Android CentralAndroid interface design guru and shirt connoisseur Matias Duarte has taken to Google+ to answer fans' questions about the upcoming Nexus devices and Android 4.2.

One of the first subjects tackled in the G+ post was the new system button placement on Android 4.2 tablets like the Nexus 10. The new Samsung Nexus tablet, unlike predecessors like the Motorola Xoom, ditches a split system bar and notification area, instead opting for a Nexus 7-like status bar up top. Duarte says this is about keeping the Android experience consistent and simple across multiple categories of device --

This new configuration is based on usability research we did on all of the different form factors and screen sizes that Android runs on. What mattered most of all was muscle memory - keeping the buttons where you expect them, no matter how you hold the device.

Duarte says that in Jelly Bean, the system buttons automatically gravitate towards the bottom of the device, unless doing so would reduce the available vertical space too much.

In addition, Duarte addressed the question of SD cards, which are absent from Google's Nexus devices --

Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it's just confusing for users. If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.

That's the user experience side of the argument, but if you want to get a bit more technical, you should check out Jerry Hildenbrand's take on why Google's Nexus devices lack removable storage.

More: Why Nexus devices have no SD card

Source: +Matias Duarte


Reader comments

Google's Matias Duarte answers burning Nexus questions


Spot on what I've been saying, there truly is no need for larger than 32gigs on a phone, thats what tablets and laptops are for.

How can they say that SD cards are too complicating to the consumer? Are people that stupid? What about computers that have multiple drives? Does Microsoft or Apple say having multiple drives are confusing? Ridiculous excuses.

People who think phones have no need for more than 32GB of storage (now) are just like the ones who thought PCs had absolutely no need for more than 640KB of RAM (back in the day). I.e. ignorant, unimaginative dolts.

Do you think there is no need for an iPod with 64GB (or even 160GB) of storage??

There is no reason as all that my phone should not be able to completely replace my iPod. But, to do that, it needs to be able to hold all my music - which requires more than 32GB of storage. And that is just one example of a reason why smartphones should have expandable, inboard storage.

I think the REAL reason Google is not putting SD card slots (and it's the slot that matters! Not whether the phone has an SD card in it, as the article keeps talking about) is because they REALLY want to drive people to use their Cloud. Plain and simple. If you don't store your stuff in their Cloud, they can't mine it for data. If you go along with their plans, then they can see what music you have, compare it to music you actually purchased (if they decide to crack down on music piracy), they can tell what music you actually listen to, they can look at your photos and videos. They can use embedded GPS info and facial recognition to see who you've taken pictures of and when and where they were. Etc, etc..

Could "Big Brother" exploit this? Of course. Will they? Most assuredly. And if you don't think so, you probably have not worked inside the Law Enforcement community much. But, I'm not here to complain about Big Brother scenarios. I'm here to complain about paying my carrier for bandwidth to upload and download my content to Google's Cloud, when there's no reason I can't just have a phone with adequate storage locally so that I have no need to use Google's Cloud or pay my carrier for all that extra data transfer.

My current phone has 16GB internal and a 64GB microSD card. And the combined storage is well over half full. I predict that I will never switch to a phone in the future with less storage capability than what I have now.

For you that think no SD slot is fine, and a non-removable battery is fine, I really think you should check out an iPhone. I suspect that if you give it a honest effort, you'll find it really suits you.

What I think would be a good solution is having the phone store everything on the internal storage and allowing the phone to read media from an SD card. 16GB is enough internal storage if I'm just using it for apps, but hardly anything if I want to store music and videos.

And it would be awesome if they allowed you to back up the entire phone to the SD card, so if you get a replacement or another phone, all your pictures, settings, home screen layout, etc. would be restored on your new phone with hardly any effort. Since piracy is a concern, just back up app data and force you to redownload the app from the Play Store. That would be good enough for me.

Its really simple, either on phone or SD card. Plus I've been working with partitioned drives since windows 2000 when I was 15 years old, it's not a hard concept. Android is supposed to be the power user mobile OS. That's why iOS is so limited; there's one way to do everything. In Android for example, you can change your ringtone from a music app, settings, etc. A guy at work told me Android is for hackers and iOS is for normal people. I take pride in an OS that gives open options. Seems like Android is starting to become more like Apple (phones with no removable battery and no microSD).

Agreed! I chose android for its flexibility! Mr.Matias sir I call BS on that statement,beginning to sound like an apple rep now.Telling us what we want! What ever happened to the customer is always right?

They should've just added the sd card slot and not advertise it. So regular people won't know about this feature and people who actually look into the specs, people i'm assuming who can deal with this "confusion", will be satisfied. I'd much rather get an 8 gb nexus with sd card expansion at 350 than a 16 gb at no expansion.

Yes people are that stupid.
Look at how many people bought, and keep buying iPhones.

I would gladly undertake the challenge of educating my mother-in-law how to use an SD card in a smartphone before trying to educate her on how to use Dropbox or Google drive.

I sense the growing trend with Google of treating their customers like clueless farm animals... It is starting to concern me.


Is that a hint a 32gb phone will be coming? By the way, Are you allowed to share what the Google worker version Nexus 4 looks like? Different color, different pattern?

I can't confirm anything as far as a 32gb device ever making its way to a consumer, The back is different on the "holiday" variant, I won't be saying what it is until it breaks out from another source. I have seen white versions of the N4.

And we'll never need more than 640K... right?

Just give me my SD Micro slot and quit trying to coddle me, dammit.

Just include an SD card *slot* and no card. Like the last phone I got, new HTC Evo, has 16GB and runs like a Nexus device with shared storage for apps, data and media. No card, no confusion by default.

