It's been a few years since Google released a new Chromecast and even longer since it gave us a new Android TV device. Today, we get both... sort of. After being rumored, leaked, and sold early at multiple national retailers (yikes), the new Chromecast with Google TV is official. While Google has revived the Google TV branding, it could just as easily have called this the latest version of Android TV. It also works as a 4K Chromecast even if you don't use the Google TV UI.
This is, essentially, the product we've been asking Google to make for years. It's a Chromecast with 4K HDR and a remote, which is a big improvement over unreliable notification controls. However, the dongle isn't just a cast target—it runs a version of Android 10 optimized for your TV which Google has decided to call Google TV. It looks and works a lot like Android TV, but the UI is a bit different, there's better live TV integration, and it uses a new recommendation engine.
All the apps that worked on Android TV work here as well, but Google TV works harder to extract content from your streaming apps to present on the redesigned home screen. The remote lets you control the Google TV interface, your TV, surround sound, and even video being casted from your phone. There's also an Assistant button and a microphone on the remote so you can control your smart home devices and search for things to watch.
Google says the new Chromecast is on sale today, which isn't surprising considering how many found their way onto shelves early. It can be yours for just $49.99 on the Google Store and at your local electronics retailer. This will be the only Google TV device for the time being, but other manufacturers could begin switching over next year. As part of the change, Google is also rebranding the Play Movies and TV app to Google TV, which will help you manage your watchlist and search for content.