Google Chromecast, the HDMI dongle that was launched for $35 (approximately Rs 2,300) two years ago, was an unexpected hit. Today, Google is hosting an event where it is expected to unveil two new Nexus devices, final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the second-gen Chromecast.
A couple of weeks ago, we came across leaked blurry photos that show a completely new design. The folks at Android Police now report that the next-gen Chromecast too will be sold at $35. It will reportedly be available in three color options – Black, Lemonade (or Yellow) and Charcoal (red/pale pink).
With an internal codename ‘Earth’, the new Chromecast is expected to bring a host of new features. ‘Fast Play’, a new feature is expected to ensure that it connects to devices faster. A much improved Wi-Fi, possibly the faster 802.11ac band is also expected. The next-gen Chormecast could also gain support to add content feeds to the home screen and improved resolution, to add compatibility with 4K TVs.
The report also says that Google could launch a separate Chromecast Audio device with codename, ‘Hendrix’. It’s expected to be a dongle with 1/8” headphone cable specially designed to add Wi-Fi capability to any standard speaker (be it car stereo, television or home audio). The Chromecast Audio is also expected to support audio casting from Chrome desktop browser tab or an Android device. It could also support multi-room high-quality audio listening with two or more networked dongles.
Google is also expected to announce a major update to Chromecast Android app, with major focus on content discovery. A new search function to look for Chromecast-compatible content on video apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Google Play Movies, Hulu Plus, HBO and others could also be in tow. Also, “What’s On” feature might make its way to the Chromecast, which will automatically look for content and present it to the users.