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Is “elfin” the codename for the Nexus Player 2?

Recent commits in AOSP suggest Google might be developing a follow-up to the Nexus Player.

Published onMarch 20, 2018

  • A series of commits in AOSP relating to Android Q mention a device, codenamed “elfin.”
  • The device was tested with both a Google Pixel 2 XL and a Nexus Player.
  • Could “elfin” be a new media streaming device like the Nexus Player?

While devices are in development, they often have codenames. The codenames help prevent too much information leaking about a device; since only a select few know what a codename refers to, it’s hard for us on the outside to know exactly what’s going on.

Over at XDA Developers, some savvy users poring over new commits in AOSP came across a new device with the codename “elfin.” The codename had never appeared before this new batch of commits, and there’s some evidence to suggest that “elfin” could be the follow-up to the Nexus Player.

The Nexus Player? Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve talked about that particular device. The Nexus Player was the launching pad for Android TV; a self-contained media streamer akin to a Roku. When it was released in 2014, it got lukewarm reviews (including from us here at Android Authority) with most reviewers dinging the device for its half-baked software and lack of apps.

However, the Nexus Player does have its devoted followers, many of which hope that Google will eventually release a successor. Now with this “elfin” device popping up, Nexus Player fans are probably going to get pretty excited.

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According to XDA, “elfin” is connected to two batches of commits: one is a test of “elfin” and the Google Pixel 2 XL in regards to enabling a certain feature by default, and the other is a proposed fix to a WiFiConfigManager bug that is connected to “elfin” and… the Nexus Player.

Even though Google discontinued the Nexus Player, the company has still supported the device over the years, even bringing Google Assistant to the player last year. So the fact that the device is being tested isn’t that interesting. But why would Google test “elfin” in connection with both a Pixel phone and the Nexus Player?

What’s more is that both commits appear in tests for Android Q. Yes, even though we don’t have a stable release of Android P yet, that doesn’t mean Google isn’t already hard at work on Android Q. Could it be that Google is testing Android Q on both its latest smartphone and a current and future media streamer?

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Right now, there’s no reliable evidence to confirm anything. However, Google has yet to offer its own standalone media streaming box, so it’s not out of the question that the company would try again with a new product. But it probably would be called a Pixel Player, as the Nexus brand is pretty much dead at this point.

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