Generally speaking, Amazon doesn’t sell Google-branded smart home devices. But the companies often make small (and short-lived) concessions, and today, the Chromecast with Google TV is finally available for pre-order on Amazon. Wait, why pre-order?
For whatever reason, Amazon says the Chromecast with Google TV “will be released on May 13, 2022.” Perhaps this is just an error on Amazon’s part, or hey, maybe the retailer is waiting on a large shipment of Chromecast streaming sticks. But here’s the interesting thing about this story—May 13th is just two days after Google’s I/O 2022 event, where it’s expected to announce new hardware.
Rumors from earlier this year suggest that Google could launch a cheaper Chromecast that cannot stream in 4K. As 9to5Google suggests, this wonky Amazon listing may be a sign that the “Chromecast HD” will arrive this week.
But I’m not 100% sold on the “new Chromecast” theory. Even if Google announces such a device, this Amazon listing is explicitly for the 4K-capable Chromecast with Google TV. The price, model number and specs all match up.
My guess is that Google is preparing to announce a Chromecast software update. The Chromecast with Google TV hasn’t received an update since last December, and it’s long overdue for bug fixes and new features (some of which were promised a long time ago).
This would explain why the Chromecast is suddenly available on Amazon. And more importantly, it’d explain some of the details of this listing—Amazon is advertising features that don’t exist on the Chromecast yet!
Late last year, Google announced user profiles and kid’s profiles for the Chromecast with Google TV. These profile options, which are yet to arrive on the Chromecast, are prominently featured in Amazon’s listing for the streaming stick.
Unless Google planned for this listing to go live on May 13th, I doubt that the company made a mistake here. Updating an Amazon listing is a pain in the butt—Google probably included this information in its Chromecast listing to save time later. And if that’s the case, user profiles are coming to the Chromecast very soon.
Again, Google could announce a new Chromecast device during its I/O event. But this listing seems to point toward a long-overdue update, not a new streaming stick. At least, I hope that’s the case, because the Chromecast really, really needs an update.