Google's Chromecast has long been the most affordable way to access your favorite streaming apps on TVs that don't already offer them. That said, the device's reliance on your smartphone as a second screen always added a layer of complication to the whole endeavour.
Now, it appears the search giant is looking to simplify the process in a major way, with a new report from 9to5Google (opens in new tab) suggesting that some big changes are coming to the next Chromecast Ultra in terms of usability.
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Citing "a reliable source familiar with the company’s plans", the report states that Google is readying a second-generation Chromecast Ultra that will bring the Android TV interface to users' televisions, and best of all, they'll be able to access it via a dedicated remote.
The report also states that the new Chromecast remote will include a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone for voice control. While not confirmed in any way, Protocol’s Janko Roettgers has spotted a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listing for a Google remote that may very well be for the device in question.
Just like the previous generation model, the new Chromecast Ultra (reportedly codenamed 'sabrina') is said to offer 4K and HDR support along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It's also expected to share the current model's softer, more rounded appearance.
We imagine the new Chromecast Ultra would likely have been announced at Google IO 2020. However, with that event now canceled over coronavirus, we're unable to hazard a guess as to when the device will officially debut.