Google is planning to launch a second-generation Chromecast Ultra dongle this year, according to a report on Tuesday.
9to5Google sources say the new dongle will arrive with an Android TV operating system and, for the first time, a remote control.
Previously, Chromecast devices have been operated by casting from a host device like a smartphone or a laptop, but the next release will more closely resemble a Roku Streaming Stick or an Amazon Fire TV stick, the report claims.
Naturally, the device, which the source says is codenamed “Sabrina” internally, will support 4K HDR visuals, with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity both available.
The next-gen Chromecast Ultra remote won’t be too far removed from the Daydream View remote, according to the report, while there’ll also be inspiration from the Apple TV remote thrown in for good measure.
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Of course, it’ll have a Google Assistant button, which suggests it’ll be ideal for controlling Nest-compatible smart home devices, as well as playing content from our favourite media apps. The remote will also be compatible with the television itself, like many other streaming box remotes.
Looks wise it won’t differ too much from previous, disc-like Chomecast models we’ve seen in recent years, the report says. The information comes as the device looked to have made an appearance at US communications regulator the FCC, which lends more credence to suggestions of an imminent arrival.
It’s likely Google planned to announce this device at its Google I/O expo, scheduled to take place in May this year. The event has been switched to online-only, due to the threat of the coronavirus.
Google hasn’t refreshed its Chromecast Ultra since November 2016 and many felt the company had lost interest in the product, despite it potentially playing such a key role in the Google Stadia game streaming platform.
However, it seems we’re finally going to get a new edition of the Chromecast Ultra and the presence of Android TV will certainly be a bonus for many streamers out there.