Inside Tech

Google starts bricking first-generation Chromecast

Chromecast Majd and Carla
Credit: Majd and Carla, Google Blog: "The Keyword"

In a somewhat unsurprising move, Google has made its final move in bricking its first-generation Chromecast device. As first reported by PCMag, Google announced on its Chromecast support page that it was ending software and security updates for these devices. Google no longer provides technical assistance for these devices and has long ended the sale of the devices.

First launched on July 24th, 2013 at $35 USD, the first-generation device has weathered the test of time well. The device, which Google Engineer Majd Bakar first conceived in 20081 , was inspired by his wife (Carla) and his desire to make a small hardware device to simplify mobile video playback on external displays. The device allowed for users to enjoy content like YouTube and Netflix, along with other Chrome-enabled content on TV and other displays.

“This is back around 2008 or so. Carla was always looking for new stuff to watch, and I noticed how she went about starting a movie. She would go to her laptop to pick a movie using a streaming service, add it to her queue, and then close the laptop. Then, she’d open the movie on her gaming device. I used to watch her and think, “This is really hard … Why do you do that?” (Majd Bakar, Google Engineer)

Majd joined the team at Google and pitched the idea which he enthusiastically received. Google began developing the device in 2012, and it became what we know today as the iconic streaming platform. Since that time, Google has launched several iterations of the iconic device including our favourite the Chromecast with Google TV, which it launched in 2018. The device to date has sold in various iterations, over 55 million devices2.

 I am very proud of the team. I feel lucky to be able to work on something like this—it’s very humbling to pitch something and see it from the beginning. When we started, we were three people, and now we have hundreds of people working on Chromecast and other hardware products for the home. That is a huge effort. We, as a team, made an impact in this space.

Majd Bakar, Google Engineer

1Shah, Hemal (July 24, 2018). “Here’s to five years of Chromecast” Retrieved 31 May 2023. 2 Harish Jonnalagadda, Android Central (Oct. 4, 2017), “Google has sold 55 million Chromecasts around the world“. Retrieved from archive 31 May 2023.

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