But personally, I added my own card (64GB yee) which I enjoy filling with Tivo-to-go recordings and carrying around certain files and portable Windows apps. The Evo is also flexible; when you connect USB as "Media Sync" (MTP) both the phone and the card show up as folders, with good transfer speeds, or you can mount just the card as a Disk Drive, which lets you modify files and run backup to PC, etc. I guess eventually those capabilities will disappear unless consumers demand it so non-Nexus devices can still offer it. As long as Android keeps supporting the option of external storage.

In a world where smartphones are replacing the everyday carry mp3 player... 32gig is just not enough...

your comment is stupid and thoughtless at best.

I'm fine with why they dont have sd cards, but they really should have a 32 GB option on their phones. Anyway, I find the button placement on these tablets completely and utterly stupid. I understand what he was saying, about muscle memory and keeping the experience simple and unified, but sometimes it's not practical. In this case, the buttons are too hard to tit because they are righ in the center of the dam screen in landscape. I could only imagine that its worse on the Nexus 10. I preferred the unified bar look, and its a shame that I dont have that option anymore (or in the case of the nexus 7, never had that option). Really bad play on google's part. The least they could have done was put the buttons on the right or left side of the device in landscape, that way I could hit the buttons with one hand. Bad design is bad.

No, it's not a typo. That's the way it is in English, and it's a borrowing from 18th-century French, when that's how it was said and written.

SD cards are just too confusing?....

People have been using digital cameras with removable storage for years without confusion. and personal computers with hard drive and floppy discs pre-dating them. its a poor excuse in truth

The smart phone does many tasks that are made simple and hassle free so surely its his job to make choosing to possible places to save a photo hassle free.

I can't believe I'm even debating the difficulties of having option A or option B as some where to save a file.

I hate being lied to. Just say we want you to consume content from our retail outlet rather than holding on to the media you love and being able to share that media.

I agree completely as well. People use USB memory sticks, hard drives, they save files on their phone for transport between locations, cloud storage, etc. To suggest the decision where to store a file is too confusing is absurd.

As for the comment about MTP and partitions being too complicated, first - while it may be complicated, I disagree that it's *too* complicated. Second - if something is complicated, it's the job of the software developers and designers to make the task simple and easily understood for the end user. As much as I hate giving Apple credit, but they're very good in this respect.

Removable storage is a great thing to have on a phone or tablet for many reasons. If they want to do away with it, fine, I'll make my purchase decisions accordingly. But don't tell me something many people have been handling just fine for decades (using separate storage devices, partitions, etc.) is suddenly too complicated.

let's face it, we're all power users. we know what we're doing. we like technical things, or we wouldn't be posting, or even caring about this.

the majority of people using computers, and other technology packed things are dumb.

that's why windows 8 is going to be the best MS OS in a long time.

ask your mom to copy and URL and send it to you, you and I know it's just highlight, copy, paste in email and done. but if your mom is like mine, she would greatly benefit from a 'share' button, even if it does the exact same thing! I know she doesn't care, or know how a SD card works, my sister doesn't either.

the people I work with in my office that are not technically savvy don't know, so that leaves just us techno-weenies. face it, we're the 1%.

hell, if they had added the slot the price would probably be $50 higher.

as it is, the mewling sheep are ecstatic that there is a camera on the back of the tablet, when every person on this site either dies a little inside, or laughs internally every time they see someone trying to use a tablet as a camera. I wish I didn't have to pay for it though.

and FYI, most people that have a camera get one card, put it in the camera and then plug the camera up to the computer to transfer files, they don't take the card out of the camera once it's inserted, they might as well have fixed memory in the camera.

Have you considered that you aren't being lied to, but are just a crybaby who doesn't like what he's hearing, so denies anyone else's thinking by calling them a liar? People are so entitled-feeling these days that the only reason they can't have what they want how they want it is because they're being ripped-odd and "lied" to. Yeesh.

Google has made their system open - and they've been talking about it with these new product launches - in order to allow competing app markets and content sources. They aren't forcing you to buy from Play exclusively, otherwise they'd pull an Apple and shut down everyone else to actually FORCE you to only consume content from their store. Buy apps from Amazon and books from Barnes & Chernobyl and music from wherever - Google's not stopping you.

Apple doesn't give removable storage or batteries, but you don't hear the iTards filling their diapers over it, do you? They are the stupidest, spoiled herd of status snobs, but at least they are nerd raging and calling Apple "liars" for actually forcing them to drink from Apple's watering hole (unless you jailbreak), so how about you Android babies nutting up or shutting up?

Your examples are moot as well. Digital cameras don't have internal memory AND external cards; they have cards, period. People take out the "film" and put it into their computers or take it to the drugstore to print. Partitioned hard drives? NERDS!!! Most people have a C: drive and that's it.

I'm looking at my Gallery and have two Camera folders (one with an SD card icon), a CameraZOOM folder, a download AND downloads folders, foursquare, Instagram, photos (with one image), ScreenCapture AND Screenshots folders and am confused as to what's what and where and why different apps save different places. Then there are the programs whose widgets don't work if they're moved to an SD card. There's plenty of room for confusion.

You have to remember that the people who like Android because you can root it and ROM it are in a distinct minority. Why is the iPhone so popular? Because it was designed for stupid herd animals who don't want to be bothered with remembering which storage device their whatnot is on. I have a friend who had an OG EVO like me. One night she complained about how her Facebook looked different than her boyfriend's. I show her mine and she said it was like his, so I looked at hers and discovered she had never updated hers in ages. After I showed her how, she didn't like it and would make a point of not updating, even when Gingerbread came along. How is Google wrong to try and make things a little easier for people like her and the iTards?

Don't like the lack of removable batteries or expandable memory? THEN BUY ONE OF THE 50 OTHER PHONES THAT STILL HAVE IT AND STFU!!!! The HTC One X doesn't have a removable battery or an SD slot, but no one is calling HTC or Google liars for their lack, so WTFF does the Nexus get smeared? Hmmmmm?

