The Google Chromecast Ultra 2 is on its way, but the more exciting news is the piece of hardware that will come with it — an external remote. Not only that, the Chromecast Ultra 2nd gen will switch up the software it runs on.
The Chromecast Ultra is one of the best streaming devices if you want to watch 4K HDR content. The device looks to carry on a lot of what people love about the Chromecast, though, and not force them to change their ways, only offering an alternative to those who want it.
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But while the Chromecast Ultra 2 is going to give users a new interface, it will likely retain the simplicity of 'casting your content from a device to your TV. This way, people keep the overall experience they want, but get more options for accessing content.
We've got all more rumors and news about the Chromecast Ultra 2, including its release date, specs, price, the remote and more.
Chromecast Ultra 2 release date
The release date for the Chromecast Ultra 2nd gen is very much up in the air. 9to5Google reported that it was slated to be available this year. But everything has been turned upside down due to the pandemic.
An announcement about the product may have been made at Google I/O 2020. The developer conference was scheduled for mid-May and then canceled due to coronavirus.
A source told Protocol that Google wanted to launch Chromecast Ultra 2 this summer, but those plans may not be feasible due to supply chain problems.
Chromecast Ultra 2 price
Just like there is no confirmed release date, there is not much to report on the Chromecast Ultra 2's price. Protocol cited industry insiders who believe it will cost around $80.
As a comparison, the Chromecast Ultra is priced at $69 in the Google Store.
Chromecast Ultra 2 design and specs
Not much is known about the Chromecast Ultra 2's specs, but sources told 9to5Google that it will physically resemble the Chromecast 3rd generation with a softer, rounder finish. It will have the Google "G" logo and an HDMI connector.
Where the Ultra 2 will really veer away from its predecessor is how it works. It will function more like a Roku or Fire TV stick. The Chromecast Ultra first gen uses a phone to play content. The new version will come with a remote control that will have a microphone andGoogle Assistant button for voice control.
The new Ultra will continue to support 4K HDR content. Users will also be able to download apps for streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus from the Google Play Store. And it is expected to support the Stadia cloud gaming service.
Chromecast Ultra 2 software
The Chromecast Ultra 2 will feature the new version of Android TV, which highlights individual movie and TV show titles rather than apps. Sources told Protocol that the new interface will resemble the Fire TV home screen.
Android TV is a version of Google's operation system designed for televisions. The platform is build into some smart TVs (like the Sony Bravia) and in some streaming video players like the Nvidia Shield.
There's a rumor that Google plans to rebrand Android TV to Google TV and another one that says that the Chromecast Ultra 2 will be branded as a Nest product. That would make sense, since Google has been using Nest as the umbrella brand for its smart home and entertainment hardware devices.