GOOGLE CHROMECAST will finally be superseded by an all-new Android TV dongle with a voice-controlled remote control to compete with…
the likes of the Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick. The new gadget will also be able to control Google Home-branded smart home kit.
Google is widely-tipped to launch a follow-up to its world-conquering Chromecast streaming gadget this autumn. But while a number of details about the HDMI dongle have leaked online – including the design of the bundled remote control and the price – there is one that has remained frustratingly elusive: what it will be called.
Thankfully, that mystery might finally have been solved. While sources have told us for some time that Google codenames the project “Sabrina” inside its offices, the final brand name for the Chromecast successor will likely be “Google Chromecast with Google TV”.
Got to be honest, that’s a little disappointing. While it makes a certain amount of sense – Chrome and Chromecast are probably some of the most recognisable brand names in Google’s product portfolio. And the only other option would be to group the streaming Android TV Dongle with the “Pixel” brand that Google uses for its smartphones, tablets and high-end Chromebooks.
While the “Google Home” brand would’ve been a good fit – that name has now been replaced with the “Google Nest” moniker. And let’s be honest, Google Nest TV doesn’t have a great ring to it. So, fine. Google Chromecast with Google TV it is then. But what is interesting about this brand name, which was unearthed by Android Police author Artem Russakovskii while digging through upcoming listings for US supermarket giant Target, is that it seemingly confirms that Google is poised to rebrand its Android TV platform to Google TV.
Android TV is already available on a number of TV sets from the likes of Philips, TCL, Sony and more. As well as a dedicated menu, Android TV includes its own digital store packed with streaming services, social media apps, games, and more.
The new device will let viewers bring Android TV – or, Google TV as it will purportedly soon be called – to their living rooms without the need to buy a telly with the Android TV operating system. But the biggest advantage of the Google Chromecast with Google TV compared to the original Chromecast. Yes, that’s right – after years of forcing Chromecast owners to pull out their smartphones each time they need to pause their show, or skip to the next episode, Google looks set to ship a full-featured remote with its next Dongle.
The Bluetooth remote control will sport a microphone and dedicated Google Assistant button to control content, volume and more with your voice. According to the latest rumours, that remote will also be able to control other Google Assistant-compatible devices, like any nearby smart lighting or a central heating system, like Google-owned Nest. The remote can be used to control your TV – like a universal remote, sources say.
Despite developing Android TV, Google doesn’t make its own hardware powered by the operating system. While there are third-party options, like the excellent Nvidia Shield TV and Android TV Dongle from Xiaomi, the new Chromecast will be the first to be created in-house.
According to a leaked listing from American DIY store Home Depot, Google Chromecast with Google TV will seemingly cost as little as $49.99 (£37 converted). That is comparable to the Roku Premiere, which includes a dedicated remote control, menu with an app store, and the ability to stream in 4K. Amazon sells its 4K-compatible Fire TV Stick for £49.99 in the UK.
It’s unclear whether the current Chromecast will be sticking around – with a price cut, perhaps – as an alternative for those who don’t want to cough-up for a remote control. Likewise, none of the rumours have addressed what will happen to the Chromecast Ultra (a costlier upgrade for 4K streaming) following the launch of the “Sabrina” in the coming weeks. We’d wager the Ultra will be put out to pasture as it currently occupies the same price bracket as “Sabrina” – provided the Home Depot leak is accurate.
With a Pixel 5, 5G upgrade for the Pixel 4a, and all-new Chromebook purportedly in the works, it’s shaping up to be an eventuful showcase when Google decides to hold its next hardware event.
This news was originally published at express.co.uk