The plans Google had for announcing its new products have really gone down the toilet thanks to 2020 doing its thing and making life miserable for everyone. Earlier today we heard that the Pixel 4a launch may have been pushed back to October, and there’s still no sign of the long-fabled Chromecast dongle with full Android TV. But a new leak has popped up and could tell us more about what to expect.
Obviously Chromecast is limiting. It’s more a protocol than a streaming device, and it’s far too reliant on an external device to tell it beam it content. People have been talking about a proper Android TV dongle from Google for years now, and the rumours so far suggest that just might be what we get – plus a bunch of other things.
Details that popped up at XDA Developers say that the dongle will come with an Amlogic S905X2 chipset and 2GB of RAM, which is all fairly normal for this sort of device. But that hardware will offer support for 4K resolution and 60 FPS over HDMI 2.1, plus HDR in the form of HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision.
There’s also something codenamed ‘Sabrina’ in the code for the device, which is said to offer an “auto low-latency mode”. In other words reducing lag from content coming in, and considering Google is likely to be using the dongle to big up Google Stadia, that’s going to be quite important. If it works as promised, that is.
Past leaks have also told us that the dongle will come with its own dedicated remote (rather than relying on your own device). Interestingly there’s also one that suggests there’s a special ‘star’ button that can be programmed by the user. So if you want a quick launch button for Netflix, or Disney+, or something else, you can have one. Which is a much better way of doing things than, say, Roku, which has dedicated buttons for stuff you may not even be able to sign up for.
Who knows when this device might arrive. Considering most of Google’s mid-year hardware should have been announced at the now-cancelled I/O, and the fact that the Pixel 4a has now been potentially delayed until August, things are very up in the air at the moment. So, er, it’ll arrive when it arrives. [XDA via TechRadar]