Just minutes ago we posted about the discovery of an Android 4.4.3 changelog in AOSP and we've already found some interesting information. Among the individual project repositories, there are a few dedicated to Google-supported devices, mostly those in the Nexus family. In particular, we came across new references to an HTC device codenamed "Flounder," and another device belonging to Google with the name "Molly." This is the first time that these names have appeared in AOSP.

HTC Flounder

This isn't the first time we've heard of Flounder. Just yesterday the name popped up on the Chromium Issue Tracker [via Myce] where it was also identified with the name Volantis. Google commonly identifies its devices with two codenames: one for the device named after a type of fish, and the mainboard, which lacks a specific pattern (eg. the 2012 Nexus 7 was known as both 'grouper' and 'nakasi').


Image Credit: Myce.com

The connection extends further to a tip we received early this year. A reliable source suggested HTC would be manufacturing a device with the name Volantis. At the time, the information called for for the device to be equipped with an 8.9" display and running stock Android; but it was never clear if the device would join the Nexus, GPE, or Android Silver family. Another likely connection comes to us from Digitimes Research, which posted a rumor in March that Google was possibly planning to ship an 8.9" Nexus tablet that would go into mass production in July. The proposed specs would include a 2k screen resolution and a price point around $299. The appearance of Flounder as an actual device in AOSP is enough to make us feel pretty confident that this rumor has some weight behind it.

project device/htc/flounder/

f6f0fe7 flounder: fix KGDB port

d9a03bc flounder: take out conservative cpufreq governor a.o. extraneous stuff

091c1c1 flounder: add Power HAL


project device/htc/flounder-kernel/

6090a06 flounder: update kernel prebuilt

Google Molly

Unlike Flounder, this is the first time we're catching sight of the name Molly. While we don't have any outside information to connect any known rumors to this device, there are a lot of good reasons to believe this device is Android TV. To begin with, the KeyguardService service is intentionally disabled by: "Stub out KeyguardService for molly to prevent it". Effectively, this is removing the lockscreen, which certainly wouldn't be done on a phone or tablet. There are also several references to CastV1, PlayReady, stagefrieght, and various other media codecs. Finally, it uses a Marvell SoC, which is popular in set top boxes. While nothing here strictly precludes this device from belonging to another form factor, it seems to be an obvious fit for Android TV.

project device/google/molly/

60f0dd6 molly: keystore: add keystore hal

1dcb7b7 molly: correcting too wide permissions for certain devnodes

eadd23b molly: set permissions for nvhost-msenc

c554447 [molly][drm] Implement rules for Discretix module

787e5e7 Fix the file permission for mbtchar0

fe0c51a Update releasetools.py to support separate prod and test key bootloaders

e610c57 Set BT minor code to SET_TOP_BOX instead of HIFI.

5d64459 molly: Do not init p2p for wlan0 interface

c0626ba Disable throughput hinting for gpu frequency scaler.


project device/google/molly-kernel/

81386aa Update kernel

11ab4e9 Update kernel

9d7bca3 Update kernel

bea8097 Update kernel

55591db Update kernel

342aa11 Update kernel

481e0a6 Update kernel:

b904ad3 Update kernel

4d2f31f Update kernel

dc305ba Update kernel

d508d83 Update kernel

5668370 Update kernel


project vendor/google_athome/

3b7f2db Add the AndroidMediaShell component to the Molly build in klp-dev.

0c56c7d Disable Bluetooth OPP profile on Molly


project vendor/google_devices/molly/

01ac6f9 Update fih-bootloader that is signed with production keys.

240540b molly: add missing stagefright encoder codecs

588532e molly: add libstagefright_soft_amrnbenc to the build

b98e1d0 keystore: add keystore engine library

a54a8cb Update bootloader to version 1022564

22cefdf [drm] Update discretix libs

40cf35a Update bootloader to version 1014191

15f77cb Update bootloader to version 1014191

591e174 [drm] Update Discretix PlayReady Files

db7ce35 Update bemote firmware to D1TMQ

73cc467 Update bootloader to version 993733

1ae78f3 [molly][drm] Upload Discretix files for PlayReady

9914319 Add cmdline odie_test

f47da7c Update bootloader to 970750

235b979 Update from Nvidia 1.7.2014 drop

a9d2fca Update bootloader to 968589

5922e78 Update DL1 test station kernel.

98d26c5 [molly] Protect against invalid Bemote sample rate.

00c0352 update marvell 8797 firmware

8712b3e Update bootloaders to 948307

f0b7ba7 Update molly build script to remove HubBroker and add CastV1

0ecbd48 Update liboemcrypto

98b702d Remove unused releasetools.py

c8b0884 Update bootloaders for prod and test keys fused devices to 944402

095068b Added setting so that molly BT is on by default

ab79b5e Revert "Special transition bootloader ota for test-key devices, version mollyCC6MM"

64363f7 Go back to bootloader CAVI8

6afcff8 Special transition bootloader ota for test-key devices, version mollyCC6MM

fa4e44a sign.sh : separate pkc and ota signing option

54e24e1 Added setting so that molly wifi is on by default

0504780 Update bemote firmware to CC3LM

63f8569 [libaudio][molly] Restrict access to Bemote mic

ff16454 b/11690622 Stub out KeyguardService for molly to prevent it

ee42e54 Fix build

d19b03c Added recent app switcher overlay in SystemUI

34bae3b Enable double click on home to launch recent app switcher for Molly

be6f9de camera: make the UVC camera the default camera configuration

These are obviously speculations, but the available evidence is fairly compelling. An HTC-made Nexus tablet isn't surprising given previous rumors that the company was interested in retrying its proverbial hand at tablets. The connection to Android TV is a little bit more tenuous, but the timing is too perfect to deny the likelihood. In either case, these little hints give us a good reason to be optimistic about upcoming hardware announcements.

