We’ve heard from the mouth of Android engineering head Dave Burke that we shouldn’t assume Google’s done with the Nexus line because of Android One (or possibly, Android Silver). Now, however, we have even more reason to suspect that Google’s not done with the Nexus line – and that a Nexus 6 could indeed emerge this Fall.
Spirent Communications is a company known for testing products on networks. The company (under a Gmail address) reported an issue with a device named “Shamu” running Android L that says, “We’re seeing that Android ‘L’ build has introduced a bug that causes HTTPS uploads using HttpPost to throw” an SSLProtocol write error for any post larger than 16,384 characters. You can view the issue report and email communication below.
First, the codename “Shamu” follows in the path of new Google devices, which are named after fish until they’re ready for market arrival. The HTC Nexus 9 tablet that’s on the way is codenamed “Volantis,” which is the generic name for the flying fish. The Nexus 5, announced on October 31, 2013, was codenamed “Hammerhead” before its launch. The hammerhead is a shark whose head is in the shape of a hammer (thus the name “hammer head”). The Nexus 4 was codenamed “Mako,” referring to a mako shark from the mackerel shark family that lives in tropical and temperate climates (namely, Australia).
The second Nexus 7 (2013) was codenamed “Flo” (the device name), with a product name of “razor.” Flo, of course, refers to “flounder,” a fish. The Nexus 10 tablet was codenamed “Manta,” which refers to a shark-related fish that eats plankton. As you can see, Google’s one to stick with fish names for codenames, so “shamu,” a name referring to a killer whale (orca, blackfish), shouldn’t surprise us. If it’s never been used as a codename before in Google devices, we have reason to believe that it’s a new Nexus device. The fact that the HTC Nexus 9 is codenamed “Volantis” leads us to believe that it could be 1) a new Nexus 7, which seems unlikely since Google’s working on a 9-inch tablet and wouldn’t likely manufacture both sizes, or 2) a new Nexus smartphone to succeed the Nexus 5.
Next, the device is running Android L, which has yet to be released to Nexus devices and other Android smartphone users. This, in and of itself, doesn’t make the case for a Nexus 6, but it does show that a new Android build is running on the device. The email sent by Spirent Communications also points out that “this issue is not reproducible on older revisions of Android,” meaning that it’s a new problem with Android L.
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Another rumor running alongside of this evidence says that the device codenamed “Shamu” is the Nexus 6 device that’s being collaborated by Motorola and Google. The Nexus 6, with this rumor, is said to have a 5.9-inch display – a device size that’s far too large for what we already know to be the 5.2-inch Moto X+1 that’s due out soon.
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Google has gone with LG to manufacture the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, but the company’s also worked with ASUS to manufacture the first Nexus 7 (2012) tablet and second Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, and Samsung Electronics to manufacture the Nexus 10. It could be the case that Google’s working with HTC to manufacture the Nexus 9 tablet, but collaborate with Motorola to make the new Nexus 6. If the display size is correct (5.9 inches), then it would match Google’s use of a 4.95-inch display in the Nexus 5 (calling the device a Nexus 5 with a display slightly smaller than 5 inches).
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We’re getting beyond Elder Murtazin’s claim that Google would kill the Nexus line in 2015, to a post-Google I/O 2014 statement by Dave Burke that gives us hope that the new Nexus 6 will emerge. Considering that Google’s not made a tablet announcement this summer (preferably, the month of July, in which it released the Nexus 7 2013 tablet), it seems as if October-November is the magic timeframe for the Nexus 6 release. Motorola’s said that the new “Shamu” device will emerge in November, perhaps a few days after the date of the Nexus 5 announcement last year.
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Does this keep you hopeful that a Nexus 6 will arrive? Has Google’s decision to forgo a summer announcement this year lead you to believe that October-November is the ideal time for a new Nexus device(s)? Your comments are always welcome.