There’s a lot of activity happening in the streaming device market these days. Over the past week, we’ve seen the announcement of a new Apple TV which is backed by a powerful A8 processor and a touch- and motion-sensitive remote and a refreshed Fire TV which is capable of streaming 4K content.
Since introducing its Chromecast back in the summer of 2013, Google has been relatively quiet with regards to hardware updates for the tiny streaming dongle. Sure, there have been software updates along the way, but the hardware has remained unchanged — until now.
First generation Google Chromecast
The folks over at 9to5Google were able to obtain a few images of Google’s second generation Chromecast, which is set to be announced at the company’s special event on September 29th alongside new Nexus smartphones. Images of the device show that it appears to retain its “dongle” form-factor, but the circular bulge appears larger this time around. In addition, the Chromecast, which was initially only available in black, will be available also in yellow and red colors.
Whereas the original Chromecast supported 802.11b/g/n bands, the second generation model adds support for 802.11ac. Other features include content feeds and new “Fast Play” support. According to 9to5Google, Fast Play allows the Chromecast to initiate a connection much more quickly and “seamlessly” when pressing the Cast button from a connected device. Google is looking to solve one of Chromecast’s most annoying features with Fast Play, so we applaud them.
In other Chromecast news, Google is also reportedly launching Chromecast Audio, which is a small, round dongle that plugs into any speaker or audio system using a 1.8mm headphone jack. With a few of these devices on hand, you could bring “high-quality” wireless tunes to every room in your home. The big question, however, will be how much these Chromecast Audio dongles will cost. If the price is right, Google might have a winner on its hands.