Google ‘medaka’ and ‘salmon’ devices appear as possible Pixel Watch codenames


While originally rumored for the 10/9 Made by Google event, the Pixel Watch obviously did not launch last year. This morning, two codenames for what are possibly Google devices emerged in AOSP with evidence suggesting that they are smartwatches.

Spotted by Till on Twitter, an AOSP entry called “Update CtsWindowManagerDeviceTestCases for chin devices” features three codenames: medaka, salmon, and walleye. The latter is for the Pixel 2 and likely included as a benchmark, but the two former entries are completely new.

The Google connection is derived from the aquatic nature of salmon and medaka — a Japanese rice fish. Historically, Google names all its Nexus and Pixel devices after fish, with some — like shamu for the Nexus 6 — occasionally reflecting a physical attribute. In the case of medaka, it is a very tiny fish.

Additionally, “chin devices” are always used in reference to smartwatches that feature a flat circle cutout design, like the Moto 360. Last year, we heard that Google was developing at least three smartwatches, but that number could have been trimmed ahead of launch. Given the personal nature of watches and wearables, Google is likely exploring multiple designs to best serve customer preferences.


Meanwhile, another indicator that the codenames cited in AOSP belong to watches is the fact that many of the Googlers involved work on Wear OS.

The Snapdragon Wear 3100 will likely power the devices with features ranging from Bluetooth, GPS, and LTE, as well as step tracking and a heart rate sensor. About a month before last October’s Made by Google event, the company confirmed that it would not directly release a smartwatch.

Google at the time emphasized its partners, with Fossil, Montblanc, and Louis Vuitton eventually releasing new devices powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset. Meanwhile, a major development earlier this month saw Google purchase an unspecified technology and employees from the Fossil Group for $40 million to boost Wear OS functionality.


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