Google might announce a new Chromecast this month

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google is reportedly making a Chromecast for music.

Google’s Chromecast streaming media stick was introduced more than two years ago, but the device is still wildly popular: the Chromecast has served up more than 1.5 billion stream requests from 17 million users, Google announced at this year’s I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco.

According to 9to5Google, which got its hands on some internal documents that spilled Google’s plans, the new Chromecast will look a lot different from the original Chromecast, which resembles a USB key than anything else.Google appears to be readying a new version of the Chromecast for an event later this month, and 9to5Google continues to put out more details about it. Its latest report says that Google is working on an update to the Chromecast companion app, which will make the app into a hub for finding things to watch and new places to stream from.

Right now, the companion Chromecast app on iOS and Android is basically just a tool for setting up and managing the streaming stick, so this would be a big — and useful — change. Though could mean Google is bumping the Chromecast up to wireless-ac, giving it an extra spatial stream to work with on wireless-n, or even adding the ability to connect to 5GHz networks.

The key use of this device will certainly be playing music, which makes it a big deal that Spotify is said to among Google’s partners — a key addition to Chromecast’s existing support from Google Play Music, Pandora, and Rdio. The (blurry) leaked photos show a new Chromecast shaped more like a hockey puck, with a stem – presumably for a video connector – protruding from it. The first is supposed to be called “What’s On.” It’ll look at which Chromecast-supported apps are on your device and find out — as you’ve probably guessed — what’s on them and available to watch; essentially, its the place you’ll go to when you’re looking for something to do. In order to keep improving Spotify, we are always testing new things on our different platforms.” It added, “While we don’t have any plans to launch this in the immediate future, we are looking into it, and will let you know as soon as we have any more information to share.” While 9to5Google’s original story mentioned the audio-only product, it was unclear at the time if it was a mode for the video Chromecast or a separate device — its new report clarifies that it’ll be the latter.

It seems like Google still isn’t giving the Chromecast a proper browsing interface — something that would certainly be useful — but an improved Chromecast app could help to relieve the need for one. Presumably, you could then plug a speaker directly into the Chromecast itself, which would then transform any boring speaker around your house into a device to which you can stream music.

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