Google is preparing a new device in the same family as the Chromecast with Google TV.
In fall 2020, Google launched the Chromecast with Google TV as a showcase for its new big screen experience, but in recent months many have found this new Chromecast to be lacking in the specs department especially storage.
According to documentation viewed by 9to5Google, Google has an Android-powered device in the works codenamed Boreal. Our APK Insight team was also able to confirm the Boreal codename elsewhere. From what we’ve seen, Boreal is directly connected to the same Google TV Chromecast software for Android that powers the Chromecast with Google TV. The codename Boreal was found in the same family as Sabrina, which refers to the current Chromecast with Google TV.
Unfortunately, no specs or other clues are currently available for Boreal, leaving us largely in the dark about the hardware of this next first-party Google TV device. Though one improvement that is almost certainly arriving is hardware decoding support for the AV1 format, a spec that was missing from the Chromecast with Google TV that Android TV now reportedly requires.
As for timing, we’ve heard that Google currently intends for the company’s second Google TV powered device to launch this year.
So where could Boreal fit into the Made by Google lineup? For one thing, given that Chromecast with Google TV is only just over a year into its life, we don’t believe Google would be launching a formal replacement for it so soon. Beyond that, if Google wanted to simply re-release 2020’s Chromecast, but with additional storage, this wouldn’t require a new device with a new codename.
Part of the charm of the Chromecast with Google TV is the simplicity of the dongle form factor, but demand has been rising for a higher-end device to compete with the Nvidia Shield TV series. In that vein, perhaps Boreal could be a more premium Google TV box. Google has pursued this model in the past with the $69 Chromecast Ultra and $99 Nexus Player.