Google's getting ready to unveil a new Chromecast dongle on September 29th that trades in the old shape for a new one, while adding Wi-Fi, Fast Play, and Backdrop improvements.
Google has been trying to break through the TV streaming platform competition, bringing Google Chromecast for those who want to stream mobile content online to their HDTV, then Android TV. While Google has turned into conglomerate company Alphabet, Google is still Google – even with a few restructuring changes.
The company that’s taking on Roku in the race is soon to announce a second-generation Chromecast, thanks to new leaks from site 9to5Google. First, the second-generation Chromecast has a different shape than its predecessor, with more of a balloon or “ornament” look than that of the first-generation Chromecast. Next, Google has decided to bring improved Wi-Fi to the new Chromecast, which will help you quickly beam content from your smartphone or tablet to the biggest screen in your home. This could hint at 802.11ac Wi-Fi, as opposed to the current 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, which isn’t as fast as 802.11ac.
A number of smartphones and tablets have it, and Google’s decision to increase its Wi-Fi offering is well-advised. A new Fast Play feature will speed up the time between your pressing the “play” button and the content on your TV (with the Chromecast connected) starts playing it. Mobile devices, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast are getting a boost to work better together with this soon-to-be-announced second-generation device.
Next, Google is looking to enhance the Chromecast capabilities beyond just movie and TV content, but to audio as well. With a new Chrome Audio feature, you can now beam your Google Chrome or Android audio to any speaker in the house. We don’t know all the details about Chrome Audio, but this will likely be a huge hit for those who merely want to listen to music as opposed to those who want to have an audio and visual video experience. It’ll be effective for those times when you just want to put on some music while you’re cleaning the house, for example.
Chromecast backdrop is about to get an enhancement. Whereas you’ve been able to add photos, weather, and art to your Chromecast screen saver, Google is about to add social media feeds to the mix. Avid Google+ users, for instance, may find this to be yet another way to combine all of their Google services on one screen. We don’t know if this will include Facebook. Spotify will add Chromecast support to its mobile app soon and become one of the new Chromecast apps to do so.
Google is set to announce its second-generation Chromecast on September 29th, the same day that the company announces the new LG Nexus 5X and the Huawei Nexus. Whereas you could buy the Google Chromecast from the Google Play Store, you can now buy it from the new Google Store.