’s the thing. Google isn’t the only company making cheap streamers. In fact, the Chromecast with Google TV might not be the best the market has to offer.
The $30 Roku Express 4K Plus may have something to say about that. And so do the likes of Roku Streaming Stick 4K ($40), Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max ($55), or even the Fire TV Stick Lite, which costs just $20.
Unlike the Chromecast, Roku Express 4K Plus, for instance, supports AirPlay for connecting to the iPhone and other Apple products. You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming apps.
Even better is that Roku sends out regular updates to its cheap streamers to address bugs, improve existing functionality and add new features as well.
You’re also guaranteed regular updates with Amazon’s Fire TV products. Heck, even Walmart’s cheap Onn Android TV streamer has picked up three updates since last December, the latest arriving last month with February 2022 security patch.
Over the same period, Chromecast with Google TV has only picked up one update — and that too brought an older, October 2021 security patch. Not so good for Google’s current flagship streamer.
Given that some of the competitors offer competitive hardware specs, more options for streaming apps, are cheaper, and have better software support, why would one still consider buying the existing or next-gen Chromecast with Google TV?
When I bought my Chromecast with Google TV, the expectation was that being a Google product, the company will want to use it as a prime example of how to handle frequent Android TV updates.
I didn’t see this neglect coming, but here we are. It’s now nearly 6 months since I updated my Chromecast with Google TV to what was already an old security patch.
The fact that Google hasn’t updated its latest Chromecast to Android 11 TV yet other devices already have the OS running the show adds even more to the disappointment.
No doubt that at $50, the Chromecast is still quite affordable, but not the cheapest around. Granted, Google will have to provide more incentive to buyers if they are to consider paying more for the rumored Chromecast.
And what’s better than a superior overall software experience than Roku, Amazon, or even Walmart? Perhaps something even as half good as NVIDIA’s support for the Shield TV.
If indeed Google has plans to launch a premium Chromecast at the I/O 2022, I have no doubt it will be a great addition to what is already an amazing streamer.
But for me to give it even the slightest of considerations, Google will have to promise improved software updates and a better software experience overall than what any of the current Chromecast streamers have been getting.
After all, since it’s expected to come at a higher price, perhaps just like the Chromecast Ultra and Nexus Player back in the day, the new Chromecast with Google TV should get better hardware.
Granted, continued poor software support with irregular updates might be the biggest deal-breaker for anyone looking to get the Chromecast with Google TV in future, even with improved hardware.
Hopefully, this year’s Google I/O brings forth some needed changes and improvements in how Google handles Chromecast software updates for the better.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. You may also cast your vote on our Twitter poll and come back after a week for the results.
Update 1 (May 15)
The results for the poll are out, with over 56% saying they won’t buy the next-gen Chromecast with Google TV due to the current poor software support. On the other hand, over 36% said they would still go for it.
In case you missed the poll, you are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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