More AOSP references mention HTC-made “Flounder,” and possible first mentions of Android TV


We’re shaking in our tube socks as we try and brave the tough wait to Google I/O, but bits and pieces of Google’s plans are slowly beginning to take form.

Yesterday we heard of a new device in the Nexus family that may be codenamed “Flounder.” Considering Google has always reserved smaller fish for their tablets we imagine this is the next Nexus tablet, which rumors suggest will be made by HTC.


More evidence of those beliefs have surfaced today, with an AOSP changelog on line 239 referencing “device/htc/flounder/”. It’s long been said that HTC would reprise their role as a Nexus manufacturer this year, and would do so with either a 7-inch or 8-inch option.

It would be the first Nexus device by the Taiwanese company since the original Nexus One, which is a bit odd considering HTC was the sole OEM to get this Android train rolling. Funnily enough, this would also be HTC’s first tablet since their first two failed attempts back in 2011.

But let’s shift focus to something else very interesting right now — a device codenamed Molly. No, probably not that Molly. More like the species of fish known as Molly. It’s referenced between lines 214 and 237 in the aforementioned changelog document, and mentions updates to set-top box related code, as well as Discretix, a top DRM solution for video platforms.

More evidence — down by lines 3664 and 3790 — mentions BeMote, Ethernet functionality, Pano and NVIDIA-related goodness. Could this be the forthcoming Android TV (aka, Google TV done the right way) we’ve all been waiting for? Let’s take a look.

Android TV Movies

BeMote could be related to whatever remote you’ll be using with the device. The changelog makes frequent mentions to a microphone on BeMote, so it’s possible it could be equipped with voice-related features.

Pano sounds like it’ll be the name of the new TV-optimized user interface Google will put atop Android. What’s important about the references to ethernet? Ethernet functionality only makes sense on a device like a set-top box. And all the NVIDIA stuff could suggest Google’s reference device for Android TV will run on Tegra.

Of course, we’re piecing all of this together as loosely as you would stringed popcorn on a Christmas tree, so it’s possible we’re off the mark on some of it. All of this coming to light makes sense, though, as Google gears up for what should be an exciting Google I/O late next month.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. If these devices as well as all of the upcoming design changes are announced at IO, I believe I may just pass out.

  2. Quentyn,

    Here’s a list of Nexus codenames to go along with what you provided.

    Xoom – Stingray
    Nexus 7 (2012) – Grouper
    Nexus 7 (2013) – Razor
    Nexus 10 – Manta

    Emulator – Goldfish
    G1 – Trout
    Nexus One – Mahimahi (initally rumored as Passion)
    Nexus S – Herring (Crespo was a finalized product name)
    Galaxy Nexus – Tuna (Maguro and Toro were finalized product names for GSM and CDMA)
    Nexus 4 – Mako
    Nexus 5 – Hammerhead

    1. Toro, not Toru :)

      1. Thanks Brian :)

    2. I see no real correlation to suggest flounder is a tablet, seems they are just using sea creatures(size irrelevant to device type). HTC making a tablet would be very odd, a Nexus smartphone might be a better bet.

      1. The fish codename has applied to Nexus devices (and pre-Nexus devices), so them and you assuming it’s a Nexus product is a safe bet.

        The next thing you look at is the time frame. The Nexus Phones have typically been launched around October/November (Nexus One in January). The Nexus 7 tablets have launched in summer. This is likely a Nexus 7 successor as opposed to a phone based on Google’s history.

        As far as the OEM goes, LG has made the last two phones and ASUS has made the last two summer-release tablets. A switch of OEM is not more or less likely for phones over tablets, so the fact that HTC is involved doesn’t add credence that it’s a phone as opposed to a tablet or vice versa.

        When you add up code name, time frame, and OEM, the most likely scenario is a mid-sized (7/8″) Nexus tablet by HTC. Not saying you’re wrong in guessing it’s a phone. Just going off statistical probability :)

        1. I know that theirs going to be a change in OEM, buts its a very odd for a Struggling company like HTC who has dropped out of the tablet game to suddenly shift some of its resources to producing a Nexus tablet. This combined with the fact that tablets don’t sell as well as smartphones and have hit a flat line in the past couple of quarters doesn’t give HTC much growth. Guess well just see at IO, anything is possible I guess.

          1. That’s a fair way to look at it. I tend to look at it from a different viewpoint; that OEMs use the Nexus program as a springboard. HTC was an obvious choice for the Nexus One for many reasons. Samsung used the Nexus S (and the Galaxy S II about 6 months later) to get into the hearts and minds of developers. LG used the Nexus 4 to basically start their re-branding efforts in the smartphone space. And ASUS used the Nexus 7 to help them launch their competing tablets.
            Using that point of view, I see this as HTC’s re-entry into the Tablet market. If they do make a Nexus 7/8 this summer, you can expect their own Sense-laden tablets around the same time or shortly therafter. HTC doesn’t need to make a Nexus smartphone under this viewpoint, because they’re already established (financial troubles aside).

          2. That’s a good point as well, whatever it is, it’s going to be interesting.

  3. Can’t wait! HTC take my money!

    1. Hopefully it’s a tablet in the 8″ flavor. Hopefully it’s HTC as well the build quality on the Nexus Asus tablets are trash.

  4. Come on this has to be the nexus 6.

    1. Based on…?

  5. Smaller fish?
    Toro is a tuna, they go 600lbs, flounder do not approach those sizes.

  6. A HTC One-like Nexus device with an 8 screen is exactly what I want right now. I just hope they keep the bezels down and don’t make it too heavy, my pockets aren’t ready for another Jetstream.

  7. I want an Android TV box but I really hope it has HDMI pass through functionality like the original Google TV boxes.

  8. if HTC was to make the final Nexus 6 before going to Android Silver…. I would definitely hold out on the LG G3 to see this Nexus. HTC made the first Nexus so it would be cooler for them to make the last.

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