Why Nexus devices have no SD card

The Internet is hard at work debating the merits of the Nexus 7 tablet, and the biggest arguments are about the lack of expandable storage, or an SD card, as you likely know it. It seems like everyone and their brother has a theory about why the hottest tablet to hit Android so far will be shipping without one. The most popular reason revolves around some conspiracy that Google is to forcing you to use its cloud services. While I'm sure Google would love nothing more than users depending on Google Drive or Google Music -- and there's certainly a big push for it -- that's not the reason devices have been trending away from expandable storage.

Wanna know what it really is? Sure you do.

The lack of an SD card in Nexus devices is nothing new, and we've been over this issue already when the Galaxy Nexus first appeared.

We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data. This approach lets us merge everything on one volume, which is way better.-- Dan Morrill, Android engineer at Google

Google still supports removable storage in Android, but it is leading by example and providing phones (and now a tablet) with one big block of storage that users can use for anything they like -- be it media, documents, or apps. There are a couple of side benefits to this approach as well. The first one is a bit geeky -- it allows the device to use ext file systems instead of a mix of ext and FAT. This is faster and safer -- both for the data on the device and the way it's handled, and access to our own personal data. A journalized file system means fewer file errors, and ext preserves file system permissions so random code can't find your pictures or documents folder.

Another benefit is that the host machine (when your device is connected to a computer) can't muck things up and molest the file system, as it doesn't have block-level access to the files. Instead, a proxy FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) file system is used to mount a psuedo-SD card folder so that your computer can read and write to it via MTP. This means you won't get errors from incorrectly unmounting your phone, and the device still has access to all the data even while plugged into a PC. 

Does Google want you to use Google Play and its cloud services? Of course it does. But there is no secret evil cabal in Mountain View that held back the SD card slot to force it on you. In fact, you're still free to use other cloud solutions like Amazon, Dropbox, or even a shared drive on your desktop PC. Nobody has to like the fact that Nexus devices ship with no SD card slot, but let's stop looking for conspiracies when we already know the answer.

