Google’s upcoming streaming dongle will reportedly have a completely redesigned Android TV UI with a focus on movies and TV shows as opposed to apps. That’s according to Protocol, which says it has been able to confirm the news from “multiple sources” with knowledge of the impending change. The report further claims that the device may be marketed under the ‘Nest‘ branding – Google’s IoT brand that currently sells thermostats, cameras, connected security alarms and more.
Not much is known about either the new UI or the new streaming dongle, but the report suggests that the interface will put more emphasis on content rather than apps. That will certainly mark a big shift from how people interact with their Android TV devices currently, given that each row of content displayed in the current Android TV interface is drawn from a different app that’s marked clearly on the left-hand side of the screen.
The upcoming dongle, which is believed to be the first device to ship with the new interface, will reportedly look similar to Google’s Chromecast streaming devices. It will, however, function more like a Roku or Fire TV stick, which means it will be an independent streaming device with its own remote control, and will not require a phone or a tablet to relay content to a TV. According to an earlier report from 9to5Google, it will also come with built-in Google Assistant, and will allow users to install apps like Netflix and Disney+ from the Play Store.
There’s no ETA for Google’s upcoming streaming dongle just yet, but the report claims that it might be priced at around $80 (around Rs. 6,000). Given that Android TV is rumored to be rebranded to Google TV, it will be interesting to see if this will be the device that will usher in the rebranded OS with its revamped UI. Either way, Google is said to be in talks with major streaming services about support for its planned new UI, so let’s wait and watch how that turns out going forward.