Having successfully managed to gain root access to Google's Chromecast dongle, the GTV Hacker team has identified that it runs a stripped-down version of Android taken from Google TV, not Chrome OS. Google had previously told The Verge that the Chromecast runs a variant of the web-focused operating system, describing it as "just a browser content shell."

"It’s more Android than Chrome OS."

"We had a lot of internal discussion on this, and have concluded that it’s more Android than Chrome OS," says GTV Hacker on its website. "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." Gaining root access will not allow users to install apps like they would on an Android smartphone or tablet but the group isn't ruling out the possibility that the dongle could take on Google TV-like features in the future.

With an exploit package already available, Android developers may be tempted to experiment with the Chromecast now they know it has roots in Google TV. By offering bootloader source code under a GPL license Google hasn't exactly tried to stop developers from modifying the device but could move to patch the exploit in the future.