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Google has a new Chromecast on the way, but don’t expect a major leap forward

Google’s Chromecast streaming hardware is popular because of its low price and ease of use, but it’s starting to feel a little long in the tooth, with the last major update to the hardware coming in 2016. That is about to change, as a recent FCC filing by Google points to a new revision of the hardware, Variety reports. Don’t get too excited though, as this is mainly a minor update.

Despite a new model number — NC2-6A5B — the new Chromecast will reportedly look exactly the same as the current model, making the two tough to tell apart. Despite October, a month when Google normally announces new hardware, not being too far away, don’t make the company to make a big deal out of this model. First, because of the relatively minor status of the update. Second, because any other hardware announcements will likely be overshadowed by the introduction of Google’s first smart display, which will be the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Show.

That said, there will be a few changes in the new model, both of which will be welcome additions to Chromecast fans. The first is Bluetooth, which Google first told the FCC would be adding to the Chromecast earlier this year. While Chromecast hardware has shipped with a Bluetooth chipset since 2015, it hasn’t been enabled, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that a software update will be released to change this. The second change isn’t really an addition, but a modification: The updated model will have a tweak to its Wi-Fi antenna to make for stronger 5GHz connections.

All in all, this isn’t a groundbreaking change for Google’s streamer, but if you’ve been annoyed by the lack of Bluetooth or been having slight problems with Wi-Fi, it could just be the thing to keep you from jumping ship to a competitor like a Roku streaming box or Amazon’s new Fire TV Cube.

There is no word so far on when Google may actually begin shipping this new Chromecast, but we’ll likely find out more at the company’s annual hardware event on October 4. In the meantime, if you’re curious, take a look at our guide to set up your Chromecast and our favorite tips and tricks to make the most out of the hardware.

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Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
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