Google Is Adding Bluetooth and Stronger WiFi to Chromecast

The entry-level Chromecast is set to gain Bluetooth as a feature as well as having its wireless connectivity improved thanks to an increase in gain for the 5GHz antenna inside the device. Now we just need to wait for Google to start selling it.

If you wish that Google's Chromecast digital media streamer had better wireless connectivity or could connect to Bluetooth devices easily, then we have some good news. It looks as though the entry-level Chromecast is in line for an upgrade.

As Variety reports, a new FCC filing has been spotted which details some hardware upgrades coming to the Chromecast. The new model will be enhanced with support for Bluetooth and a boost in strength for the wireless connectivity. More specifically, the antenna inside the Chromecast is getting a "0.5mm trim" so as to increase the 5GHz antenna gain from 2.1dBi to 4dBi.

The antenna tweak will mean you should have an easier time getting this Chromecast to connect, especially if your TV is quite far away from your wireless router. As for the addition of Bluetooth, it should make connecting to other Bluetooth devices a simple affair. Bluetooth speakers seem to be the most obvious candidate for Chromecast connectivity.

The new model number will be NC2-6A5B in case you want to keep an eye on when it appears for sale. It is unlikely Google will make a big deal about the changes, although I'd be surprised if there wasn't some new blurb or marketing around the enhancements. It's also unlikely the look of the Chromecast will change.

If you're hoping for some feature upgrades beyond those detailed in the filing, prepare to be disappointed. Google needs to keep a clear distinction between the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, so the differences between the two will remain. That includes support for 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Vision. The Ultra will also remain the faster of the two devices.

In our review of the Chromecast, we liked how inexpensive and easy to setup the device is, as well as being compatible with lots of apps. It is also fast enough to feel like a very responsive device. Also, don't forget about the Chromecast Audio, which while not getting these upgrades (yet), it does already offer a very easy way to make any speaker wireless.

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