New Google Chromecast expected to debut alongside two Nexus phones

With 17 million units of the original Chromecast sold, Google is reportedly revamping the hardware with improved Wi-Fi support. Spotify may be a new addition as well.

After two years of sales estimated at 17 million units and 1.5 billion 'casts served, Google's Chromecast appears ready for a hardware refresh.

9to5 Google reports a second-generation Chromecast streaming stick will debut on September 29, when Google is also expected to introduced a pair of new Nexus phones from LG and Huawei.

So what's new about the expected hardware upgrade?

Based on documentation 9to5 Google gathered, the next Chromecast will look markedly different. Yes, it's still supposed to be an HDMI stick that quickly connects to your television set. It may look less like a stick and more like a lollipop though: The Chromecast has a much more rounded appearance.

That gives Google more room to fit in hardware component upgrades, possibly adding storage capabilities and very likely including support for faster 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.

Documents also indicate evidence of a new "Fast Play" feature to reduce the time it takes to connect a phone or tablet and play content on the big screen. That will come in handy if Spotify launches Chromecast support, which is 9to5 Google is also reporting.

Although there were content streaming solutions available prior to the first Chromecast, the product's success is due to the right combination: A low price -- Chromecast debuted at $35 -- paired with a simple installation and a growing number of third-party apps that support the one-touch streaming function.

Several dozen apps for iOS and Android work with the Chromecast, including top-tier services such as HBO Go, Netflix, MLB Premium, NFL Now, Hulu, Tune-In Radio, Pandora and more, making it a useful tool for content consumption.

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