A rather major Chromecast update is in the works, according to leaked documents seen by 9to5Google. The refresh looks set bring some improved hardware and all new features to Google’s miniature streaming platform.
Starting with the second generation Chromecast hardware, the biggest change looks to be improved WiFi, which should result in a stronger, faster connection for streaming. Google may be planning to support faster 802.11ac, which would be an upgrade from the current Chromecast’s 802.11b/g/n.
The upcoming hardware appears to have taken on a more circular form factor, ditching the old slim dongle look. Perhaps the extra size will be accommodating some additional hardware too. There are at least three colors options to choose from, yellow, red and black. You can see a sample in the images below.
In terms of new features, there’s something called ‘Fast Play’. Exact details about this feature aren’t known, but it sounds like it will allow for faster connections or more instantaneous content playback when casting, which would fix one major complaint about Google’s current gen product. There is also expected to be support for content feeds directly on the Chromecast home screen this time around, which presumably displays information from social media accounts and other feeds.
“Chromecast Audio” is another new feature listed in the documentation, which is said to enable the Chromecast to plug into speakers and other bits of audio hardware via an auxiliary port. This feature will apparently support multi-rooms, be able mirror Chrome or Android audio, and also adds in a “high-quality” option.
The new Chromecast is expected to be announced on September 29th, the same day as the new Nexus devices from Huawei and LG. Launch price and regions are still unknown, but we imagine that it will be a similar situation as the first gen hardware. Any thoughts?