We reported in March about how Google is planning to put Android TV on everyone's television, via a new Chromecast that comes with its own remote for the first time.
Now, thanks to images published by XDA Developers, we have our first look at the upcoming device.
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The new product, which doesn't yet have an official name, is known internally at Google as Sabrina. It looks similar to the current Chromecast dongle with an HDMI cable sprouting from its top, but is larger.
More importantly is how the device comes with a physical remote control for the first time. All previous versions of Chromecast have been controlled using a smartphone app, or by speaking to the Google Assistant. Now, users can flick between video content using a dedicated, Google-made remote.
One leaked marketing image shows how the Assistant can be used to answer questions, and will serve up helpful YouTube videos with its answers too.
The new Chromecast – if Google decides to stick with the current name – also features a new operating system. Previous versions only have a screensaver, then start content when you request it on the phone app. For the new model there is a proper user interface, letting you navigate around streaming services, scroll through program schedules, and control content.
The leaked images show a dedicated Google Assistant button on the remote, making it easy to speak to the voice butler. We wonder if this means the new Chromecast and its remote will also act as a convenient way to control your smart home, should a Google or Nest smart speaker be out of earshot. That way, the TV could become a new smart home control hub.
According to the images, the device will be available in black, white and pink. However, it is likely that buyers will have it hidden behind their TV, as with the current Chromecast dongle.
There's no set price or release date yet for the product, but we suspect it was due to launch around the time of Google's cancelled I/O event, which would have taken place by now. Therefore, we feel the launch could be imminent. As for the price, it will likely cost a little more than the $69 of the Chromecast Ultra.