More: Reddit

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Bwahahaha! Your Gigabytes are all mine! Seriously, thanks for that explanation... I learn a little more about Android and Google each day!
  • That would all be just fine...but my gnex totes 32gb which is plenty for a phone. 8gb on a tablet however, that's a little ridiculous
  • Probably safe to say that whenever you are toting that tablet, your phone will be there as well. So leverage all those unused gigs on the phone for your tablet. We all know the two will be tethered happily together anyway.
  • Disagree. That's not everyone's scenario plus it feels more natural to store all my content on my tablet anyway. Ebooks and movies and maybe music.. they're more capable consumption devices.
  • Yep exactly! Plus, using this "proxy" slows file transfer to/from PC down to the speed of 5.25" floppies!
  • I want your 20MB/s floppy drive.
  • Using MTP is as slow as a slug for me and it doesn't work relieably on either of my computers. So I tend to resort to apps that forces proper SD card mounting, or simply dismounting the SD card and copying to it with a card adaptor :). And Woila more and better speed
  • Or you could transfer wirelessly using Airdroid. It's super fast and extremely easy to use
  • eBooks are rarely more than a few megabytes. I think the biggest one I've seen was 5, giving you 200 books per GB. Music is better used on your phone anyway because it has more space and can stream and has the same audio output (BlueTooth or 3.5mm). Movies, though, would be an issue, you might need an OTG cable and flash drive or something.
  • It's true about the storage space being small, I just bought a portable drive * you can get ssd or hard drive*, but the punt is that it saves everything & you can connect it threw Bluetooth or micro USB. plus you can have it to share the data to both the smartphone or tab. Just wish there was an NFC version.
  • No, it is not safe to say that. If I am toting a tablet, I should be expecting the thing to have enough storage to do tablet activities like multimedia. If I can put a 64GB SD card in my HTC 8XT so I can watch any 64 of my movies on that little thing, I should be able to do the same for a purely entertainment device. I should be able to put any of my 5ea 64GB SD cards into my multimedia tablet so I can watch any of my 320 movies. Watching movies 'til the cows come home ought to be an out-of-the-box expectation for a tablet. Not giving a possible workaround. Making the comment that I can tether the tablet to my storage device sounds like hokum. An excuse for a gaping hole or yesterday's news. Like the 'latest' about Google making a version of OpenOffice available for Android or iOS to avoid paying for Office360. You guys are slithering around in a very tiny, old world, as Sun has made OpenOffice available, like, since you were moving from Plain Pampers to My Very Own Pull Ups.
  • Wow hey thanks Vic, for explaining your point of view. I'm actually more serious than you are about hardware. I almost didn't go for the Samsung Galaxy S4 because they did a 'honey I shrunk the chip' on the Subscriber Identification Module. Then I found these adapters that lets me light up my S2 that needs the full size chip, and any of the flip phones in my gun safe, they all need the full size SIM and I tested my micro SIM with the adapter and it works. I even tested it on the Samsung Infuse and it also works. So I got the S4 and the only reason I still have it is it's case protected it when it got ran over. I get random SIM errors ever since that. I even replaced the tray. Peeled it all apart and replaced the tray and I still get random SIM errors. Took it apart a second time just to unplug the tray from the motherboard, and make sure I got a good snap when I plugged it back in. That is some tiny stuff. Anyway, I go to switch back to the SGH-I727 and the darn gallery in CyanogenMod crashes on that 32 GB chip where I have 20 GB worth of stuff stashed. So my details are another story, and I digress. I would never buy another handset that did not have an expandable memory slot. I have never purchased an Iphone simply because you cannot pull out the battery. I have never owned a "tablet" because they lack the basic function of "telephone". I am the ultimate consumer. I eat these things up and spit 'em out. If you want me to buy my first "tablet", make it a phone with a SIM slot, Micro SD slot, camera, gps, all the sensors, a removable battery, and an infra red blaster that serves as a universal remote. And if you REALLY want to know how I feel, make it open source code for all of it's hardware so developers can more easily cook different ROM's for it. That is all.
  • I agree. The lack of expandable storage is the main reason that I'll never own a Nexus tablet. It's why when I buy an Android tablet my choice falls to Samsung. I have the Note 10.1 and the Tab 3 7.0 (Sprint version) I'm very happy with my choices.
  • I agree. As soon as I found out that it did not have SD slots I found out that I would never buy a Nexus Tablet. It was a simple choice. If my phone bricks and I need something I just get the SD card and run. Not the case otherwise. That's just 1 of many reason why its a non-starter for me.
  • Love your statement I believe the same thing, I enjoyed the article, but I still want choice, leave the micro sd or sd slot on tablets for those who choose to have more space!
  • Agreed. If they were including 32 to 64 GB of storage, then fine. But 8 with less than 8 free- no way.
  • 1. The 8GB nexus 7 is not even sold anymore 2. They sell 16GB and 32GB ones for the people who are not stupid enough to cheap out on a tablet 3. If you were dumb enough to buy the 8BG one then thats your fault. They have that there for those who want it.
  • 1. You are absolutely correct (kudos to you)
