Leak: New Google Chromecast will add Bluetooth and stronger Wi-Fi

Google's sold over 55 million of these gadgets, and now a new version might be on the way.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
Sarah Tew/CNET

The $35 Google Chromecast is one of CNET's go-to streaming gadgets to cheaply and quickly beam YouTube videos and the like to your big-screen TV. And a new version that adds a stronger Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth might be coming soon, according to a new FCC filing that's leaked out some details.

Mind you, it's not quite clear whether Google will actually announce a new Chromecast (say, alongside the rumored Pixel 3 phone this October), or whether this model might be quietly sold as the same device, a tactic we've seen companies sometimes use before. According to one image, it looks like it'll be the same tiny puck-shaped device visually:


Either way, the filing shows that the FCC is certifying the device for Bluetooth -- perhaps so you'll have a way to play music stored on your phone, like with the existing Google Home smart speaker that doubles as a Chromecast device -- plus greater antenna gain on the 5GHz band (4dB rather than 2.1dB) for Wi-Fi.

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

9to5Google originally spotted this revised Chromecast at the FCC in early May, but at the time it appeared that existing Chromecasts might get updated to add Bluetooth as well (since their radio chips apparently already supported it). But 9to5Google later spotted another FCC document that showed Google wouldn't be able to do that for regulatory reasons.

Variety was the first to spot today's new FCC filing, which is for an update to the exact same device.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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