Google hints at second version of Chromecast – 650m people have now hit ‘cast’

22 Oct 2014

Google's Chromecast device

A second version of Google’s popular Chromecast device is in the works and more than 650m people are understood to have cast content to TV screens via the HDMI and Wi-Fi device.

In many ways the ability to simply cast content from a tablet or smartphone represents a new frontier for TV viewing, one which no doubt traditional broadcasters are watching with increasing unease.

The number of people who have hit the ‘cast’ button on their Android or iOS device has grown from 400m just three months ago to 650m today, according to Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz, who was speaking at a Gigaom Structure Connect conference yesterday.

It is understood that more than 6,000 developers are building more than 10,000 apps for the Google Cast ecosystem.

Also gaining in popularity is Google Chromecast’s new Backdrop feature that allows users to customise their TVs with their own photography.

This will soon be augmented with a new API that will allow developers to add additional information from their tablets or smartphones to Backdrop.

The forthcoming second version of Chromecast will not, however, include any user-facing features but will instead feature more internal improvements. The device is also unlikely to come with 5GHz Wi-Fi support and other features fans have been calling for, according to Android Central.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years