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Google's new Chromecast is coming, but you won't notice a difference

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
October 16, 2014
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Last night an apparently refreshed model of Google's Chromecast streaming dongle popped up in FCC filings (as pointed out by Zatz Not Funny), just like the original did in March last year, but don't get too excited. Unfortunately, the documents don't show any real difference that we could find, and missing features like support for 5GHz WiFi will still be absent whenever the H2G2-2A hits the streets. Need more confirmation? Six members of the Chromecast team took part in a coincidentally-timed AMA on Reddit this afternoon, and according to Google Jacky Hayward "we don't have any new user-facing features planned for this device." Whatever changes there are in the new model "it will have the same features as the original and most users won't notice a difference."

Of course, that doesn't stop us from thinking of features we would like to see in a new device, and the AMA did result in a few new nuggets of information. Beyond the recent "Backdrop" feature to give users more choice in terms of the info that pops up on their screensaver, there's a new Chrome OS files app coming (seen in developer builds, and as of today, in the beta channel) that will let users cast photos and video directly from Google Drive. They're also "looking into" gapless playback for Google Music, are working on smoother transitions for the device, and plan to "continue to innovate" when it comes to HDMI-CEC.

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