In 2013 Google introduced a new sort of digital media player in the form of a dongle that gave users the ability to playback high definition internet streamed media. This was the Chromecast, lauded by the computing and internet community for its simple operation coupled with so many provisions available for app support. Two generations of the Google Chromecast device have been rolled out since then, with the gen-2 device having audio-only and “Ultra” 4K-compatible variants. But apparently Google has already got a gen-3 version ready and stocked. It was spoiled by accident when a Best Buy shopper picked one of them off the shelf.
According to The Verge, somebody looking to buy a new Chromecast device found the new version while shopping at Best Buy, which the retailer mistakenly rang up as a gen-2 device. This pretty much blows one of the possible product reveals by Google for their October 9 Fall Hardware event, which would have had the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones as the centerpiece of presentation. These new smartphones are also no surprises to Google product users by now, as both have been thoroughly leaked to the public at this point in time.
The lucky early buyer went home and posted a photo of his big find on reddit, posed alongside his old generation 2 Chromecast. While in terms of shape the two devices are similar – HDMI connector on a short cable to a disc-shaped main body – the gen-2 has a glossier black finish to the gen-3’s gray matte, and the disc body’s logo goes from the Google Chrome browser icon to a tiny “G” on the Chromecast generation 3. The buyer also could not get the new device set up with his digital TV, with Google Home claiming that the new Chromecast needed to be updated first.
With only about two generations (and one upcoming) of the Google Chromecast line of devices, there has not been much evolution in terms of hardware design. The original Chromecast was shaped like a flash drive stick (with an HDMI plug rather than USB), followed by the gen-2’s disc with short cable design. The audio Chromecast replaced the HDMI connector with a 3.5 mm audio jack / mini-TOSLINK socket for speakers or home audio. Recent speculation on the new Chromecast device’s capabilities includes improved Wi-Fi reception and a new Bluetooth option.
The second-gen Google Chromecast was released back in 2015, with the 4K Chromecast Ultra following a year later. That should indeed be long enough for Google to have developed a successor, though thanks to Best Buy this is yet another October 9 event reveal spoiled.
Images: Android Police and KLGadgetGuy