It seems that television-related devices are flavor of the month at the moment. Last week we had Apple introducing the fourth-generation Apple TV that’s focused on mobile gaming. Yesterday we watched on as Amazon introduced three new television-focused devices in the form of a new Fire TV box, an improved Fire TV Stick, and a new gaming Fire TV box with accompanying controller. Now, it looks like Google is about to join the growing list of companies revealing television-centric hardware with an announcement regarding the second-generation Chromecast likely to come later this month.
9To5Google has reportedly obtained internal Google documents that outline the “huge” changes that are just around the corner for Chromecast. The first thing you’ll notice from the embedded images that form part of the leak is that the new hardware is far removed from the original as possible. The dongle style aesthetics are no more, and have been replaced with, well actually, we have really no idea what it is. Initial views of the low-quality leak appear to show hardware visually similar to one side of a set of earmuffs.
Whatever it is, it’s also going to be offered in three colors; yellow, black, and red from the looks of it. If we step away from the external appearance of the device then it becomes immediately apparent that it’s just not an aesthetic overhaul that Google will be pushing at its event later this month. In a similar fashion to the Amazon Fire TV set-top box, it looks like the second-generation Chromecast will offer improved Wi-Fi for better and more seamless video streaming. Possibly supporting the new 802.11ac band. Unfortunately, full internal specifications for the new device are currently unknown.
The “new Chromecast”, as it’s being referred to, will also bring some software based features to the table that haven’t been seen previously. Google will apparently be unveiling a new content feed feature that will allow users to add a plethora of unique feeds to be displayed via the Chromecast screen. Exactly what feeds will be part of this feature is an unknown quantity at the moment, but it’s likely that social media streams, or image feeds from popular image hosting services will be a part of whatever is offered.
There’s also going to be a new “Fast Play” feature that seems to be around as part of an attempt to get content streaming through the new Chromecast as quickly as possible after a user has opted to use the “Cast” button on a connected device, such as an Android smartphone or tablet. It’s likely that this will utilize the improved Wi-Fi connectivity within the hardware.
Google is also planning to launch “Chromecast Audio”. According to the leaked documentation we’ve seen, it appears that this could allow your Chromecast to plug directly into any speaker by way of auxiliary cord, providing Chromecast support to any speaker or audio system in your home.
If you’ve sat back and taken a keen interest in what Apple and Amazon are offering with the Apple TV and Fire TV boxes, then it’s worth waiting until September 29th to get an official look at the second-generation Chromecast. Reportedly the device will be priced similar to the original Chromecast, and will launch in 10 countries initially.