Later this month Google will be unveiling a new iteration of its wildly successful Chromecast streaming dongle, according to reports.
9to5Google reckons that a new version of the hardware will be shown off on September 29th at an event where Google is also expected to announce new Nexus smartphones. Intriguingly, the new Chromecast looks completely different from the slimline dongle we're used to, if grainy photos are anything to go by.
Apparently on the hardware side it will receive improvements in terms of Wi-Fi speed, with the upgrade to the faster 802.11ac standard (up from 802.11n/g/b), and there will be a new aux-out port on the device enabling you to plug your stereo or speaker system directly into the device.
It is thought that one of the big new features off the back of this will be the ability to easily Cast the audio from your phone or Chrome browser. 9to5Google reckons this will be a separate feature to Google Cast for Audio, which is Google's new Sonos-style multi-room streaming standard, but surely the two will work together somehow?
The other interesting new feature appears to be the addition of support for "feeds" on the Chromecast screensaver, which on the current device cycles through art works and landscape images. The suggestion is that perhaps you'll be able to specify a custom image feed, or even get your social media updates delivered directly to Chromecast. Google is also working on a feature called "Fast Play" which it seems may somehow speed up the time taken to send content to the device, though exactly how it will work remains unclear.
The other potentially exciting news is on the content side, and it is that Spotify may be joining Chromecast at long last. Until now, Chromecast users have had to make do with Google Play Music, but apparently we could soon see the vastly more popular rival music platform blasting out of your TV speakers too.
The new Chromecast is expected to be priced similarly to the original (hurrah!) – and we'll presumably find out more on September 29th. [9to5Google]
Image credits: 9to5Google