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Get in on Google's Chromecast 'Preview Program' for early access to updates

Google announced a new "Preview Program" for all versions of the Chromecast that lets those of us who are eager to see new features in on the latest software updates before they're broadly released. While this explicitly isn't a "beta" program that will give you potentially unstable updates, it will give you access to the latest Google Cast features before everyone else.

In Google's own words:

The Chromecast Preview Program is a user opt-in channel that updates your Chromecast device with the latest version of Chromecast's firmware before it is made broadly available. This gives members of the program early access to features and improvements on their Chromecast. It's an exciting way to get a sneak peek at the latest and greatest updates.

If that sounds like something you're interested in (we bet it is), the process of joining is pretty simple:

  1. Open up the Google Cast app (opens in new tab) on your phone or tablet.
  2. Tap the overflow menu button on the Chromecast you want to enroll.
  3. Tap Device settings.
  4. Tap Preview Program and tap Join Program.
  5. That's it! You'll receive the latest updates early until you leave.

If you chose to allow Google to email you you'll get a message each time a new Preview Program update arrives, and you can drop back out of the Preview Program at any time from the same menu. It couldn't be simpler.

While you aren't likely to see amazing groundbreaking features weeks ahead of everyone else, you may get something neat a few days earlier than your friends who chose to stay on the standard release schedule — and that alone is worth it. And considering that Google isn't expecting any addition instability in these updates, it's really a win-win situation.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

16 Comments
  • An update to support native framerate is a much needed feature
  • I don't have that option
  • Nope, no option here either. I'm guessing there's an update coming that enables this?
  • Per usual, gonna have to give it time for Google to roll out to everyone.
  • Kinda left out the part where you need to be in range of your Chromecast :( I guess I'll have to wait until I get home to join it then.
  • The article states that you need to hit the overflow button of the device you want to enroll, which would mean being on the same wifi as the device so you can change it's settings.
  • Joined the program. Wonder if they let you know what those new features are
  • in setting you have an option to get an email when they roll out new feature for preview
  • You actually find it under devices in the cast app. The 3 little dots menu for your device has 3 options preview option is there..
    Wasn't sure what overflow was
  • Nope that option doesn't exist here
  • It's in Device Settings between Language and Display.
  • wasn't an option for me
  • Chromecast Audio needs a better, thicker gauge wire to connect. I used a heavy gauge wire I had laying around, sounds 10x better than the yellow wire it comes with. Sounds even better with 3.5 to rca using heavy gauge pro wires... I mean, totally different sound. Like Google, wtf..?!
  • Wasn't an option for me. Maybe it's not for UK users
  • I was pretty upset that I was unable to access this option using my up to date Samsung Galaxy 6. I looked everywhere and interestingly I saw that what most people said is that Google will need to push out an update for the Chromecast app. Now I also have an iPad Air 2 which when I accessed the Chromecast/ google cast I noticed that there was an option to join the preview. I was like sure and I clicked joined but then I got pretty annoyed wondering why would a non android product have a newer release of an app then an android product. Thanks Alphabet City
  • dari mohamed