    2. 32GB doesn't cover 1/4 of just my music collection, let alone my Blu-ray rips. Adding an SD card slot would have cost them next to nothing, put most fears to rest, allowed me to increase to 96GB of space (160GB when 128GB cards start shipping), and increased sales. I don't get it, under the reasoning Google gives, could they not give the one, entire block of memory internally but still leave an SD card for those who want it? And not everyone can afford 250$. That was the point of the Nexus 7: to give the masses a tablet. You may loose a few bucks putting a new one in but sales would have increased to much more than they did.
    3. Actually your the *dumb* one. Look when he posted.
  • Not so fast gidgiddonihah.... I think you meant "you're" the dumb one... or not...
    Also, you would probably "lose" a few bucks before you "loose" a few bucks... Why do you have to have ALL over your music collection and Blu-rays on your tablet at once? Never mind, it's a rhetorical question...
  • Write whatever opinion you have and no one bats an eye..
    Misspell a word and everyone loses their minds :)
  • +1 Yeah most of us are typing on glass here. Not the most reliable form of typing accuracy.
  • Grammar aside, I want all 60gb of my music on my phone since I use it instead of a dedicated music device and don't really want to have to copy music from my computer to the phone constantly. In fact I am looking forward to the introduction of 128gb cards. Part of the marketing for smartphones is the theory that they can replace a variety of devices. Anyway, I rule out any phone that doesn't have a memory slot.
  • if someone gets a nexus5 or any noon sd card smartphone that are mostly converting to none removable memory you'll definitely need a carrier with unlimited data, that way your bill dissent change whenever it goes over there data limit. I save movies in my drop box & either download it if I know I'm gonna watch it out stream it threw dropbox, box. I use drive just for data. Everything works good and no buffering in NYC so you just need to be in an area where lte is all over.
  • "ALL over your music" I think you misspelled "of," Mr. Pot. That is all.
  • Probably for the same reason that I have my 29 gig music library and almost 60 full length movies, together with music videos and other assorted items like tips and tricks YouTube video downloads spread all over my note 4 with 64 gig microsdxc. It's easier to share and socialize when you have your personal loves at your fingertips.
    I have yet to see a personal computer that gives you less memory because the manufacturer thinks you're too stupid to utilize his device.
  • Could it be to avoid using FAT32 at all? Hasn't Microsoft been extorting significant fees from other Android manufacturers for their VFAT patent? Maybe Google wants its devices to be free of that one (which has - stupidly - been upheld) so that they're not vulnerable to patent blackmail. The other MS Android patents are even dumber than VFAT.
  • Works for me. All my USB flash drives are formatted ext4. Should be no problem at all doing it with SD cards too. That would eliminate patents, it would increase performance, and it would reduce possible corruption.
  • MTP is a Microsoft patent too, so...
  • MTP is used on the computer side of the connection not on the device.
  • The explanation simply does not hold water. If it had a decent-sized volume (32GB or bigger), then MAYBE you could make a case for limiting the user to one self-protected (i.e. journaling) volume. And now that most carriers are eliminating Unlimited Data plans, pushing people to use Cloud services for streaming (as opposed to just syncing to portable devices with lots of local storage) makes even less sense.
  • the only problem with it having 32gb or even BIGGER, is that it is trying to compete with entry level tablets, it really is as simple as if this unit does not have enough storage for your needs, they are simply not designing it for you! there is a much better and more expensive tablet awaiting you out there.
  • NO. The Nexus 7 is below the standard for entry level tablets. I own a Vizio 8" tablet that cost less than $200 and it includes an SD-card slot. The built-in storage is a pidly 4 GB so the SD card is used for everyting but system-type applications. Plus my Vizio has 3 speakers, so that if you turn it 90 degrees you still have stereo (sounds better than my laptop). I like how they say you can get up to 9 hours of HD Video playback on the battery when it cannot hold more than 3 hours on the hard drive. The Nexus has a mere 5.6 GB of actual storage. This is in the realm of $120 tablets, not the $200 range. Its a real shame as the rest of the specs are great. I mean, the processor is faster than my laptop and it has more ram than my netbook. Its ok, though. It isn't like this is the only $200 tablet to choose from. Just sad that the one CRUCIAL option, the sd card slot, seemed to be forgotten. If they did not want to screw with FAT partitions, they would just have the tablet require you to pre-format your sd card to whatever format they use. It isn't like we all are constantly removing and playing around with the miniscule micro-sd cards in our phones or existing tablets. One thing to note is the reason it is smart to have removeable media: apple had to make and ship 3 versions of their iphone with different internal hard drive sizes. An android phone merely has an sd card slot so YOU can choose how big a card to stick in it. If my phone was designed with this logic in mind, a tablet shoud surely do this as well. Of course they could go the way of apple and just offer the nexus with 8, 16, and 32 GB internal hard drives as an option. But alas, that would cost money.
  • That Vizio tablet makes me sad though. The specs are about the same as this cheap Chinese tablet I got a couple years back. Except mine had more than 2GB user available memory and two Micro SD card slots. If they used ext on the SD card, wouldn't that make it require more work to read it on the computer without the tablet? Plus I hate to have to figure out what goes where and be frustrated with apps that didn't allow me to move them to the SD card.
