Google is reportedly planning to launch a second-generation Chromecast Ultra later this year based on Android TV and with a remote control, according to 9to5Google.
Google's current Chromecast devices are linux-based hardware dongles. The company also a full-fat operating system for TVs, namely Android TV. Those two paths will soon converge, according to a "reliable source" who briefed 9to5Google.
- "Google is planning to launch a second-generation Chromecast Ultra this year based on Android TV. The device is a dongle, much like the current form-factor, but there is one major hardware addition: an external remote," the report said.
The device is codenamed "sabrina" and will support 4K HDR streaming in addition to WiFi and Bluetooth. All Android TV devices come with a remote control but Chromecast dongles do not. This would mark the turning point for Chromecast; from a device reliant on a smartphone or tablet to a stand-alone device with a full TV user interface.
With Android TV, the user will also be able to download TV apps from Google Play, including Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and YouTube.
The report describes the remote as "a cross between the Daydream View remote and an Apple TV remote" and says that it will have a microphone for Google Assistant. It will also be capable of controlling the TV, much like the remote for Apple TV or Nvidia Shield.
The report says that the device is planned for later this year and speculates that Google had planned to launch it at Google I/O 2020 in May 2020. The annual developer conference has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
- Source: 9to5Google