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Your Chromecast with Google TV’s next update might finally ditch the lag

Google is addressing some of the most annoying issues with its streaming experience

When the Chromecast with Google TV launched in the fall of 2020, it became the must-have streaming stick for Android users. A revamped UI — which, inadvertently, created plenty of confusion along the way — a simple remote, and an attractive price point helped make it one of our favorite gadgets of that year. Unfortunately, that love affair was short-lived, as a wave of problemslimited storage space, poor performance, and more — continued to rear their ugly heads. Today, Google is rolling out a handful of under-the-hood improvements to its Android-based platform that should help ease some of those concerns.

According to the company, all of the changes it’s highlighting today are direct responses to user feedback as it tries to step up its streaming experience on both first-party and third-party devices. CPU optimizations are the high point of today’s announcements, as Google says the home screen should load much faster at start up — a common complaint among users. Thanks to reduced RAM usage, sluggish navigation on the For You page and between tabs and titles on the home screen have also been improved. The company says these enhancements are already rolling out to users and should be “available on all devices over time,” though there’s no specific time window in today’s blog post.

In addition to these much-needed changes, it seems like Google aims to ensure that users are fully aware of some of the steps they can take to make the most of their devices. For example, the company is drawing attention to the “Free up storage” menu it first announced in December. This feature remains one of the best ways to avoid app installation errors when browsing the Play Store, and as part of today’s announcement, it’s coming to smart TVs running Google TV soon. Paired with an automated behind-the-scenes process that automatically frees up space on your device as needed, those errors might be a thing of the past.

Finally, Google has reduced the loading times between standard and kids profiles, improving image caching to ensure your child can start binging the latest Bluey episodes immediately. If you’re a parent, that certainly comes with a sigh of relief.

Although we’re barreling towards the last few months of the year, Google ends today’s blog post promising more updates throughout the rest of the year. With any luck, these optimizations will carry over to the rumored low-cost 1080p Chromecast, which — considering the sluggish state my current streaming stick is stuck in — will need all the help it can get. And remember, these tweaks are for Google TV specifically — not Android TV — so don’t expect to see them pop up on your Nvidia Shield TV.

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