Google has announced that the decade-old Chromecast 1 will be phased out. The end of support was announced in a message on Google’s Chromecast firmware support page.
“Support for Chromecast (1st gen) has ended, which means these devices no longer receive software or security updates, and Google does not provide technical support for them. Users may notice a degradation in performance,”
The first-generation Chromecast was released in 2013 for $35. It was a huge success, selling 10 million units in just one year.
For years, the gadget got recognition and was the highlight of Google’s hardware efforts in earnings calls, and it was effectively the company’s first successful piece of hardware.
The Chromecast makes it simple to stream Internet videos to your TV at a time when doing so was difficult.
The end of life
Google no longer makes “Chromecasts”—at least, not ones that employ the original Chromecast technology stack.
The original Chromecast from 2013, the second-generation Chromecast from 2015, the Chromecast Ultra from 2016, and the third-generation Chromecast from 2018.
They run the Cast OS, which is a lightweight operating system built from scraps of Chrome OS and Android.
Chromecasts from the past exist primarily as media receivers for the cast button in apps such as YouTube. When you tap the cast button in an app and select a TV, the screen turns on and begins playing material.
In 2020, Google released the Chromecast with Google TV. It was a product that maintains the Chromecast name while moving away from the concept of a basic streaming stick.
The new Chromecasts can still function as media receivers, but they are now far more advanced Android TV boxes.
These boxes have their own interface, a full Android operating system, and a physical remote control for navigating the UI. You may log in to the stick, launch the Play Store, and download and install updates and apps.
The new Chromecasts are just set-top boxes in the shape of a dongle.
Because of Chromecast’s migration to Android TV, there are no current devices that use the Cast OS. Google has attempted to remove the Cast OS from all of Google, with the Google Nest Hub migrating to Fuchsia.
The only effort on the OS presently will be to support dated Chromecasts, the most recent of which is the 5-year-old Chromecast third generation. The clock is ticking for these old-timers.