The Chromecast Audio, while not as popular as the standard Chromecast, was still quite popular with niche users, and especially with audiophiles. I remember back when I worked at Best Buy as a Google Expert, there were many people who came in and bought several of them at a time just to have them for a complete home audio system. It was truly a great option for anyone who had an old pair of speakers and wanted to make them work together and give them some smarts as opposed to going out and purchasing a Sonos setup.
According to 9to5Google who discovered a new device called “YND” in its latest APK Insights report of the Google Home app for Android, a new Chromecast device could be in the works! That’s right, it’s possible that Google could bring this awesome device back to the marketplace. Apparently, “YND” will not run on Google TV, but rather Cast OS, just like Chromecast does. After some digging, 9to5 discovered that YND was in fact labeled as a Chromecast Audio.
Could Google really be planning to re-launch an audio-focused Chromecast right after all of its legal battles with Sonos? If so, that would e a fairly bold move, but I would not put it past them, to be honest. Another interesting perspective that 9to5Google has come up with – and one that I’m inclined to agree with – is that the new Chromecast Audio technology could simply be the speaker base for the upcoming next-generation Nest Hub.
This next device with a screen for your home is rumored to detach from its base and be a cozy little tablet for the coffee table or around the home. If Chromecast Audio casting from the tablet to its base becomes a thing, it could point to a larger effort to link several in-home speakers or Nest Hub next-gen bases together in a way that is more efficient than the speaker grouping technique that Nest Minis provide.
At this point though, there’s no real way of telling which route Google will go. The only thing that is certain is that a Chromecast Audio initiative is coming back from the dead, but whatever form it takes, I’m sure Google is hoping to cater to the audiophiles I mentioned earlier.
The whole-home smart setup right now lacks any real oomph if you link a bunch of Nest devices together unless you still have a Max, or unless you’ve gone out of your way to purchase a few Nest Speakers. I’d be extremely interested to know in the comments whether or not you would pick up a new Chromecast Audio or if you’re fine sticking with whatever setup you’ve created for yourself in the void that Google’s audio dongle has left in the marketplace. I also wonder if Sonos will come at Google’s throat yet again for this.