2019 could be the year we finally get that Google Pixel Watch after codenames for Google products were spotted that seemingly don't appear to be tied to new Pixel smartphones.
The fish-based salmon and medaka codenames appeared in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) website. That website is a development platform for a wide array of devices with different form factors.
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What's interesting about the names and the AOSP entry is that two of the reviewers attached to the project are members of the Wear OS team adding further weight that one or both of these names could be smartwatch related. When those early rumors of a Pixel Watch began to surface, there was talk of multiple models of the smartwatch.
The fact that the AOSP entry is called, āUpdate CtsWindowManagerDeviceTestCases for chin devicesā, has also served as further evidence we are talking smartwatches here. The folks at XDA Developers noticed that the phrase 'chin devices' has previously been used in reference to smartwatches that feature a flat circle cut-out design. The Moto 360 for instance had that type of watch design.
As far the names and what they might tell us about what Google has planned, we know that the company has always used fishy names for its Nexus and Pixel hardware. Salmon is a large fish while medaka is a small Japanese fish and might mean it's tied to some form of small device and could indicate two different sized watches.
What we do know is that Google is clearly more committed to making smartwatches and its Wear OS platform work. It's made substantial updates on the software front over the past 6-12 months, plus it's also recently spent big on secret smartwatch tech developed by the Fossil Group. There has also been talk of a new Google Coach smart assistant that could vastly improve Wear OS's health and fitness tracking skills.
Google's I/O developer conference is happening in May, the place we expected to hear about the Pixel Watch last year. Maybe Google now feels it's now better placed to give us that flagship smartwatch we've been asking for.