Your Chromecast with Google TV will get a big free update to Android 12

Chromecast with Google TV device on table
Chromecast with Google TV device on table (Image credit: Google)

Google will soon update its top-of-the-line Chromecast to Android 12, finally bringing it on par with smart TV platforms offered by its rivals.

Currently, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) only runs on Android 10, despite both the hardware and software being developed by Google itself. Thanks to this upgrade the streaming stick should now get several benefits including support for a broader selection of third-party game controllers, automatic refresh rate switching to reduce video stuttering, and a slew of minor improvements.

This follows the announcement of the new, more budget-friendly version of the tv stick: Chromecast with Google TV (HD) – which keeps many of the same features but swaps 4K visuals for full-HD, drops Dolby Vision, and has a lower price.

Google hasn’t given a firm date for when its best streaming stick will get Android 12,  but with the Chromecast, with Google TV (HD) launching with Android 12 we expect the OS update will come sooner rather than later to its 4K model.

Analysis: Why has the update taken so long? 

If you’re wondering why Google hasn’t updated its Chromecast with Google TV (4K) to the most up-to-date version of its own operating system before most guesses have centered around its meager 8GB of storage. While you wouldn’t think that a smart TV stick would require much storage space it does need to make room for apps, games, and OS updates that users may want to download. 

With that in mind, 8GB really isn’t a lot. If you love shows from across several of the best streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime, as well as adore game streaming platforms like Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass then you’ve likely found that sacrifices have to be made on Google TV – especially as some of the limited space has to be dedicated to Android 10.

According to 9to5Google, Google has finally solved Android 12’s space issue thanks to improvements to how Google TV handles storage. While the specifics aren’t the clearest, these improvements include automated clear-outs of files that aren’t being used and designing apps to be more efficient with the space they use.

No matter the reason, Google has finally managed to bring Android 12 to its own streaming sticks giving them a solid boost compared with 2019’s Android 10, and we can’t wait to install the update.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.