As Google I/O 2014 marches closer, there’s plenty of rumors about what we should expect to be unveiled. At least a few of these rumors have centered around the possibility of new Nexus hardware, and we’ve even heard several reports claiming that HTC is working Google to create a “premium” Nexus tablet with an 8-inch display.
Up until now, just about everything related to the idea of a new Nexus has been speculation and rumor, but now we might finally have our first hint at real ‘proof’, thanks to the Chrome Issue Tracker, where evidence of new hardware has surfaced buried within issue #371206. The evidence was first uncovered by the folks at MYCE, and while the issue itself is nothing more than a crash report, it’s the “flounder” mention in the build fingerprint that really gets our attention.
What’s so special about ‘flounder’? Actually, Google has a history of codenaming Nexus hardware after fish, with the Nexus 5 as hammerhead, Nexus 10 as mantaray, Nexus 7 as flo — you get the point. As you may have guessed, flounder isn’t currently associated with any existing Nexus device. In addition to mentioning flounder, the build fingerprint also mentions volantis, which could potentially have to do with the software build’s code-name.
MYCE analyzed the naming convention on the build fingerprint to learn a bit more about the software. First, there’s a “V” in the build name that suggest its from Q2 2014. The 36 then indicates where looking at day 36 of Q2, which is May 6th. In other words, this is a pretty recent build.
So is this the rumored Nexus 8?
Honestly, we really can’t say. While it isn’t very likely that this is a new handset, there’s certainly the possibility that this could be a Nexus 7 2014, Nexus 10 or some completely new Nexus form factor.
All this sighting really tells us is that something is coming down the pipeline, though we can’t say when or what. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for future mentions of both Volantis and Flounder, though. Any ideas on what this alleged Nexus device could be? What would you like to see next from Google?