  • Yes, but there is a workaround. Just get a Chromebook.
  • I'm glad I live in the UK and still have unlimited data! I've pre-ordered a nexus7 but I'm not worried about storage space because I always have my phone with me, which has expandable storage, I plan to tether when necessary and use something like this https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... when I have to. The most important thing for the n7 was surely to hit the market at $199, that certainly grabbed my attention.
  • using this app can you directly transfer files via wifi between two android phones or tablets without both of them logging onto another wifi network or do you need both the devices to be logged onto another external wifi network. In short does this app set up some thing like wifi direct transfers between two android devices and what are the data transfer speeds like.
  • https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F...
  • $199 plus all the workaround hardware. And you will need a laptop case to carry all the junk required to actually use it for a weekend trip to the beach.
  • Totally agree StuartV. I have the GN because it has 32 gigs, but I am still missing a micro USB(I could use another 32 Gigs). I was going to pre order the Nexus 7 but decided against it when I found out it had no micro USB slot. I need a better explanation from Google. If they are doing it to save money, why not say so.
  • "If they are doing it to save money, why not say so." -Is this not fairly obvious common sense? I wouldn't think they'd need to spell that out for you.
  • adding microsd slot would have been painfully inexpensive
  • Google understands that people are dumb. People want to believe their computers (and tablets) are more intelligent than they are and they can remove a sd card before the file is transferred and they would just have half the file, not a corrupted sd card. Goolge know they have fooled people into believing clouds are a viable, reliable and secure method of storing their files. Google also knows people's expectations of electronics have been permanently lowered due to iphone 4s's, ipads and the like (which treat their users as even dumber animals than this Nexus 7, which will at least have flash and cost half as much). One guy said you could just tether the cell phone to your tablet and use the cell phone's sd card storage. This is ridiculous. Now you are draining two batteries instead of one, transmitting your information back and forth using a freeware program you cannot fully trust either. Has everyone gone mad?! Is it too much to ask that I take a file off my 3TB home computer hard drive, move it to an sd card, and insert the card in my portable device directly thus ensuring it was secure the whole time? Or do most people not use their portable electronics for anything serious? I want a cheap device I can use for business, not angry birds. People who think the cloud is a reasonable method of storage for your sensitive documents are high. Google tablets are mere toys now, unless you want to dump $1000 in a really high-end laptop-without-a-keyboard like the Acer ICONIA ICONIA-484G64nss. Do people realise that for a couple hundred more than they paid for a 64gb ipad they could have this beauty which runs windows 7, has TWO 14" screens, 640gb (ten times the storage) AND a real i5 computer processor with 4GB of expandable RAM? Jeeze. I could run actual hard-core business software on that machine, not just Play Store apps. Even Microsoft Word. Imagine that. Or maybe go a couple hundred more than this stupid Nexus 7 device and get the awesome ASUS 32GB Eee Pad Slider SL101. Yes, 32 GB of storage and a slide out qwerty keyboard! Still too rich for you? Pay $50 more than the Nexus 7 16gb model and you can have a TOSHIBA Thrive which has an SD card slot and is made by a better company. Who does Google think they are? The only option? Hardly.
  • You sir, very likely were high at the time of writing this. It's a great piece of work, I commend it, as well as your highness, and the awesome rant that came of it. Cheers and forever fuck clouds of any kind that offer any service other than floating.
  • The original rant made me laugh. Dude made some great points though. ^This response put me over the edge. Good stuff.
  • Some great points, but he put a needle in his arm and chased a dragon if he ever thought the Toshiba Thrive compared to the Nexus 7 with or without the SD card. The Nexus 7 has been hands down the best tablet I have used out of all of the tablet choices from Android, and I had a Thrive. He made some good points, but ending with the Thrive comment put a .45 caliber right next to the head of his credibility.
  • I don't know, I think he just wanted the Toshiba tablet to "thrive" and become a better tablet.
  • Well, it has been almost a year since that post. The Vizio tablet I had died. I did have a warranty, but the no-name tablet I replaced it with (as Vizio no longer makes my tablet) also proved insufficient. FINALLY I bought a new tablet. For$300 I got an ASUS with a quad-core tegra processor, 16 mb of built-in storage, 1 gig of ddr2 ram, and transplanted my 32 gb chip. This is a fine tablet. Very fast and reliable and even has gps, something you are seeing less of these days. I stand by my original comments. The nexus is no longer on the radar. There are plenty of name brand tablets of superior stats and design for the same cost these days. I noticed one guy preferred his nexus over a toshiba. Good for you. Stats and design are still better on the toshiba product even if you like your puny nexus. Bet you have moved on to a more grown up tablet by now though. With that said, how the mighty have fallen. Who would have predicted how miserably Microsoft would