GigaOM interviewWhen Google officially unveiled the Nexus Player, with “Google Cast” functionality built in, many people started to wonder what would happen to Google’s $35 Chromecast. Were its days numbered? Is Android TV the sole strategy for Google in the living room going forward?

Have no fear – the Chromecast isn’t going anywhere, and in fact according to Google executive Mario Queiroz, a second generation Chromecast is actually in the works: “There will be a second version of Chromecast in the future.”

In an interview with GigaOM, Queiroz said that users have hit the cast button 650 million times, and that more than 6,000 developers are building more than 10,000 apps for the Google Cast ecosystem. This not only signals a growing developer community and an increase in popularity among consumers, but it cements the Chromecast in Google’s long term vision.

Of course, Queiroz would not say much of anything about what Google is planning for the second iteration of Chromecast, but 5GHz ac WiFi might be nice. He did mention that Google is working on new APIs that would allow more developers to take advantage of Chromecast’s new Backdrop feature, along with new functionalities that we haven’t even dreamed of yet. The only hint we have is that, “The hardware capabilities will give us a better opportunity to take full advantage of a large screen paired with a small screen.”

[GigaOM]