Chromecast is a line of content streaming devices from US tech giant Google. The dongles are popular but the third-gen device was released in 2018 and the line is currently due an update. Here’s everything we know about the Chromecast 2020 so far.
We’ve seen a number of rumours roll in over the past few months and it’s looking as though – Google I/O or not – the next Chromecast could arrive within the year. Other leaks include 4K HDR resolution support, a revamped Android TV interface and the addition of a Chromecast remote.
Whether the device is a fourth generation Chromecast or an update to 2016’s Chromecast Ultra, here are all the leaks and rumours that have surfaced for the Chromecast 2020 so far.
Related: Google Chromecast 2
When will the Chromecast 2020 be released?
A source familiar with Google’s plans revealed that the company plans to release a second-generation Chromecast Ultra based on Android TV later this year. However, May’s Google I/O 2020 was cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, so it isn’t clear when exactly Google’s next round of devices will be announced.
Related: Google Chromecast Ultra
How much will the Chromecast 2020 cost?
We haven’t heard much regarding the price of the Chromecast 2020 yet, but we would expect it to fall in line with past Google dongles. The third generation Chromecast was retailed at £30, while the 2016 Chromecast Ultra cost over twice that at £69. Considering how specced out the Chromecast 2020 is looking, we feel more inclined to lean toward the higher price tag right now.
A report by Protocol falls in line with this estimate, as industry insiders expect Google to price the dongle “around or below” the $80 mark.
What features will the Chromecast 2020 have?
According to the report by 9to5Google, the Chromecast 2020 (codename ‘Sabrina’) will be based on Android TV. That means access to Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube and Spotify, to name a few. This is a departure from older Chromecast devices, which relied on content being cast from a smartphone or laptop, and more akin to something like a Roku Streaming Stick. The device is also rumoured to be joining Google’s Nest range this year, following the trend the company’s other smart home products have seen.
The device will reportedly support 4K HDR content, as the Chromecast Ultra (2016) did, and include both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We can also expect the device to support Google Stadia, as the previous Ultra did.
Google is also apparently introducing a remote for the first time, offering users an option that doesn’t involve controlling content with their phone. The remote looks like a cross between the Google Daydream View remote and an Apple TV remote. The remote will also be kitted with a microphone and dedicated Google Assistant button so that users can use voice commands to control content, as well as other Google Nest smart home devices.
9to5Google’s source suggests that the 2020 Chromecast dongle will look similar to 2018’s third generation Chromecast, with a “softer, rounder finish”, the Google G logo and an HDMI connector similar to that on the Chromecast Ultra but more in line with Google’s current hardware.
A more recent report by XDA Developers includes a marketing video for a new Chromecast created in October 2019. The video was taken from a pre-release firmware build and offers an overview of the dongle, the remote and the new Android TV software.
Contrary to 9to5Google’s description, the Chromecast 2020 in the video actually appears less round and more oblong in shape. The Chromecast 2020 will also come in a new light pink colourway, alongside the usual black and white.
The video confirms the existence of a remote, but only offers a glimpse at the top half so we don’t know all of the buttons or if it will come in a colour other than white. What we can see is a back button, a Google Assistant button, a home button, a play/pause button, a volume button and what looks to be a favourite button.
The video also offers up a preview of Google’s new Android TV UI. There are a search bar and categories at the top of the display and a carousel of recommended films and TV shows at the bottom.
Google Nest services appear to have been integrated into Android TV as they are in Assistant smart displays, with Nest notifications popping up live on screen. Other clips show the new Google Assistant and YouTube TV integrations in action.
Other specs gleaned from the firmware leak include Dolby Vision support and news of an Amlogic SoC.