Google isn't lying to you or taking away your choices. If you don't like the trade-offs of the Nexus 4, don't buy it. That's the beauty of Android - lots of choices and makers and carriers and form factors - just go find what suits you. Don't make everyone else drop dead over your demands and FFS stop calling them liars without basis.

The guy being interviewed was a lairs, no a fucking lair to be correct. Just come out and say where pushing our cloud services that's why were lowering the available memory to 16GB and leaving off the SD slot. What do people being stupid have to do with limiting the space to 16GB? This whole interview was nothing but lies and spin.

And for all you're talk you have no clue how a iphone works. You're just a Google fanboy/sheep making up excuses for their mistakes. You're just as stupid and irritating as Apple fanboys. This phone is a failure when compared to other high end Android, WP or iOS on the market and no amount of blind fanboyism on your part will change that.

In fairness, the way the filesystem is setup on Android *does* make it a lot harder to understand what you are looking at.

The phone's internal memory says "SDcard" then you have to go hunting around looking for "removeable" or some such to find the real SD card.

Of course, Google could have done a lot to minimize the confusing filesystem layout, but they decided to just throw out the "you guys are too dumb to handle it" comments instead.



Why thank you Mr. Duarte I am glad to know I am too stupid to understand how to use storage medium! Allow me to throw out my Desktop, my Linux media server and my laptop, and my Samsung captivate because obviously I am too befuddled to know whats right for me. What a line of corporate bs.

Even though I'm still going to get one, not having a 32GB option is definitely giving me grief, I have 16 + 32 in my phone now and even though i don't nearly use all of that i feel like 16 is going to small enough that i'll have to actively manage my data storage. i like not having to think whether i'm going to have enough space for games and music and the like. I've already run into this problem downloading an HD movie from the play store on my N7...oh well, it's either the 16gb or a non nexus i guess.

It has been mentioned but he is dodging or just refusing to answer that question. Those answer Phil posted are the only 2 he has answered. It sounds like a company line to me.

Just excuses period. If you don't know how to operate an SD card, your probably not the type to buy a high-end phone then. Duh. They are doing this in conjunction with the carriers to force customers to consume large amounts of data needed while using the cloud (because your phone has no internal storage OR an SD card slot) And so Google can sell more storage space on the cloud.

Also as a developer let me point out. That if a feature on software or a device is ever confusing to an end user that reflects poorly on the design(ers) not the mental capability of the end user. So if its simply beyond Google's ability to make external storage non confusing then please by all means continue to eliminate the power users who want this nontrivial feature from your customer list.

SD Card are too Confusing?
Who does he think we are..... iOS Users!
Come on. If the things he said are true, then have the first time a photo is taken, the phone/tablet asked where you want to save the photo and then make that selection the default. Sounds lazy to make the programing change to me. Or just more push to cloud services. But nothing like storing a lot of music or movies on your device for viewing.
Even at 32gb, that is only a few HD movies and no room for anything else.

What a lame statement. We all know he's not being entirely truthful as to the *real* reason why Nexuses don't come with an SD card slot.

I always thought Android was about the *choice* - and not ease of use or fancy graphics. SD cards too complicated? Well let the consumer decide that. If they are savvy enough, they will buy an SD card and figure out how to use it. If not, they will let their phone be as it is. As simple as that.
The minute Google starts making those decisions for us and taking away our choices, they turn into the very company they are fighting - Apple.

Honestly, I'm sick of Google's double standards. Can't wait for Jolla to release their Meego devices.

Huh? While you can debate real reasons why SD slot isn't on Nexus devices, this is pushing it too far.
You want choice? You got choice - opt for a non Nexus device!

Jeez. I just get done dealing with one "GOOOGUL IZ TEH LIEARZ!!!1!" bonehead when up pops another. FFS. You people are such children.

Google isn't taking away your choices. They're making decisions about their own products. They aren't dictating anything to the other makers. HTC doesn't have an SD slot on the One X. Are they turning into Apple, too?

Please read this:

Then get back under your bridge. You have billy goats to bother.

Put plain and simply, you are a douche bag. We want what works for us. We are not acting entitled. We are paying for a device, we should get the features we as paying customers want. Also, Nexus devices are generally used be people who know what open source is for. there for dot tell us what you think. You most likely have stock in cloud based businesses. You are a flaming bag of dog crap. Some one should stomp you out. LOL!!!
So, please do us a favor and go elsewhere.
hell, if i knew where to find you I would snatch all of your Internet connecting devices and put them into my home made catapult and launch that crap as far as it could go. Oh, and i would light it on fire in the process. But, this is the Internet and I am not going to waste more than this time here and now pissing into the wind about the likes of you. Fact of the matter is. We live in a society that is centered around making money. And currently there is a very lot of interest in the cloud and the money that can and will be made from it. But, the fact of the matter is that there are people like me that will never put personal info out there like pictures of family member's and friends. And other things. Not that i have anything to hide. But there are assholes like you out there with active minds that would like nothing more than to abuse others in any way that they see fit. call it what you will. But the people on this globe are not getting any more nicer as time goes on. Mo on the contrary. As a whole, people are getting worse. And much more greedy. And greed brings out all sorts of bad and abusive behavior in most people and Governments. I for one am feeling exhausted by it all and hope that something happens soon to disrupt all this digital chatter. And please do not tell me that I need to get off the net. No, the whole world needs to get away from it all. Not just me. Otherwise it is going to get exponentially worse. And at a much faster rate that you or any one could imagine. LOL. Just wait and see. You know all those Zombie games and movies that the majority of the population is into? Well, you all might not turn into flesh eating zombies per say. But you all act close to it in many ways. And you will start to get physically violent soon enough. Most people think that they can do what ever they want without a bad reaction. But, you people have no clue how feeble your minds truly are. And you parent's out there that think this stuff is not going to do anything to your children. Get a clue. Your kid cries or complains and you give in. They turn out to be what i explained. But instead of being little shits, they will just be bigger, stronger versions of that. Oh well, have fun in your misery.
How do you like that rant?