We'll keep combing through the changelog for more exciting tidbits!

Thanks, the_commenter. [via XDA]

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Chahk Noir

    Google TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and now Android TV? My A/V Receiver is quickly running out of HDMI inputs.

    • http://danielbrierton.ie Daniel Brierton

      Well, Android TV will likely be an upgrade to Google TV rather than a competing platform.

    • bL4Ck

      Chromecast is more of a low cost toy to help you cast stuff from other devices to big screens, without having to deal with a completely new device, Android TV will probably be a fully fledged Android top box to compete with Apple TV and Amazon TV, that's it, and most likely you'll be able to cast stuff to it, making the Chromecast redundant.

  • skitchbeatz
  • Josh Phillips

    After a bunch of Asus Nexus 7's that all have some strange problems (damn I hate the touch screen issues I have on my current one), I for one would be super excited to get an HTC made Nexus tablet.

  • guest

    Dear google, hurry up and drop molly

    • Brad

      heh, I see what you did there

  • Aooga

    Google IO is going to be quite the show this year.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    I thought this was volantis, some kind of server thing. http://www.cnet.com/news/open-sourcing-the-mobile-web-with-goo-err-volantis/

    • siddude11

      This changes things completely.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    I read the title and thought HTC was making an Android TV! Come on, guys, you really had me going =P

  • someone755

    HTC and Nexus. Is the old HTC coming back? Please?

  • TopXKiller

    つ ◕_◕ ༽つMOLLY ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

  • usaff22

    Why did the title change to "Molly and Flounder" from "Flounder and Molly"?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      It was pointed out that the end of the title was potentially confusing because it had "HTC-made" before both the tablet and Android TV. I reversed the order of those to make it more obvious that the Android TV wasn't made by HTC. I also reversed the codenames to keep the order consistent. Nothing big, just a little clean-up.

  • http://www.efetech.com.ar Federico

    What if Molly is Chromecast v2?

    • Grahaman27

      its not, it will cost significantly more. hopefully just $100.

  • Brett Besa

    8.9"? You mean the perfect tablet screen size? PLEASE GOOGLE

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    You guys do know which flounder they mean this time, right? Not the one on the picture in the article

    • somethingfishy

      LOL I also suspected they meant it as a verb rather than a noun.

  • Chippah


    LG - Bring us a 10" with Knock-On.
    Made outta Metal,
    LOUD speakers
    Top Tier SOC.
    Sick screen.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      I'm sure they'll have their take at 10" market with LG G pad 10.1

    • redsnowfox

      Why would anybody want a screen with yellow tint?

    • Adam Dominiak

      Ekhm, your wish is now real

  • Grahaman27

    as noted by androidcentral, the source actually indicates a nvidia tegra processor, not marvell. marvell looks like its for wifi/bluetooth.

    sooooo- get ready for some half-life, portal, unreal engine games on your android tv!

  • AOSPrevails

    8.9" might been too large to hold in portrait mode with one hand. But if It have the specs & price according to those rumors(plus HTC's dual front facing speakers) I'd definitely buy one.

  • Matthew Fry

    Wow. Nice job, AP. That's some top notch detective work!

    A $299 "retina" iPad mini competitor is going to really piss off Apple. I heartily approve.

  • Simon Belmont

    Hmm. An 8 to 8.9 inch tablet with a 2K screen at a sub $300 price point might be enough to sway me into grabbing a new tablet (though I'm still very happy with my 2012 N7 32GB that has served me very well).

    ESPECIALLY, it it was built by HTC. Something I've been dreaming up for a long time.

  • Logan

    Maybe Molly adds more vibrant colors and animations to Android.

  • Sandeep !!

    Ironically, the term "Moly" has been there lying around in the Baseband info for every Mediatek devices. But yeah, Moly and Molly is different.

  • naviz

    This is more indicative of what "molly" is : "e610c57 Set BT minor code to SET_TOP_BOX instead of HIFI."
    Basically, to pass the Bluetooth verification (3rd party), it will have to truthfully be a STB.

  • Noel

    Can just dream of a HTC Nexus 6 phone with all the current top Specs of 2014, slimmed down BoomSound speakers with the only bezels top n bottom coming from the BoomSound speakers...hopefully with a screen to bezel ratio of 75+%. At least one can dream...hey why not, some dreams do come true.

  • Rhan Candia

    I was with a few Googlers yesterday at a Google event. Two of them were so nice (and beautiful) and one of them (this one girl based on Google Singapore) was holding a Nexus 5. Since they were mingling and and very nice and I was acting like a huge android fan (actually, i am) I asked her if maybe I could experience her N5. She willingly handed me the unit and said "Oh sure go on and play with it." I did. Went straight to Settings > About > And checked the version. It's 4.4.3. So I was thinking aloud and said "It's 4.4.3" and she heard me. She was standing next to me and watching me so I couldn't just take a snap of it. So I asked her "Mind if I take a few shots of it?" Well she said "Oh. You can't." and smiled at me. Then I handed her back the N5.

    Wish I tried to open all other stock applications. I didn't. I regret not doing so. Haha.