Internal documents detailing a new second-generation Google Chromecast media streaming device were published by 9to5Google on Thursday. They reveal some radically updated hardware.
In a departure from the rectangular shape of the original Chromecast, the second-generation model looks round with something sticking out from it.
It will apparently be sold in different colours, too, including black, red, and yellow.
The images are too blurry to really discern much about the device’s looks, but it bears some resemblance to the Nexus Player, which is also made by Google.
9to5Google suggests the new Chromecast won’t be a “dongle” like its predecessor, where it connects directly to your TV’s HDMI port. Instead, these documents say it will be a standalone set-top device like the Apple TV and Nexus Player.
The report also mentions the new Chromecast will have better WiFi with more up-to-date technology than the original for better range and faster, more reliable streaming.
A new “Fast Play” feature is also said to improve the overall experience of “casting” content from a smartphone or tablet to the new Chromecast (and therefore your TV).
We might also see new “content feeds” for the Chromecast’s backdrop mode, where it displays some stock photos, your own photos, or the weather on your TV when you’re not using the Chromecast. It’s suggested that the feeds could be social media feeds, but it’s only speculation.
The new Chromecast could also connect directly to external speakers via auxiliary cable in a feature called Chromecast Audio so you can wirelessly play music from a smartphone or tablet connected to the Chromecast.
The Chromecast Audio looks like a separate device to the main Chromecast device, and according to the report, you’ll be able to stream music wireless to speakers around your home that are connected to the new Chromecast.
We might see the new Chromecast at a Google event rumoured to take place on September 29, where it’s also said that Google will unveil its new Nexus smartphones.
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