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Stronger evidence Flounder is Nexus 8 – Google set top box and car software references found

Posted at 09 May 2014 19:33 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

After we reported about a newly found Google device called Flounder,  other people have started investigating Android’s source code revealing the device is indeed manufactured by HTC, which underlines our suspicion that it’s indeed the Nexus 8. Besides the Flounder, also a Google device called Molly was found. We also found references to Android for cars and Android at Home.

Yesterday we reported that the Chromium issue tracker revealed a device called volantis/flounder with an Android dated the 6th of May. An eagle-eyed commenter on XDA-Developers found references to the device in the Android source code revealing the device is developed by HTC, the expected manufacturer of the Nexus 8. Unfortunately there aren’t many other details confirmed on Google’s upcoming 8″ tablet.

myce-android-flounder-nexus8

Besides the additional code traces on Flounder, the same commenter on XDA also found a device called Molly. The references were found in a changelog of Android Kitkat 4.4.3 and we can confirm the commenter is right that Google Molly appears to be a set-top box running Android with a TV optimized GUI called AndroidAtHome. The device should come with a remote called Bemote.

When we continued investigating the changelog we also found that Google has support several DRM vendors in Molly. The changelog mentions Discretix a developer of Android DRM solutions however the changelog reveals the developers are implementing PlayReady a DRM solution from Microsoft. The device will also have support for WideVine DRM, developed by a company Google acquired in 2010.

AndroidAtHome will allow you to rate movies, games, music and TV shows and the device should also be able to recommend them. It seems Molly can also be used as a gaming device with something called Bemote as the controller and it has support for watching Youtube videos.

The Bemote appears to be a bluetooth connected remote control for AndroidAtHome devices which can also act as game controller. The changelog mentions Bemote tutorials, pairing multiple Bemotes, a microphone and NFC support which might be used to easily pair the Bemotes.

myce-android-molly

Last but no least the changelog mentions references to projects called ‘Gearhead’ and ‘CarHomeGoogle’.  It’s no secret Google is working with several partners on bringing Android in cars and the latest Android seems to carry at least a part of the codebase already, although not enabled. The ony

myce-android-gearhead

The information on Google Gearhead is little, all we can see is the obvious, an Android device can connect to a car. The car will try to discover the services the Android can provide. The code references projection a lot, although that _might_  mean Gearhead will project its GUI on the windshield this remains something only Google developers know for sure, for now.

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