Google, at its rumoured September 29 event might announce the much-anticipated second-generation Chromecast streaming device alongside the two Nexus smartphones, with a brand new design. A report citing leaked internal documents tips not just the launch date, but some features of the new Chromecast as well, apart from upcoming Spotify support - a music streaming service notably missing from the list.
The report by 9to5Google claims the the next-generation Chromecast (seen below) would be ditching the 'dongle' form factor and instead would be sporting what looks like a balloon-like design. The images show the upcoming streaming device to arrive in Red, Black, and Yellow colour variants.
As rumoured previously, dual-band 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity is tipped. The existing Chromecast supports only 802.11b/g/n bands. The faster Wi-Fi also powers the tipped Fast Play feature, which would be able to establish a connection quicker than the current model and fluently stream content when the 'Cast' button is pressed, resolving the lag experienced by users of the current model.
It is also expected to support new content feeds on the Chromecast home screen, above and beyond the Backdrop mode. However, it is not yet clear as to what kind of feeds would the next-gen Chromecast users be able to add, and the report speculates social media feeds.
Also tipped is that Google would be launching "Chromecast Audio" feature at the same event. The feature would let users plug in their Chromecasts directly in to speakers via an auxiliary cord, offering Chromecast support to any audio system or speakers. This feature is also said to include multi-room support, which would mirror Chrome or Android audio and will deliver 'high-quality' sound output. Chromecast Audio should not be confused with Google Cast for Audio, which is the company's platform to create audio devices compatible with Chromecast.
Another document suggests that Chromecast platform would soon be able to support the popular Spotify music streaming service that has been conspicuously absent from the list of partners. This would come in addition to the company's own Google Play Music streaming service for the Chromecast. The HDMI streaming player also supports Netflix and Pandora. Google reportedly will make the announcement the same day as the Chromecast launch alongside the two Nexus smartphones.