Google has ended support for the original Chromecast, around a decade after the $35 streaming stick launched in 2013. A message announcing the end of support has appeared on several Google support pages. “Support for Chromecast (1st gen) has ended,” the notice brought to our attention by 9to5Google reads. “These devices no longer receive software or security updates, and Google does not provide technical support for them. Users may notice a degradation in performance.”
The end of support appears to have arrived at the end of April, when a support page listing firmware versions for each Chromecast model was last updated. It doesn’t sound like remaining first-generation Chromecasts will stop working immediately, but their functionality is likely to slowly break over time as the ecosystem around them is updated and moves on.
It was an affordable workaround at the time
The original Chromecast was a tiny, and surprisingly popular, key-sized device designed to plug into an HDMI port on your TV and let you stream video content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to the big screen. Priced at just $35, it was an affordable workaround for getting video streaming apps onto your TV in an era where many people were yet to make the jump to smart TVs.
Google would go on to release several more Chromecasts over the years including a 4K model in 2016. But the most recent model, the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV added its own remote to the equation. The streaming stick had an interface of its own rather than simply relying on being fed content by your smartphone, signaling a big shift for the Chromecast lineup.
Although support for the first-generation Chromecast is officially over, Google hasn’t exactly been updating the device regularly. 9to5Google reports that its most recent update was released last November, which was itself the first update released for the device in over three years.