The Chromecast 2 could be a potentially dominant player in the streaming video landscape. Like the first streaming stick, we expect something versatile, lightning quick and cheap, around or hopefully well under the $50/£40 mark.
We expect the 2015 Chromecast iteration to be as accessible as its predecessor, and an inconspicuous addition to our home entertainment setup that doesn’t require any additional hardware or lengthy installation process.
And, most importantly, we expect it to be out by the end of 2015. That gives Google roughly three months to not only announce its next-gen vision for the Chromecast but to produce units and get them on store shelves before the clock strikes midnight on December 31.
It’s a lot to ask, definitely, but we’re confident that the company that plans to bring 1Gbps internet to the entire United States can muster up the creativity, drive and gumption to do it.
What is it? The second iteration of Google’s streaming stick called the Chromecast 2
When is it out? It’s rumored to be out by the end of 2015
How much does it cost? If it’s like the original Chromecast, expect a reasonable price tag of about $50/£40
Admittedly, however, the new Chromecast has big shoes to fill. When the original launched in 2013 it snuck on the scene with little fanfare and little warning. It packed a smaller processor than the competition which, at the time, only consisted of the streaming boxes like the recently launched Roku 3 and Apple TV. That didn’t deter Google from selling the streaming stick hand over fist come holiday shopping season.
It turns out people didn’t mind that the stick itself wasn’t the most powerful piece of kit on the planet. Its Android-integrated platform and later openness to working with iOS made it near irresistible to anyone looking to stream content from their phone to their television without messing around with conversion cables. And even though it had no user interface to call its own, setup was a snap and finding content, thanks to the Chromecast app, couldn’t be easier.
Chromecast 2: What we can expect
Besides the four tenets listed above (versatile, lightning quick, accessible and cheap) we can likely expect Chromecast 2 to be faster thanks to a two-year-newer processor and WiFi antenna that supports 802.11ac instead of 802.11n, the standard two years ago. And while it’s unlikely to stray into 4K territory like the revamped Amazon Fire TV, high-end Nvidia Shield Android TV or rumored Roku 4, we’re not ruling anything out at this stage of the game.
What’s almost definitely on the table, though, are dozens of new apps that will be announced on the new hardware. Some of these will likely come from Google itself, though there’s still a fair amount of uncharted territory out there in terms of games, movie streaming apps and developers who have yet to optimize their apps for Google’s pint-sized streamer.
One reason behind the hold-up is that Google itself has kept a tight lid on the Chromecast API – the development code needed to give an app the Google Cast functionality. Keeping it a closed ecosphere has given Google the final say in what goes on its Chromecast store, but has ultimately hindered it from reaching critical mass.
It would behoove Google to open the Chromecast up to developers and let them expand the breadth and depth of content available while keeping Google Cast one of the most used functions on the smartphone. Though we’re almost positive it will be either way.
So when will we find out what the new Chromecast will look like? Google is holding a Nexus event on Tuesday, September 29 that should offer some insight into the device.
- What do you want from Chromecast 2? Let us know in the comments below!