>"Put plain and simply, you are a douche bag."

No, I'm a dick. There's a difference. None of which affects the fact that you're a moron and here's why:

>"We want what works for us. We are not acting entitled. We are paying for a device, we should get the features we as paying customers want."

You don't have the slightest idea how the world works and are probably not very bright, so I'll try and make this simple for you. Try and keep up...

If you're in the mood for fried chicken for lunch, do you go to McDonald's or KFC? If you want to get drunk, do you go and buy beer or milk? If you want to go off-road through rugged terrain, do you drive a 4x4 or a Smart Car?

What the childish crybabies embarrassing themselves over the Nexus 4 are assuming is that Google is obligated to meet their wish list of features or suffer the abuse for not doing so. "GOOGLE DIDN'T GIVE US WHAT WE WANT!!!!" To which I say, "So the f*** what?!?

This reminds me of the diapers filled over the Kindle Fire. Amazon introduced the tablet with its features clearly spelled out and the moment it came out, the boo birds started yelping how it didn't have this feature or that doodad. "Where's the camera? Why doesn't it have Bluetooth? No SD card slot?" Never mind that AMAZON NEVER SAID ANY OF THOSE THINGS WOULD BE THERE, people whined at deafening levels about how disappointed they were that Amazon wouldn't surprise them with all the stuff they'd wanted but was never promised.

Google has announced what the Nexus 4 will or won't come with and the customers will decide to buy or not buy based on their needs and wants. End of discussion. They are under no obligation to feel hurt because spoiled entitled Internet trolls are sad panda over their want list being ignored. Go buy something else and STFU!

To the right of this reply box is an ad for Shop Android showing five phones:

* Galaxy S3 - LTE, removable battery, SD slot - everything the Nexus 4 lacks.
* EVO 4G LTE - LTE (albeit Trudge) and SD slot, but fixed battery.
* One X - LTE, but no SD card and fixed battery.
* Galaxy Note - no LTE, but SD slot and removable battery.
* Galaxy Nexus - Several versions with issues depending on carrier.

The point is that there is NOTHING preventing the little emo kiddies who are butthurt over the Nexus 4 lack of this or that from buying one of the alternatives on the carrier of their choice and slapping a JB ROM on it since y'all are so l337.

It's funny how the supposedly advanced Android users don't seem to want to adapt and overcome to get what they want, preferring to cry like little girls that Uncle Google make it all better and give them exactly what they want with sprinkles and a kiss on top.

Go buy an iPhone, emo kid.

Please oh great one tell how you adapt and overcome a lack of memory or LTE? Shut the hell up dude.

"You don't have the slightest idea how the world works and are probably not very bright, so I'll try and make this simple for you. Try and keep up..."

Firs of all, I have a much broader idea of how this world works. And with people like you in it. It is not that cracked up as people make it seem. So, how about you try to keep up here.
The world is run by people. Most people are worried about making a living for them selves and their family members. Most people could care less about the people around them. And end up judging them wit a certainty that they have no rite to judge with. You my friend fall into that category of sorts. And no i have also fallen into it because i have judged you. but based on the blatant assholeisim that you originally portrayed when you cam into this forum and openes your disgusting mouth. Here is a tid bit of info about me that you didn't know this "idiot" can and is doing.

First this "idiot" has a laboratory where he is making a fuel generator that turns an element into a reusable fuel that can and is being used in a combustion chamber. Otherwise known as a motor. This "idiot" drives around on this fuel and purchases 78% less petrol that you do.

This "idiot" is teaching him self how to be a developer for the Android platform. With the help of Dev's. And will after that learn how to Dev for Apple products and Microsoft products.

This "idiot" learned rough and finish carpentry and has built a house.

This "idiot" went to school for machine shop and welding.

This "idiot" is being taught electronics.

First and foremost this"idiot" is a father of two and a husband who works his rear end off in the real world that has idiots like you and my self in it. So dont tell this "idiot" what he is at this table. Because this "idiot" just might be able to run circles around you any day on any subject.

"The point is that there is NOTHING preventing the little emo kiddies who are butthurt over the Nexus 4 lack of this or that from buying one of the alternatives on the carrier of their choice and slapping a JB ROM on it since y'all are so l337."

Sure there is. It is called locked boot loaders you brainless idiot. Do you know how much harder it is to develop truly useful tools on phone that has a locked bootloaders? Most likely not. Not all of us are Facebook and Twitter fanatics that need their Justin Bieber and Dancing With The Stars fix like you you Troll.

And if you are going to tell me that the bootloaders were unlocked on a bunch of devices, I nor any one else here wants to hear it. The fact of the matter with Android is. They should not be locked down in the first place. I have the SGS3 i535 from VZW. It took the Dev community a bunch of time that they could have been using for cooler app developing, family time and or other things. The NEXUS is now devoid of interference from the carriers. But it implements a lacking and kind of cool feature that Dev's could use and test on.

"It's funny how the supposedly advanced Android users don't seem to want to adapt and overcome to get what they want, preferring to cry like little girls that Uncle Google make it all better and give them exactly what they want with sprinkles and a kiss on top."

