If you think there are already a lot of video streaming devices in the market, there’s always room for something new or at least improve on the ones already in the market. There are loud rumors now that Google will soon be releasing a new streaming dongle that will be a game-changer for them and the video streaming industry. That may not always be a good thing though as an in-house streamer built on the Android TV platform may affect their already rocky relationship with third-party consumer electronics manufacturers.
According to a post on Protocol, sources are saying that the upcoming Google product will put more emphasis on individual movies and TV shows rather than the third-party apps that are usually the focus of Android TV-powered devices. It will also probably leverage the Nest brand and may look similar to Chromecast but functioning more like a Fire TV stick since you won’t need a connected phone to push content to your TV screen.
You will supposedly be able to stream content from Netflix, Disney+ and other on-demand video streaming services. Since it will most likely be Android TV-powered or if Google will create a new platform, there will be access to Google Play Store and support for Google Assistant for voice controls. You will still be able to cast content from your device if you wanted to. And we might even see support for the Stadia cloud gaming service.
The sources are saying that this device will be marketed under a new brand and not necessarily Android TV so they can distinguish it from other devices that are based on that platform. That is probably where the Nest brand will come in, which will still be in line with how that brand has become the umbrella for its smart home hardware devices. An earlier filing at the FCC for a Google-made remote control was thought to be connected to this but now it looks like it isn’t.
As for when the device will be unveiled or announced, there isn’t any news on that front. But expect third-party OEMs to not be pleased if this will actually happen as relationships have already been strained with the Android TV platform and the contract that prevents them from using a forked version of Android if they want to use the official version of Android. We’ll learn more about this over the coming months, hopefully.