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Google’s Upcoming Android TV Dongle Exposed

Materials tied to Google’s upcoming Android TV-powered streaming dongle continue to leak out, with website XDA-Developers obtaining what it reports to be images of the product, codenamed Sabrina.

The site said it obtained a marketing video of the product, created back in October, revealing a smooth, hockey-puck like dongle. It didn't publish the video, but excerpted the product photos. (Yes, it's unclear as to how up-to-date they are.)

XDA-Developers also showed off a rendering of the device’s diminutive remote control via an FCC filing. 

(Image credit: Twitter)

Also read: Google Reportedly Moving Forward with Android TV-powered, Nest-branded OTT Device

The new report provides the first visuals of a product that was first reported about back in early March by 9to5Google, which said at the time that Google was looking to replace its seven-year-old, and very minimalist Chromecast dongle with a more robust streaming device that had its own UI (Android TV) and its own remote control. 

Also read: Android TV: Everything You Need to Know About the World’s Fastest Growing Video Operating System

In early May, new tech blog Protocol reported that the device might carry Google Nest branding and will be priced at under $80. Protocol also said that the Android TV interface might be tweaked to focus on individual programs vs. streaming platforms. 

Also last month, 9to5Google reported on rumors that Android TV will be rebranded as “Google TV.”

Also read: YouTube App for Android TV Passes 50M Installs

All of this comes as data points indicate increased use of Android TV globally. 

We’ve heard loudly from both Roku and Amazon that their respective OTT device platforms each have around 40 million active users globally. 

Google actively touts the proliferation of its Android mobile platform—the company said at its I/O developers conference last year that there were 2.5 billion active Android mobile devices at the time. But Google doesn’t seem to get behind the OTT iteration of the Android brand in quite the same way.

Google’s marketing energy for Android TV is focused on vendor and pay TV operator partners. In March, for example, Google said that more than 160 operators were offering an iteration Android TV in their video systems. 

But Android TV is the top native OTT device ecosystem found in smart TVs globally. And Google just revealed that 50 million active YouTube accounts have been initiated through Android TV, giving some indicator of the massive reach of the platform. 

Google introducing its own device into a market it created as a developer of third-party software, meanwhile, would cause significant disruptions.