We should not have to adapt to anything. There is a movement towards the cloud in the name of commerce. And it is greedy. And forcing our hand is not the rite thing to do. And I hold the proper thing to do more important than making money. Believe me. I have given up a very lot of money because pursuing it would have put me in a position of potentially harming others. And you might not be able to see it. But the cloud is not the best place for all things personal. But that might be because you might have some stock shares in some cloud companies. Call it the future or what ever you want. It is not cool like some are touting it to be. This mode of operation by Google is a little one that will eventually get manufactures to follow suit. Like the HTC and their One X phones. There are others if I am not mistaken. But that is neither here nor there. This phone was touted to developers. And not having a mSD slot might hamper a persons initiative to make an app/program to utilize such a slot on other phones. But instead cause the developer to put in that place sole cloud actions. That is coercion. And is such because of what the hardware name touts. But we all know that you will have an argument for this and think that you are some supreme being that knows all/ is all knowing. And can not be defeated by the likes of us the other consumers. It is great that this hardware is at the $200 mark. But a mSD slot does not cost that much to implement like an LTE radio or multiple radios does. Hell I am on VZW and understand why that move was made. But card slots are universal to every one and there is no radio tech that would hinder the operation of such a slot. The only tech that hinders things such as a slot feature is greed. Plain and simple.

"Go buy an iPhone, emo kid."

Sure, I should move over to a phone/ hardware that uses the lack of mSD slots that I and others are complaining about. That is a great idea. Thanks for the advice clown.

how the hell is sd card too complicated for users? Theres only two options, 1. internal storage or 2. external storage
i dont even care the nexus 4 doesnt have an sd card slot, but that reasoning is retarded

SD is too complicated? Absurd. Leaving it off is too profitable for the manufacturer and forces you to either buy more than you need upfront or replace the whole device prematurely to get more storage later. But let's assume that it is too complicated for some. They have the option of keeping things simple and not buying the SD card. And finally, the machine should be designed with little internal storage which is used for the OS only. Everything else should go to an SD card with no choice from the user. Confusion avoided.

It's the "users are too stupid" argument. That sucks. I can cope with buttons being in 2 different places on 2 different types of devices if it makes the device more usable. On a tablet in landscape, it makes more sense for the buttons and notifications to be towards the edge where my thumbs are already. Putting them in the center makes them harder to reach and IMO the UI less usable, although it's more consistent. Similarly.. if the SD card doesn't integrate seamlessly, that's a problem with your software. Fix it. Let me fill up a card with music or movies and have it appear seamlessly on the movies or music apps. Why is this hard? I can cope with having 2 targets to save content to. Really. And if someone can't, they probably weren't buying an SD card to add to their device in the first place. Give users options, and respect their intelligence, don't decide they're too dumb to use their devices.

The onscreen buttons work well in portrait orientation (especially for phones) when you have more vertical screen and very little horizontal. Thus the buttons and notification bar take up some of that not needed vertical space for normal use and disappear when you do need the space such as watching a movie in horizontal orientation. NICE!

However, for a tablet, this does not work. Tablets are used in landscape mode more often (especially 16x9 tablets that are awkward to hold vertically) and we need more vertical space when holding it in landscape for normal use. Now, with onscreen buttons taking up needed space & a notification panel on top, the effective display ends up being 16x8 which is even WORSE. 16x10 is ideal for landscape devices for general use and android makes the display 16x8. There is almost no vertical space. Plus, when I am holding a tablet with 2 hands in landscape orientation, I have to take 1 hand away to hit the onscreen buttons on the bottom of the device anyway which is not great. Google needs to fix's not great.

It's not difficult to choose between internal memory or sd card. Just go to storage setting and that's it. We are not stupid to do it. The reason must be another.

Mr. Duarte:

Has it occurred to you, that if the "system" is too complex that it is YOUR fault? YOU are the software designer. WHY don't you FIX this so called problem by designing around the problem? Major FAIL~!'

By the way, after showing it to him, my 6 year old seems to be able to use my phone with an SD card just fine. I must admit, though, that he didn't figure it out all by himself. He needed about 5 - 6 minutes of my time.

Has it occurred to you that Duarte is the UI designer, not the guy who invented Android? Apparently not. He was hired to make the Android look pretty and usable.

I swear, Android users can be even bigger crybabies than Apple's iHerds.

"Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card"

Seriously...if it is confusing, then people can just not use one and save themselves a trouble. Taking options away from us is not the solution to the problem google.

Getting away from the sd card is fine and putting all the storage in one "big" block is the way to go. The only issue I have is what you define "big" block as??? 8 and 16mb is not what I consider one "big" block of storage. That is what the consumer of today is referring to, we want enough storage on our phones so we are not forced to use the Carrier paid data to get our files, music or whatever. Try accessing your files when you are out of Network reach or there is no wifi, you can not, give us at least 32gb of storage and the choice of 64gb. The smart phone buyer today is smart and knows what he or she is looking for. Skimping on what many think is one of the most important elements of a high end smart phone, int storage just sucks. No one wants a phone with very small storage capabilities, Jerry will go along with whatever Google puts out there and will spin his reasons to what makes it right for him. What I say to Jerry is this, try to sell that Nexus with no memory compared to another high end smart phone with ample int storage and see which one sells first. Come on people, this is the dumbest argument, Give us ample int storage and the ext sd card will no longer come up.

tablets absolutely need to be 32gb and 64gb, the N10 should have been 32gb for $449 and 64gb for $549, maybe a 16gb at $399 to keep the low entry point.

that seems really like a fair option, I'll still get the 32gb N10, without hesitation, there's no way I'd get the 16gb, it isn't enough storage for a tablet.

that said, 16gb on my phone is enough, I've been using the gnex for nearly a year now and I've got over 10gb available. I could put 4gb of songs on it and still have plenty of room to breathe, 4gb of music gives me just close to 1000 songs, which is more than I would want to listen to, and it's close to 50 hours of music itself...

anyway, point is, it's apple conditioning (I'm sorry to say) that dictates that we absolutely NEED to have every song in our library on our portable devices, when in reality we're NEVER going to listen to all of it, so why waste your money on buying that much space, and why waste your time looking for the skip forward button for that song by FUN that you thought was worth $0.99 earlier this summer, but is just boring and played out right now.

