Google today officially revealed the 2nd Generation Chromecast. Immediately noticeable improvements are in its build — it’s lighter, sleeker, and slimmer, and fits behind your TV so it remains out of view from everything. No need to look at it long, but it looks good regardless.
It’s what’s inside the 2nd Gen Chromecast that counts. Google has updated WiFi connectivity to 802.11 AC, and has it on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless bands for improved stability and performance throughout the home.
That upgraded WiFi is coupled with a new multi-array antenna which can use the best antenna based on ever-changing WiFi performance in the home. It’s Google’s goal to eliminate any connectivity issues you have with Chromecast to take you straight to your content without issue.
But the biggest changes will come in the software. Chromecast will change how you discover by bringing more intelligent recommendations and a streamlined discovery dashboard every time you start your Chromecast up.
Fast Play is the other biggie. This feature will use intelligence to determine what you want to watch, and it’ll begin buffering content so it’s ready to start playing the moment you hit play. For instance, Netflix knows you recently watch episodes of your favorite TV show, so when you begin searching for it on Chromecast they’ll automatically buffer the next unwatched episode before you’re even able to press play.
Google also shared details on the new Chromecast Audio today. This thing hooks up to any speaker that supports 3.5mm jacks, and can be used to turn said speakers into a Google Cast device. You can use it with music apps such as Spotify (Chromecast support was added today!) to instantly play your tunes on your speakers. If you have multiple units, you can easily manage multi-room playback from your phone. It’s also easy for guests to hop onto the network and start casting their tunes from their phone in case they want to share their music.
Oh, and the thing looks like a vinal record player — how cool is that?
Google says both the 2nd Gen Chromecast and Chromecast Audio will be available in 17 different countries to start, and both will retail for a very fair $35 price tag.