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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  • m-p-3 - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    Considering the Nexus 7 is WiFi only, I cannot rely on the cloud anywhere I go.
  • Noriaki - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Android 2.3 and earlier use a separate partition for system and apps from user data. Only the user data partition was ever USB mass storage mountable.

    Android 3 and higher unify the partitions, so you don't have to worry about running out of storage for apps while you have an empty media partition. The drawback to this is that the unified partition can't be exposed by USB mass storage (it requires the device to unmount the partition to allow your computer to mount it).

    They use MTP, which on Windows amounts to pretty much the same thing. MTP gives you drag and drop access to internal storage via Windows Explorer. But MTP support is a bit more DIY in Mac OS or Linux.

    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.

    This is exactly the same as the Xoom, Galaxy Tab, or Galaxy Nexus unfortunately.
  • Noriaki - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    The Xoom has SD, and the SD card is USB mass storage mountable btw.

    Unfortunately the trend is towards no SD cards. I think the Galaxy S3 dropped it, the Galaxy Nexus and Tab don't have SD slots either.
  • The Saint - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Galaxy S3 still has a micro SD slot.

    That combined with its unlocked bootloader and quality internals is really helping make Samsung the choice for Android power users.
  • hrrmph - Sunday, July 1, 2012 - link

    The Galaxy S3 is a $675 phone.

    You are probably thinking of the low upfront cost of the S3 when purchased locked down with an expensive month to month service contract.

    While I like the spirit of your thinking, it's not really fair to compare the cost of an unlocked tablet to the cost of a locked phone.

    I strongly prefer unlocked devices, as it avoids being 'indebted.' Unfortunately, only two countries absolutely prohibit the practice of locking devices down and shackling customers to months or years of indebtedness and psychologically 'hidden' costs.

    In spite of locking only being absolutely prohibited by two countries, buying unlocked devices and paying the full cost upfront is still the norm in many places overseas, where both the customers and the providers often prefer it.

    Also, per same reference, at least unlocking or buying unlocked is clearly legal in the US now. There was a time when it wasn't even clear if you could legally unlock a device in the US.

    Overall, I prefer devices (including tablets) that have worldwide telecom functionality for those times when WiFi isn't available. But, that pushes a tablet to cost hundreds more.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this when more tablets are offered with telecom functionality. For now, Samsung's telecom enabled tablets are expensive, much like their smartphones.

    So the Google Nexus and Amazon Fire really are breaking the mold here. Unfortunately, to reach $200, they both felt it necessary to omit mSD slots and telecom functionality.

    But in any case, yes, the S3 is a nice piece of high-end, expensive kit, and I'm glad Samsung is pushing the limits at the upper end of the market.

    Although very expensive, at least Android on the S3 is more open and less proprietary than iOS and iTunes.

  • bplewis24 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    So, then, as I suspected, this isn't really news to anybody that had/has a Galaxy Nexus?
  • Noriaki - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    I don't want to speak for everyone who owns a Galaxy Nexus, but I can't see why it would be, since it's the exact same storage model and access methods. I have a Galaxy Nexus and it's certainly exactly what I expected.

    But that was only one sentence in the post, I think it's mostly about whether USB OTG and MHL support, both of which the Galaxy Nexus has, but the latter is lacking on the Nexus 7.
  • The Saint - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    My question wasn't about USB internal storage, but about USB external storage.

    I thought from Honeycomb on, USB thumb drives were supported by Android. Have they now removed this functionality from Jellybean?
  • Noriaki - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Oh! I had it completely backwards. I know nothing about mounting USB thumb drives. I'm useless to you.
  • DeesTroy - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Another reason to not allow mass storage on these devices is that the unified partition is formatted as ext4, which Windows won't recognize without a driver. Instead Windows will claim that the drive isn't formatted and offer to format it for you.

    I applaud the use of ext4. FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4GB which can pose a problem for some videos that you might want to watch on the upcoming HD tablets. It's also a problem for making nandroid backups if you're using a custom recovery.

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