I have my 16GB SGN and it still has 9-10GB free.
I have about 2-3GB music, 2GB video/pics (taken from phone camera) and rest are apps, their data etc...
I don't need to carry my entire music collection with me...since I normally like to listen to my latest downloads/purchased music while I am biking/traveling etc. on my phone.

Also, I think there is another reason for not having an SD slot, royalty fees to MS! This was brought up some time back that due to the filesystem that the SD card would run under is patented by MS, any phone that has an SD slot would have to pay royalty fees to Microsoft.
This is a GOOD reason for not having the slot! MS is already making enough money from their Exchange related patents on every Android phone sold.

So, Google is joining Apple in thinking we are all a bunch of IDIOTS!!! Now, we are too stupid to know how SD Cards work and how to change the settings? This is one of reasons I never buy Apple products. Let the idiots have their devices. let those of us with half a brain have options!

Yeah, because this is a developer phone, right?

Google supports SD. Most Android phones have SD. Everyone says they want SD. But the "developer phone" has no SD.

Yeah, makes perfect sense.

hmmm... but what if I want stock android AND an SD card? AND more than 16GB?

give me a break. this is retarded and you know it.

I like the unified system tray across all systems. they need to make the back/home/apps button be user configurable, left/center/right justified. I don't want to have to for the center of the tab every time I want to go back, at the bottom left of the screen fits very nicely for my use.

either way, unified UX is the best choice.

to the memory concerns, meh, I had expandable memory on my N1 cause I had to (512 internal storage isn't nearly enough), and my Gnex doesn't have it, and doesn't need it. 16gb on my phone is enough, imo. I don't consume media on it, and don't have any sizable games on it, I have a tablet that does need more space, and 16gb on a tablet isn't nearly enough, 32gb is going to be tight, but breathable. 64gb I think is best for a tablet (right now) to hold all games, and a few movies, and productivity stuff.

You all are taking him way too literally. Obviously, the majority of people on this site are going to be able to understand an SD card. It's like Verizon's/AT&T's share plans, it's for simplicity with everyone else. I would prefer to have it as an option, but I can also see what he's getting at. I usually don't know whether something is saving to the internal or card, until there's a setting where I can change. Sure, most everyone can use an SD card with little, to no, trouble, but that doesn't mean they actually understand what's going on.

So what? Why not just include an empty SD slot?

People who want to upgrade, can. People confused by SD, can just use the internal memory. Everyone is happy.

It's official welcome to the dumbed down smartphone!

Ever since the hard drive became mainstream people have dealt with separate mount points for fixed and removable storage devices. Has it been really that complicated for users? NO! Nexus devices are idiotic non-smart devices (read, iDevices wannabes) meant for people who don't want to put up with the "complications" of owning what would essentially be a smaller computer.

Call me when someone makes smartphones and smart tablets for smart people again. Nexus = toys.

The storage issue depends on the user. I like pod-casts, take a lot of pictures and carry some documents with me. An 8Gb phone is utterly pointless! Even at 16Gb I will be staving for more. So either produce 32Gb phones or stop being an ostrich Matias! SD cards are essential.

I run a 16Gb phone with a 32Gb card and a 32Gb tablet with a 32gb card.
Next question?

I think they should add the micro sd slot and let us make up our own minds about what is confusing or not. Put an empty slot in the phone and those of us that are intelligent enough to use it can have it!!!!!!!!! Expandable memory is a MAJOR reason I will never own a Nexus phone... This thinking for me attitude is the biggest reason I don't own a phone from the evil fruit company, don't go down that path Google.

Is there any downside to getting nexus4/10 from US/UK and using as it is in India. I mean, will there be any network compatibility issues or product warranty/support problem?

we forget google can do whatever they want. its their company and there bazillionaires. our rants wont matter,nor will being identical to apple matter. all that matters is the money the business makes. thats the most important to them.

He talks about muscle memory while Samsung is probably the biggest offender with their capacitive backwards buttons.
Sure, GS3 is Android "based" but it's IMO Google should pressure manufacturers to at least follow some basic guidelines.

Yeah sure, Samsung should listen to you and change the best selling Android phone ever...they had the Galaxy Nexus for Google's layout.

I like the button arrangement on my Galaxy Note just fine.

Put a freakin' SD Card slot in all freakin' phones. The ones that want an SD card have the option to use it if they wish. The ones that don't (or just don't need one) or they are really that confused, don't have to put one in. That freakin' simple. It's not like you have to feed the slot poop if not filled. Besides, when empty, the phone acts as if it doesn't have one. At all. Period.

Mr, you sir need to be fired as I think you are too stupid and/or confused about what android customers really want.

I vote for Google to hire Cyanogen (away from Samsung) if Duarte were to be let go. I've liked all the improvements his team has made to stock.

somebody needs to fire this guy, he is making android worse. IF PEOPLE ARE TOO DUMB TO USE AN SD CARD, THEN THEY WONT- LEAVE IT AS AN OPTION. moron.

that was a politician's response to the UI. real reason? because google said so. I hate the direction google is going in.

As I sit here with no power thanks to Sandy, I can say that I can't see myself ever investing in a tablet that doesn't have removable storage. The cloud isn't worth much to me right now, even with a 3g hit or miss phone connection. The fact that Google, Amazon and Apple are forcing us to rely more and more on the cloud is upsetting. There are plenty of daily situations where you can't rely on Internet access and need to have content at your fingertips. In the case of power loss, I could have loaded a number of movies onto an sd card, as part of my storm preparations. We have generator so we have all these fancy, expensive charged devices that can't get us to our content because our cable Internet connection is gone and will be for some time. What a shame.

