Hot on the heels of Apple’s newly announced, more powerful Apple TV and Amazon’s just launched 4K-ready Fire TV (and Fire TV gaming edition), Google is also prepping the release of the next version of its streaming media stick, Chromecast. At least, that’s the latest report emerging from 9to5Google, which got its hands on leaked documents which describe an updated second-generation Chromecast with a variety of new features like “Fast Play,” better Wi-Fi, backdrop feeds and support for Spotify.
According to the site, the updated device may come in a new form factor (which sort of looks like a balloon…and raises concerns about the veracity of this report, but still…) and will include support for the 802.11ac band. The original Chromecast only supported 802.11b/g/n.
Another feature, called “Fast Play,” would allow Chromecast to more quickly connect to a TV when the “Cast” button is pressed in an app – something that would address users’ concerns about the lag time.
Meanwhile, users will also be able to add content feeds to their Chromecast home screen, which today features photos, weather and art. The site speculates that possibly these could be social media feeds or image feeds that Chromecast could play while in its “screensaver” mode.
In addition, the new device may also be able to plug directly into any speaker by way of auxiliary cord, notes the report.
Will any of this come to pass? Well, if the leak is legit we’ll know soon enough. According to the documents, the device is going to be announced at Google’s September 29 event, which is also when Google’s two new Nexus devices are rumored to launch.