It’s been six long years since Google first debuted its Chromecast streaming stick. While most of you have probably upgraded to something better by now — such as the more powerful "puck" version — if you haven’t, you now have yet another reason to make the switch: Google isn’t going to update your old-school Chromecast anymore.
That sentence comes with a slight caveat. While it appears that your first-generation Chromecast isn’t going to get more features, since it’s currently sitting on firmware version 1.36.157768 while every other Chromecast device (for now) is at 1.40.156414, Google will still update your older device with critical patches as needed. As the company told 9to5Google:
Chromecast recently celebrated its 6th birthday. We’re thrilled that some of our earliest adopters are still enjoying the first-generation device, and we continue to update it with bug and security fixes.
Typically at this point, we’d also recommend checking out any previews or betas of new Chromecast updates, in the hopes that maybe that could be your ticket to the latest and greatest features. However, even that option is out, as the preview program for the original Chromecast only has a version 1.36.159268 of the OS—still quite far behind the software version that’s available for all modern Chromecasts.
In other words, it might be time to retire your old-school Chromecast for good, if you’re a big feature junkie. If you don’t care about these things (like weather updates or speaker groups), and just want to keep streaming the way you always have, your older Chromecast will work just fine.
Google isn’t killing it. However, a $99 upgrade to Google’s latest version — which is around the same price as the original Chromecast — gets you software updates and enhanced hardware features like 1080p streaming at 60fps (not 30fps), wireless ac and support for speedier 5Ghz connections, and a brand-new design.