Yeah, what a shame. Talk about a first world problem. My god man, be happy you're alive and more fortunate than others.

I dirdn't know this was that serious a conversation. I was simply! giving an example of how the cloud isn't always available. It was relative to the topic at hand. You don't know enough about me to judge me based on an isolated post ixn a forum that big picture is very trivial. I (along with my husband and two children) happen to happen to be housing another family of who have no power and no roadway access to their own home. Two more friends will be arriving from another town tomorrow. If I wanted a pat on the back, I would have clarified this information in my previous post. Sheesh. There is poverty and tragedy abound in this world and here YOU are researching the latest gadgetry.

First, maybe second, time I've ever posted here and this is the reply I get?

Despite the suffering in this world - including that of my own 8 year old son with cancer! - I still wish, the ingrate that I am, that more tablets were produced with removable storage. :-)

I'm very much in 100% agreement with you. I'll give you another example...while on vacation I was on an all day island expedition with some other tourists. Everyone was taking pics with their cameras and cellphones. Not only were people wayyyyyy out of reach of any cloud rendering their phones useless, but the iphone users were out of battery a few hours before the trip was done. I simply switched the battery on my Epic 4G and kept it moving...instant 100% without having to wait for a charge.

I also left my laptop at home, but I was able to pop the micro sd directly from my camera into my Transformer infinity and transfer and edit my pics in adobe photoshop, picsay, skitch, paper camera, ect. There are of course, many other usage scenarios where simply having the options are helpful.

I agree with you! The cloud is NOT what it's risen to be. I myself do NOT want everything in the cloud as I like to keep my pictures/videos and financial stuff all tucked in a backup drive. HEAR THAT GOOGLE/MICROSHAFT? and any and all of your buddies trying to do the same.

I've lived here in Florida all my life so I feel your pain with Sandy. My heart goes out to you and your family and our prayers are with you and your son as I lost my mom to cancer 10 years ago.

Thank you he is doing great. I'm actually a native Floridian (and a Gator!), so having spent my adulthood in the NE, my Florida family and I marvel at the irony when they call ME with advice on boarding my windows!

In any event, I currently share a household iPad and have been holding off on something like the Transformer for myself until the Nexus 10 specs were released. Was specifically hoping for the sd slot. Now I'm not sure if I go for an existing tablet or hold out for Google to change their minds, LOL! Judging from their comments, it's not looking good.

Can't remember if this is my first time commenting on this topic, but this real definitely be my last because no matter what reasoning a person gives to you, you're never gonna be satisfied with the answer unless it's agreeing with your view.

First, as far as the Nexus brand goes, when it was first introduced, it was seen as a (quote/unquote) a *Developer* phone. A phone that set the standards for oem's to live up to of the type of phone an android phone could be. Since then, it has evolved into the definitive brand that epitomize the pure google experience. One that consumers will compare with the iphone. To reach out to more consumers, some compromises will be made. I actually enjoy the direction the Nexus brand is going and looking forward to moving myself (and my wife) to our first pair of nexus devices (both phones and tablets).

SD card slot: Not everyone wants to carry their ENTIRE multimedia library on their phone. For those who do, more power to you. We, the average consumer, shouldn't have to pay more for a phone just to fill all of the spec sheet wish list of the 10% minority who frequent sites like this one and pay attention to the specs. I say 10% but it's foolish to think so few people care about this. Many people, as this site demonstrate, do care about these things. Others just want a phone to work out the box with no immediate problem.

Then there are those who buy cheap memory cards to put in their phone that cause the phone to slow down. Who get the blame for that though? Not the memory card, but android itself. Then their are those software updates than can damage the os ability to read memory cards (I'm looking at you Sprint with your epic 4g touch ics update). Then the occasional memory card corruption error. And, believe it or not, people actually lose or misplaced memory cards due to their size. With everything storing to the cloud anyway, and most widgets don't work unless it's installed on the phone anyway, I can honestly say that the memory card is becoming more and more irrelevant by the day (disclosure: my personal opinion. Not speaking for everyone).

No Options?: This is a mute point, and probably the dumbest complaint I've heard about this phone. Yes, they don't offer a 32gb version which I myself would've like as an option, but it's not. "Google should give us the option to have a micro sd slot, removable battery, ect. on OUR PHONE". Number 1) Until you make the purchase, it's not your phone. And 2) Google DOES give you options you all seek. It's call buying another phone. The majority of the commenters on here probably root and custom rom your phones anyway so what's the big deal? This phone is a demonstration of having a powerful phone at an affordable price. Not everyone want to pluck down $500.00-$800.00 for a phone just to meet the hardcore standards. The phone being unlocked, with the spec sheet it presents, for under $400.00 is an incredible value despite it compromises.

No removable battery: Depending on your usage, this can be a problem. Yet so many of you resell your phone for the next great phone at a moment notice makes me wonder just how important multiple batteries really are. For those who actually stick with their phone for more than 6 months (or full term of your contract), I can understand. For those who change their phones like the four seasons, what's the point?

The Nexus brand is evolving and is being push to more consumers now then the niche audience it started out with. If it's for you, that's fine,but don't go bashing this phone because it does not meet your standards because obviously, this phone was not design for you. It's design for people who may potentially switch to android, but be as close to simple as the iphone while allowing more flexibility. It's design for first time smartphone owners switching from a feature phone. It's design for people who wish to give pre paid a chance, but stop short because they felt the phone selection wasn't that good (although better than it been in years). And finally, it's design for people like me and my wife who enjoys the added benefit of htc sense or samsung touchwiz and their added benefits. The price point and spec sheet is too good to pass up. Give us a chance to try out vanilla android and see if we prefer this, or go back to our htc's and samsung's respectively.

I always stated that I would never buy an android phone without htc sense, but the cost of entry to try a pure Google experience with the value being offered from this nexus device is too good to pass up (It also helps that I find the design quite pleasing. Especially the glass back.)

