App code hints that Google might launch a Pixel 4a alongside the Pixel 4

Google Pixel 3a XL
(Image credit: Future)

Might we be seeing a Google Pixel 4a appear earlier than we thought? Right alongside the Pixel 4 at the same unveiling perhaps? That's what a codename found in the upcoming Google Camera app suggests.

9to5Google did some digging and found a reference to a "needlefish" device, alongside the "coral" and "flame" codenames that we think are linked to the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL phones.

This is mostly speculation at this point, but that "needlefish" name has popped up before alongside a reference to Qualcomm, suggesting that the device is some kind of Android gadget with a Snapdragon chip inside.

In fact these codenames have been floating around for months – it's just a question of working out what exactly they're referring to.

Count the Pixels

Bear in mind that the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL were only launched in May, so it would be something of a surprise if Google was to unveil another mid-ranger just five months down the line.

However, as 9to5Google points out, there has been talk that the Pixel 3a phones were originally scheduled to arrive alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Perhaps Google wants to get into the routine of releasing high-end and mid-range phones at the same point in the year? It's something we've seen Apple and Samsung experimenting with in recent years.

At this stage we just don't know what Google is planning, but we'll bring you all the announcements from its next launch event, which is anticipated to be at some point near the middle of October.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.