For about as long as we’ve been covering Google products, one of the most common non-Chrome OS searches that bring users to our site revolves around Chromecast remotes. As a matter of fact, it’s the number two search term over the past six months and is in the top ten of our lifetime queries. Clearly, there are a lot of people who would like to have a physical remote for their Chromecasts as opposed to simply casting from their mobile devices, Chromebooks or PCs.
That said, today’s news from 9to5Google should excite the masses. Managing Editor Stephen Hall is known to have a very reliable source that has continually provided 9to5 with the inside scoop about unannounced Google products. The latest “exclusive” points to a new Chromecast Ultra device that could be a first for the folks in Mountain View. According to Hall’s report, the new Chromecast will resemble the current 3rd Gen Chromecast but will be powered by Android TV. That, in and of itself, isn’t too shocking considering the fact that Google already produces a streaming device for developers that runs the same platform.
The more exciting news, in my opinion, is that Hall’s source states that the tiny dongle will come with its own remote. This makes sense if it is to be an Android TV device but it will also make it the first “Chromecast” dongle from Google to feature a remote and built-in apps such as Netflix, Disney+ and of course, YouTubeTV. According to the insider’s information, the remote looks like a hybrid of an Apple TV remote and a Daydream View remote. The validity of this leak was reinforced when Janko Roettgers of Protocol tweeted a link and photo in which an unnamed Google remote had just passed through the FCC.
Being that this is rumored to be the 2nd Gen Chromecast Ultra, the device will support 4K and contain all of the usual Chromecast functionalities. I’ll be very interested to see what processor will be powering this new Chromecast. There isn’t a ton of room in a dongle this size but if Google can give it enough horsepower, the new Chromecast could be a great little gaming device. If so, this could quickly become my go-to travel device to keep the kids entertained when we’re traveling. Given the fact that the remote just passed through the FCC, it’s likely we will see the new Chromecast released in the near future. It’s possible that this could be one of the products that were planned for the now-canceled I/O developer conference that was scheduled for May. Only time will tell but we’ll be keeping a close watch for this one.