Now we’re getting our first look at the device, codenamed Sabrina. There’s a lot to unpack here, but cord-cutters should be excited.
New Android TV
The device itself does look strikingly like a Chromecast. It’s a little bigger and comes in a few different colors, which is cool, but strange for a device that will probably sit behind your TV 99% of the time. White, black, and a pink color that matches some Pixels look to be the color options.
These are still pre-renders, but confidence seems to be high that this is what the final design will look like. It’s also reportedly going to launch under the Google Nest brand, which feels… odd. Nest has always been home automation, but we have seen the Google Homes drift into that particular lane. This could be another step in that direction to make Nest the brand for all of your smart home stuff, not just cameras and routers.
But where this new Android TV really differentiates itself is the inclusion of a new remote, and an overhauled UI that’s much more content-focused.
A remote is one of the defining features of Android TV vs. Chromecast or Cast-enabled TVs. Instead of using your phone to sling content to your bigger screen, a full home theater experience gives you a remote with individual control, tons of apps, Google Assistant integration, the ability to control the volume of your TV, and more. This feels like the definite end to standalone Chromecast devices, in my opinion.
But besides the new remote? You’re also getting a redesigned interface that’s much more focused on getting you into content to watch.
This is probably one of the most exciting things to look forward to with this potential launch. It’s tightly integrated with YouTube TV and can deliver a traditional DVR kind of interface, it works with Google Assistant, and it just looks good. Less clutter, but more relevant things for your eyeballs. We dig it.
There are still some fuzzy details about this new dongle, including when it actually launches. The pricing is rumored to sit below $80, which would be pretty aggressive next to something like the new NVIDIA Shield TV but still priced around a Chromecast Ultra, which makes sense.
Keep your ears out over the next few weeks for more rumors to trickle out, and expect an announcement from Google by the end of the year.
source: XDA Developers