The big picture: Google’s decision to discontinue Chromecast Audio isn’t all that surprising considering its recent push into the smart speaker space. It could also signal that similar functionality may soon come baked into its entry-level offering, Google Home Mini.
Google on Friday confirmed to several publications that it has discontinued its Chromecast Audio streaming adapter.
Introduced in 2015, Chromecast Audio is essentially a standard Chromecast, but for audio. Connect it to any standard, or “dumb,” speaker system via 3.5mm audio jack and wirelessly stream music from your mobile device.
Google said that as its product portfolio continues to evolve and they now have a variety of options for users to enjoy audio, they’ve stopped manufacturing Chromecast Audio. The company will continue to offer support to existing Chromecast Audio users, however.
Indeed, Google launched its first smart speaker, Google Home, in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. There are now multiple versions of Google Home available at a variety of price points.
The problem is that Google doesn’t have an affordable alternative that mirrors the functionality of Chromecast Audio over a 3.5mm jack. Perhaps a new version of Google Home Mini is on the way with a 3.5mm jack?
Those interested in snatching up a Chromecast Audio should act fast. They can still be had directly from Google and a few other places at the discounted price of just $15. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.