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What to expect from the Chromecast 2

Will you buy a Chromecast 2? Here are some of the things to expect from Google's upcoming dongle.

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Google’s intent on dominating your living room hasn’t stopped with the launch of either Android TV or the Nexus Player, instead comments from Google exec Mario Queiroz to GigaOm suggest the second version of the company’s Chromecast dongle could be with us sooner than we think.

Queiroz also revealed that users have tapped the cast button 650 million  times and more than 6,000 developers are building more than 10,000 apps for the Google Cast ecosystem.  While he confirmed Google is “building an ecosystem of different endpoints,” including “Chromecast devices,” Queiroz was tight lipped on further details. “I can say we really want to bring the richness of this first screen–second screen experience to life,” Queiroz told GigaOm. “The hardware capabilities will give us a better opportunity to take full advantage of a large screen paired with a small screen.”

So what are some of the features users can expect to find in the newest version? Here is a round up of rumours from the web that we think are highly likely.

Backdrop development

The one feature Queiroz was willing to discuss about the future of the Chromecast is that it will further develop its Backdrop feature, which allows users to cast their photos to their TV. Queiroz said that Google is planning  to release an API that will allow developers to add additional information to Backdrop.

Nexus Player integration

Google’s continual push on their Play Movies, Play Music and similar services will undoubtedly get even more attention with the new Chromecast dongle. Expect users to have even more control of how their content is displayed on their TV. Although marketed as different products, expect to see parts of the Chromecast and Nexus Player working together.

More first party support

One of the best things about the Play store is that it housed some fantastic apps that opened up what the original Chromecast could do. With the success of apps such as AllCast, we wouldn’t be surprised if Google launched their own media server app.

Hacking options

It took quite a while for users to really explore the hacking options available for the Chromecast. Although the selection of hacks is still fairly small, a more powerful Chromecast dongle could open itself up to plenty of modding opportunities.

No change in price

One of the primary reasons why the original Chromecast sold in its millions was firmly down to its price. The £30 price tag will undoubtedly stay the same with the Chromecast 2, and expect the usual free bundled months of Play Music as well.

Update: This story was amended on 22 October 2014 at 9:57am to reflect the comments from Mario Queiroz.

Expect to see further announcements on the Chromecast 2 in the weeks that follow, as well as our review of the Nexus Player when we get our hands on it. As ever, for the latest Android news, make sure to check out the new issue of Android Magazine.

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