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A new Google Chromecast Ultra could be in the works

New features will apparently include Android TV and an external remote

Google is working on a new second-generation Chromecast Ultra, according to a “reliable source familiar with the company’s plans”. The new device will reportedly run the Android TV operating system and may well come bundled with a new external remote, meaning you will no longer have to control the Chromecast device from your phone.

The source spoke to the Google news site 9to5Google about the plans. The new device – which is codenamed ‘Sabrina’ – is expected to support 4K HDR content, while relying on the usual Chromecast Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. It is also expected to look similar in appearance to the current 3rd generation Chromecast dongle, a small round puck that plugs into the TV through an HDMI cable.

What is most exciting about these supposed plans is the rumoured inclusion of Android TV, previously lacking from the Chromecast Ultra device (and just about any streaming dongle you care to name). This will finally give consumers access to Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and YouTube TV – to name just a few apps – through the Android TV interface, thus removing the need of a middleman device such as a smartphone or tablet.

In addition to this, an external remote to control the new Chromecast Ultra will apparently come with the device. This remote will be fitted with a microphone and Google Assistant button to assist voice control, and may also be programmable to the user’s TV.

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As if to lend weight to these rumours, Protocol’s senior reporter Janko Roettgers recently tweeted that a “Google remote for an unknown device” had been registered with the Federal Communications Commission.

Nevertheless, these apparent plans have not been confirmed by Google itself. It is likely that any plans would have been announced at this year’s Google I/O conference, but this was cancelled due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19). As such, there is no further information on the beyond what has been speculated here.