Google has been following the tradition to launch new Pixel-branded smartphones in October for the past two years. While it is too early to talk about the next-generation Pixel smartphones, likely to be called the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google might have inadvertently confirmed the name of its next flagship smartphone.
The first official mention of the next smartphone in Google Pixel series has been spotted. XDA Developers reports of a new AOSP commit called Cherrypick, a modular piece of code dedicated for a particular function of the Android OS that helps decide which Auto Selection Network UI to use for a particular device. The code now has a description that mentions of the Google Pixel 3. This is the first time that we have seen mention of Pixel 3 name in an official piece of code.
“This change added the config because the HAL V_1_2 only supports Pixel 3, and the new Auto Selection Network UI is based on HAL V_1_2. So we set the flag to decide which Auto Selection Network UI should be used based in the device type,” reads a comment in the code.
Here the term HAL stands for Hardware Abstration Layer, which XDA Developers describe is a piece of software that bridges the gap between the Android OS and the hardware. The instruction suggests that Google is testing a new kind of interaction between the software and the radio network. The report also notes that this may allow WiFi networks to scan continuously rather than the user being required to hit refresh and wait for a few seconds.
The report notes that Google didn’t intend to publicize commits that are meant to be used internally but it might have been difficult for the company to keep track of an unreleased device without the Android P AOSP especially considering the ongoing Developer Preview for both generation of Pixel devices. More details about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 is expected to arrive alongside the full Android P source code.
There is not much information available regarding the upcoming Pixel 3 smartphones. It is also not clear whether Google is retaining HTC and LG as OEM partners. It initially had a contract with HTC to build original Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones but added LG as second partner last year. There are reports that HTC, LG, TCL and Coolpad are battling it out for the Pixel 3 contract.
Watch: Google Pixel 2 XL First Look
Google is also said to be planning a cheaper version of its Pixel 3 smartphone codenamed Desire based on Android Go operating system. The smartphone is said to arrive sometime in June or July and will be aimed primarily at Indian market. It could resurrect the now defunct Nexus brand and help Google improve its market share in the mid-range price segment.