Here’s another look at Google’s Android TV dongle from the Android 11 Developer Preview
Today, Google released an Android 11 Developer Preview for the ADT-3, a set-top box aimed at developers that runs Google’s Android TV operating system. The Developer Preview doesn’t contain any user-facing changes—after all, the ADT-3 is only intended for developers—but we still took a look through the update to see if there are any upcoming Android TV-specific features that Google didn’t document. While we were digging through the firmware, we discovered another asset related to Google’s upcoming Android TV dongle.
Earlier this month, we were sent pre-release firmware for a Google device code-named “sabrina.” Within that firmware, we discovered a video that reveals the design of Google’s Android TV dongle, the dedicated remote for the device, and the new Android TV UI that will presumably debut on the device. The video was created on October 10th, 2019, which was 5 days before the Pixel 4 launch date. Given the lifecycle of product launches, it’s unlikely that the final design and specifications of the dongle have changed much since that video was made. However, since we still don’t know when the dongle will actually launch, there’s always a chance that Google could have gone back at any point in the last several months to order a tweak to the design or internal components.
In the Android 11 Developer Preview for Google’s ADT-3 developer box, though, we found a video named “reboot_sabrina” in SetupWraithPrebuiltGtvs, the system application that handles that setup wizard for Android TV. This video shows the user how to reboot the “sabrina” Android TV dongle by unplugging it from its power connector (which seems to be a USB cord, though we don’t know if it’s micro-USB or Type-C) for 3 seconds. The video shows a sketch of the device with its overall oblong shape and “G” logo in the center, matching the design of the dongle that we saw in the pre-release firmware.
This video alone doesn’t really tell us much about Google’s dongle that we don’t already know, but it does corroborate the design of the renders we published earlier this month. Plus, it’s the first time we’ve seen anything related to “sabrina” in a publicly available source, especially one that’s very recent. Hopefully, this means that it won’t be long until we see the release of “sabrina.” Some of us can’t wait to get our hands on it. One thing to note is that the appearance of this asset in the Android 11 Developer Preview doesn’t guarantee that “sabrina” will launch with Android 11 out-of-the-box—I’m guessing it’ll launch with Android 10-based Android TV but will be one of the first to experience Android 11-based Android TV once that’s available (which usually happens a few months after the new OS for phones is made public.)
Here’s a summary of what we know so far about the specifications for Google’s Android TV dongle. We compiled this list of specifications based on an analysis of the pre-release firmware, so these specifications are not guaranteed to be accurate.
|CPU + GPU||Amlogic S905X2|
|Display||HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)|
|Connectivity||Broadcom BCM43569 (Wi-Fi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1)|
|Audio||Cadence’s Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP|
|Remote||Yes, mic for Google Assistant|
Here’s a video published on our YouTube channel that showcases the design of the Google Android TV dongle alongside its remote and new Android TV UI.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.