Based on Google’s own words at the announcement and the devices very name, Chromecast, it would be a reasonable assumption that the highly sought after new $35 dongle from Google was running some variant of Chrome OS. The people at GTVHacker have found that instead the Chromecast is instead running a stripped down version of Google TV which makes it an Android device.
Before you get your hopes up you won’t be installing your favorite Android apps on it anytime soon. Here’s the relevant quote:
To be specific, it’s actually a modified Google TV release, but with all of the Bionic / Dalvik stripped out and replaced with a single binary for Chromecast. Since the Marvell DE3005 SOC running this is a single core variant of the 88DE3100, most of the Google TV code was reused. So, although it’s not going to let you install an APK or anything, its origins: the bootloader, kernel, init scripts, binaries, are all from the Google TV.GTVHacker
The upshot of their findings is that Chromecast could potentially be turned into a tiny Google TV. Having owned a Google TV for the last couple years I’m actually not entirely sure that’s preferable to seeing what Google has in mind for the Chromecast, but hey I’m never one to get between people and their tech tinkering.
You can watch their video below or if you want to read more about what they did or roll the dice and try it yourself hit the source link below for full instructions.