September 22, 2015
If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps.
According to 9to5Google, which obtained documents describing the new Chromecast app, “What’s On” shows movies, videos, and other content on apps installed on the user’s device as well as displaying the Chromecast apps on the device and suggesting Chromecast-supported apps available on the Play Store.
Unlike the current app, which has a “Discover Apps” tab that redirects to a page within the Play Store app, says 9to5Google, “the new app seems to serve as more of an intelligent hub to all the Chromecast-castable content found within your apps.”
Although the documents examined are blurry, 9to5Google believes the new app will have a new user interface. “While it might still have the sidebar found in the current version, there also seems to be a section with tabbed navigation like that which can be found in the Play Store app.”
Chromecast Audio will plug into any speaker via 3.5mm headphone cable, apparently included with the device, which offers multi-room support. The device may have the ability to mirror audio coming from a Chrome browser or an Android phone; Spotify will support it. (9to5Google notes that it’s quite similar to Motorola Stream.) The rumored announcements are expected to also introduce Spotify support for Chromecast, and also possibly next-gen Nexus smartphones from LG and Huawei.