Since posting the Nexus 7 mini review, I've gotten a lot of emails asking about whether USB-OTG for storage was currently supported or would be supported in the shipping software load. I've done some asking around and believe I have the final word now. 

USB-OTG is indeed supported on the Nexus 7, however as anyone has used USB-OTG knows, whether peripherals or devices work is a function of the host OS and drivers. On the Nexus 7, using a mouse and keyboard is supported, and I saw Google using an Ethernet to microUSB adapter with the Nexus 7 (which I borrowed for my Galaxy Nexus) as well. Unfortunately mounting USB storage natively is not supported on the Nexus 7. Hopefully rooted users will be able to use StickMount with the Nexus 7 and make this work. In addition, MHL is not supported on the Nexus 7, which isn't very surprising since adding MHL requires another package and would increase BOM cost.
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  • Zoomer - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    exFAT. SDXC defines its use, so all OSes will likely get support eventually. Reply
  • Penti - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    The OS supports it, with support coming from code developed with Microsoft's help that you need to buy and license. Sadly exFAT aren't actually a part of the standard. You need a separate Microsoft license agreement and the code needs to be closed. Asus already licenses it though, so it's Google that has taken some strange decision here. As Google builds there own software for the Nexus devices. Obviously nothing would stop Asus bundling it with the device. It has nothing to do with the fact that they don't support the internal memory being mounted as mass storage. MTP is a much nicer solution there no matter the filesystem. You could obviously use MTP for external SD-memory too. Thus not really a problem until we get to USB-OTG. Don't really know the reasoning behind it as lot of other stuff isn't free either and any built in exchange support is licensed from Microsoft any way. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    "Android honeycomb, ics and jellybean all still support USB mass storage, but they'd only expose SD cards over USB Mass Storage, which the Nexus 7 doesn't have."

    The main reason for OTG is to SUPPORT USB Mass storage devices!. Without this, the device is crippled and Google ought to know better. Still, their low price tends to allow them to cut features as needed to suit their OWN purposes at the EXPENSE of the consumer. We shall see that their competitors will climb onboard and cater for ALL the weaknesses with a slight price increase. Very soon. It will collapse the pricing of iPad for sure by the holiday season. Unless Apple release an equalizer with similar pricing and matching features.
    Reply
  • gatorproof - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I downloaded user manual for Nexus 7. It clearly states mini USB will support external devices which don't need special software, like some game controllers. Since 40% of Americans don't have cloud access it IS IMPORTANT to have expandable storage. I prefer SD over USB.
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Multi-functional-Con...
    I have one of these and they work great. Small and HUGE BENEFITS. Gives you 1 Full USB port, 1 Full SD slot, 1 Micro SD slot, and also gives you back your mini USB power port.
    With the reported 8 to 10 hours of Nexus 7 battery life, and the Anker 8400mah 5v power block, you should get at least 24 hours of run time. I rip and convert Blurays to H.264 and carry 20 movies on one 32GB SD speed 10 card. I carry my audio books on a micro SD. I could fly any place on the planet and not run out of power or content.
    Reply
  • adboelens - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I understand Googles reasoning that they want to move stuff to the cloud and I'm all for it. I use Gmail, Drive and Play Music for most of my stuff .I don't even have my music on my desktop anymore.
    However, connectivity is not ready for streaming stuff on the road and I feel Google is forcing something that is not ready yet. This annoys me and is similar to how Apple told us Flash needed to be replaced, so they wouldn't support it anymore. Meanwhile browsing on my iPad was a pain.
    So I understand that they want to push us forward, but they should remember their customers as well. For me this will be the reason not to buy this tablet, although I would prefer vanilla Jelly Bean over all the OEM skins .
    Reply
  • afoygel - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    So does this mean that outputting to a TV is not possible with the Nexus 7? Reply
  • kenyee - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    No MHL + no HDMI port = no HDMI output to TV :-P

    Pretty annoying since the developer devices they showed at Google I/O obviously had this feature for their demos :-(
    Reply
  • fmcjw - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Thanks again Brian for the quick follow up.

    So this is Google determined to kill local storage as a feature. Going all-cloud is like downgrading from SSD to HDD, speedwise. There will be more lag in any kind of situation. Android was about choice and what made sense, but its clear its purpose is to force Google services down one's throat. Good hardware is just a sugar coating around the bait.

    So Google thinks it can herd sheep like Apple? Well, I'm moving on to Windows pastures.
    Reply
  • CFWhitman - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I expect WinRT devices to be like this as well. It looks like custom ROMs and Chinese devices are going to be the places I'll have to go to get what I want. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, June 30, 2012 - link

    Really? That is weak, they should update the software, maybe ExFAT is out of question but unofficial support with Ext4 should be available for those that like to use it. I thought Asus already licensed it from Microsoft though. Ext4 is supported natively on either a Linux desktop or on OS X and Windows with third party software though, at least. SDXC is made a nonstandard thanks to Microsoft not licensing ExFAT via the standard itself. Most license it via Microsoft though. I thought they even supported NTFS, maybe it's because Google does the software, but they could still fix it as long as the builder of the device actually has a license. Reply

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