It’s been over a year and a half since Google last refreshed the Chromecast, and even longer since it launched the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra, a feature that’s notably absent in the regular Chromecast. Last month, a report from 9to5Google suggested that Google is considering replacing the Chromecast with an Android TV-based alternative, and today, Protocol has another report corroborating that story.
According to the report, the move an Android TV-based device is a a result of declining market share for Chromecast, with many users preferring fully-featured platforms for TVs, such as Roku and Fire TV. Those platforms have grown very significantly in the past few years, leaving Chromecast further and further behind.
Google wants to distinguish this new streaming device from other Android TV devices, and sources suggest that the company might use the Nest branding for it, bringing it under the same umbrella as its smart speakers and displays. A report from earlier today suggests that Google could be renaming Android TV to Google TV, which could end up aligning with this new product.
As to when Google is planning to release this new streaming adapter, it seems like it was initially planned for this summer, but given the current circumstances, a delay is very likely. On a slightly different note, the report also suggests that Google is planning to lower the hardware requirements for Android TV, so more TVs can be released with the operating system at a lower price point. It’s possible that we would have heard about it at Google I/O, but with that being cancelled, there’s no telling when that will happen.