It's complicated if they make it complicated. I use external storage for about ten years MMC,MS pro DUO, microMS,microSD and never complained about the complexity.

IMHO, people who think it's too complicated having a SD card slot
do NOT deserve to own, use, or design Google Nexus devices. Period.

What kind of idiots does Google think we are? It's a thinly-veiled
insult against us loyal Android users!

True, this is just straight up excuses from Google. One of the strong point from Android was the selection from the smallest to biggest screen to think of, from removable battery to extended batteries, from SD card slot of your choice and need.

This is pathetic and insulting excuse.

Including an sd card as a feature on this phone would have obviously jacked up the manufacturing cost and would therefore effect the low ass price google is bringing this high end phone to you guys for.

There were most likely various reasons they did this im sure Mr. Duarte didn't feel the need to go into all of them.

If you don't like that the Nexus doesn't have expandable memory get a phone that does have that feature. If you want stock then slap on a rom. Thats all you can do besides vote with your wallet and don't by this particular phone.

Don't start making equivocations between apple and google just because your asshurt about a feature being left out.

I personally would have preferred expandable memory too or a 32/64gb internal option but I am just going to have to make it work because everything else this phone has I want.

I don't want to deal with roms, I don't want sense or touchwiz. This is my phone.

This isn't about "this" Nexus 4 phone. It's about what google wants to implement across the board. They want "ALL" phones that run android to have no removable media. They want "ALL" phones to have no removable battery. They want "ALL" phones to have no physical buttons.

See where this is going? This IS exactly what microshaft has done with it's windows phone. This IS what apple has already done. It's all about money. Period. No Rem. media with hardly any GB's? Then you'll have to use the cloud. More cloud space equals $ along with adds on your desktop accessing it. No rem. battery? It goes dead? Two with new batt or buy a new phone. Most will opt to buy a new phone because they are churning out like butter which equals....$. No physical buttons? Well, that's just Google trying to be controlling over the manufacturers for the developers sake. Which can be good because some sort of uniformity is what android needs, but if physical buttons do exactly the same thing as on-screen buttons ....leave them alone.

I can never figure out how to put the sd card into my digital camera, do I put it in upside down, sideways, right side up, to the left, right?? Jesus.. So confusing, don't even get me started on those micro sd cards, they are even smaller and more confusing to work with!

I hope your post was sarcasm. I think it was but If not.....

Most electronics come with manuals to SHOW you how it's done. There's also on most electronics, a stamped diagram on how to insert it next to the slot. If people can't figure out how in the world to insert an SD/micro SD into a phone/camera, I would really hate to see them insert film into an actual SLR camera...which are still sold at various retailers......god save us.....

Play four games of hopscotch while chewing bubble gum and rubbing your buttocks at the same time. When finished, blow 3 bubbles with the gum and chant.,,"I LOVE SOY JUICE" 16 times and your phone will turn on.

This is about microsoft owning FAT32. Nothing else. Just pay them and get over it or create a new universally accepted filesystem. Really.

I vote for ext4. Studies/benchmarks have already proven it to one of the best filesystems for flash drives (atleast, performance wise), besides, it can be easily tweaked to minimize the writes (in order to reduce wear).

ext is open-source so implementing a driver in other OSes shouldn't be an issue. There are already several projects to read/write ext in Windows, and I'm sure there are for OSX as well. If those projects can be done by a bunch of coders in their spare time, shouldn't be too hard for Google to come up with an elegant solution.

Actually they don't even need an ext driver, because they can simply use MTP as they do now, and it doesn't matter what the underlying filesystem is. (although the implementation isn't really ideal..)

In any case, I agree that FAT needs to die. It's too flakey and has far outlived it's life.

People understand ipods and itunes, and that's where Google is pushing them with their ill conceived anti-local storage crusade and dishonest excuses for why they're doing it.

This interview was all spin. Google made some stupid ass decision when they designed this phone. How can you release a flagship phone in late 2012 with no LTE and only 16GB of user space, smh. If Apple had released the iphone 5 with no LTE they would have been ripped to shreds by every tech site, blogger and user on the web and you guys know it. So why is Google getting a pass from everybody? Why are their Android fans saying they don't need faster internet or space, because their fanboys. This is the best/worst example of fanboyism ever.

Google should be called out for releasing this crippled phone but their not and its sucks

My goodness, what a complete load. SD is too complicated? One, that is complete nonsense, and two, you guys release a phone that doesn't even have enough storage for a light amount of apps? Complete fail, Google. Word to every other manufacturer: SD cards are NOT too complicated, and we all want them.

If someone offered you car with a speed governor of 70 mph, would you buy it? Just becauae theres no "need" to go faster. That's the same thing with putting limitation on storage space or ability to expand of. It should be up to the consumer to choose what he want on their product. If the manufacture can't keep up they need to move out the way. This whole thing seems like a poor excuse from Google to cheap out and not provide top notch to just save money.

Common Google.

If I want to buy a device without an SD card, and hand my hard earned cash to a company that thinks it is better at knowing exactly what I want (more so than I at it myself), I would have bought an Apple product before I need to look at Google's.

Tablets suppose to make your life easier and less dependent on computers; not the other way around. Imagine yourself going on vacation and want to be able to view pictures taken with a DSLR camera on your tablet; with Google trying to be a new Apple, you'd better bring your laptop to sync it to your tablet.

Just to be clear, people who are dumb enough not to be able to manage an SD card on a tablet will have other options such as not using one or buy an Ipad. How about you posting your studies on how much easier it is for the dumb people who can not manage an SD to manage syncing their tablets to their computers and the cloud. I'm sure the results of those studies are filled with $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Stop trying to be Apple and stop trying to run a business like a communist government.