This morning, Google dropped the Android 11 preview for Android TV. And it also dropped a neat tidbit in the source file. Which is a linked video that shows off its unannounced Android TV dongle. So yes, Google just leaked its own Android TV dongle that it has yet to announce. That's pretty meta, even for Google.
Google has a history of leaking its own products. So this should surprise no one. But it does confirm, in the very least, that Google is working on an Android TV dongle.
As 9to5Google discovered, there is a short video within the code, that shows how to restart the Android TV Dongle – which has been codenamed "Sabrina". It's a short eight-second video, which you can see below.
This Android TV dongle could be poised to launch this fall with Android 11
While it might seem that eight-second video doesn't tell us a lot, it actually does. It tells us a few things. One that the marketing material that leaked out in previous months was indeed real. As the design is the exact same, even down to the "G" Google logo on the dongle.
The other thing is that it looks like this is poised to launch with Android 11 this fall. It is very likely that Google is planning to launch this Android TV dongle this fall at its hardware event. Where they normally announce new Pixel smartphones and other products.
This is also going to be the first Made By Google Android TV product. The last Google-made Android TV product was the Nexus Player, and that launched well before the "Made by Google" brand did. Which is even more exciting.
The merging of Chromecast and Android TV
This seemed very likely for quite some time. But it looks like Chromecast and Android TV are going to merge. And that makes loads of sense. You see, Chromecast is already built into Android TV (as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV). So why does Google need to release a dongle that only has Chromecast functionality when it can add in some Android TV functionality too? That's exactly what this Dongle is going to do, and it'll priced similar to a Chromecast too.
Essentially, this is going to be a Chromecast with a remote, and under $100.
This could be the catalyst for Google, to get more and more users using Android TV. Similar to the Fire TV Stick or the Roku Streaming Stick, which are both super cheap and get more users on those platforms.