The rumor mill is once again abuzz over purported sightings of the Nexus 8 by an online tech community has been keeping tabs on recent tests done by Google.
On Thursday, Myce released a list of data that shows Google is testing a device codenamed "flounder" that was being used with the Chrome browser. The data was apparently obtained using Chromium issue tracker, a Google-owned site used to tracks bugs on Chrome.
Similar to how the military names aircraft, Google has been assigning codenames to a number of devices that are under development. Based on previous practices, the secretive company often uses names of sea animals to create codenames. The Nexus 10, for example, was codenamed "manta" in homage to manta rays, while the Nexus 5 was called "hammerhead" in reference to hammerhead sharks. Galaxy Nexus, the result of a joint Google-Samsung venture, was codenamed "tuna". Google does not however always reference marine biology when codenaming devices. In one case, Google referred to the Nexus 7 as "razor" during the development phase.
Rumors of the Nexus 8 circulated the web in November last year, when fans began seeing a mystery tablet appearing as an image on the official Google Apps and Entertainment page. Android aficionados began calling the unknown device the Nexus 8, and speculated that it was going to replace the Nexus 7. Since then, the photo no longer appears on the website. Apart from the imagination, there is no concrete evidence to support the existence of the Nexus 8 - though the web is rife with rumors and alleged leaks.
Even if "flounder" turns out to be the Nexus 8, it may take awhile before the device hits the shelves. There is much speculation that the Nexus 8 may be revealed at Google I/O in June, where Google often showcases new products. Rumors also point to the launch of the fabled Android 4.5 software along with the Nexus 8. Until then, we will have to wait until June to see what Google wants us to see.