An Android TV dongle has appeared online with Google branding, could this be Google's next step for Android TV?
Google could be working on a Chromecast-like 4K Android TV dongle if new images and an FCC application ring true.
Spotted by Ausdroid, an application was filed with the US Federal Communications Commission detailing a 4K dongle powered by Android TV. Pictures of the dongle show it to be a slightly teardrop-shaped puck not too dissimilar from the Chromecast Ultra, with a big Google “G” plastered on the front.
The FCC filing also shows that it comes with a remote, something a Chromecast wouldn't need, that includes Google Assistant-supported voice search functionality. Again, Google's branding of Assistant is present on the device too.
Interestingly, Google didn't file the application itself. Instead, that fell to Shenzhen SEI Robotics. The manufacturer already claims to offer an Android TV dongle on its site that doesn't look too dissimilar from an Amazon Fire TV Stick. It doesn't appear that Google has used Shenzhen SEI Robotics to manufacture Google products in the past, so it's possible that this isn't an official product.
That said, looking at the manual that's included in the filing, it certainly does have all the hallmarks of a modern Google device. There's the bright white paper and thin Google font, along with official logos and design ethos, so there's still a high chance this is actually an official device.
Google's interest in creating another dedicated Android TV device makes a lot of sense. While its now discontinued Nexus Player was Google's last dedicated Android TV device, the platform has come on leaps and bounds since then with an interest in Android TV Boxes picking up around the world. A dongle version of Android TV clearly won't be as versatile as many of the Android TV boxes out there right now, but if you're looking to turn your TV into a smart one with minimal effort, it's certainly a more functional device than a Chromecast – and you'll still get Chromecast functionality from it.
Google currently only offers 4K functionality for casting via its Chromecast Ultra device, meaning that an Android TV device capable of 4K would be a welcome addition to its lineup.
We've approached Google for comment on the matter but haven't yet received a response.