suck - Windows 8 is ridiculous, a poorly designed echo of a once-great OS. AND Windows RT is a joke. As their trendy Surface tablets plummet in value, with price drops being needed just to move the product, and with the google cheapo laptops similarly underwhelming the market, it really does seem that Android is poised to destroy its competition. WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG? I figured it out. I had also upgraded my cellphone this year. I got an LG Optimus G for free. QUAD CORE. Then I got this ASUS for $300. Quad core. BOTH devices are flawless and provide smooth operation. Android made the mistake of releasing their operating system on low-end devices. Now that the hardware is equivalent to ipads and iphones (often superior), the droids seem to finally have a shot at competing with overpriced apples. The lame iphone5 further reinforces my argument. They made the screen longer and moved the headphone jack to the bottom. Morons. This gave droid a chance to catch up in the hardware department. Now it is completely possible to get a droid tablet for $300 that utterly spanks an ipad 2 and probably the ipad 3 (we will see). The point is, name brands do still indicate value and Android 4.3 works best on at least two cores. How good is ASUS? Well, their Transformer had sme major flaws. But much of their product line was very well made. My ancient eeepc netbook is still going strong, though I wisely installed Ubuntu over the stripped-down Windoze XP that it came with. My friend has an ASUS home pc that has had no issues in 4 years (and running Vista that says something). So next time you are shopping for a tablet, notice how rare a nexus is and then notice how off-brands start at $35 (check Walmart). Look at the $150 range for reasonable quality, but don't be shocked if you ultimately spend $300 as you do get what you pay for. Hardware is important... but who makes the hardware does matter as China continues to decline in producing quality without a huge corporate machine quality checking along the way. My wife offered me her ipad2 once she upgrades to an ipad3. After toying with it I realized you cannot browse the files! You cannot get a crapload of good free apps... the good ones always cost money... you cannot plug in an external .. anything. No usb jack and no card slot. Yet she is about to drop $800 on another glorified e-book reader. To her, and I suspect many others, the simplicity of apple is appealing. The nexus was similar in that the designers presumed you would not want flexibility. But for tweakers like myself, that want good free apps, full office capabilities, and the ability to easily move data, a well-built droid will always be the answer.
  • Instead they add a similarly priced NFC chip so the kiddos in Petaluma can buy their mocha latte frappuccinos with their 7" tablets bc it's too difficult to swipe a card or count change. If you were to buy the components for a suitable micro SD reader, it would cost about $5. If you calculate that in bulk based on the amount of Nexus 7 sales, you're actually looking at something like 0.02 cents per unit. I would say this has more to do with hardware manufacturers wanting to sell you new devices every year or so. They don't want to keep supporting legacy hardware, software updates, etc. Google wants to keep our Android versions current, avoid fragmentation and keep sales metrics up. If you don't add enough storage to keep up with software demands, you'll have to upgrade sooner. Even App2SD functionality is blocked on later Android builds via OTG USB. It's 2013 and the new Nexus 7 STILL has no micro SD reader, just a little extra space (enough to get you through this year). Anyway, that's my 0.02 cents, that would have been better spent on a micro SD reader!!
  • Exactly. Just need 32GB to be comfortable with enough offline music and apps. 16GB doesn't quite cut it.
  • So it's nothing to do with pushing you to pay more for Devise E.g 16 GB Vs 32 GB the price difference should be 10$ as that's the cost of a 16 GB SD card. (May be lower depending on the speed.) Also if you are using cloud services then the Big brother can enforce what you can & can't put on it. (Translation, no pirated music) I really have hard time to believe that. MV :)
  • ...And that's one of the main reasons I won't be getting a Nexus phone. I have a 64GB microSD card on my Samsung Fascinate and I'm already close to filling it up (only about 8GB left). I may get a Nexus 7, but I don't think I'll ever bother with a Nexus phone unless I get it for a really really cheap price (or free). But I do appreciate this short but informative article. It went straight to the point in explaining why Google chose to only use flash storage.
  • Yep, same here. Passed on the HTC One X and Galaxy Nexus and picked up a Samsung S III. Worth it just for the convenience of being able to take media from one device to another. And the ability to do local backups to the card and being able to remove it at will should anything happen to the device.
  • My S III uses MTP and limits access to the SDcard, am I missing something? While its still better to have the card, it's not the same endless access I was used to on my Epic.
  • I don't own a Galaxy SIII, but I'm pretty sure you can just remove the microSD card, place it in an SD card adapter, and then into your computer's SD card slot. That's what I always do with my phone, I usually don't bother with connecting it to the computer directly. If your computer doesn't have an SD card slot, you should be able to find a USB card reader for cheap at a place like Best Buy.
  • An "all-in-one" reader that will support just about every type of flash media out there usually runs about $8.00. And, if you need to copy *lots* of data, the readers are usually almost twice as fast as doing it directly through your phone. Keep in mind, though, you should turn the phone off before removing the SD-Card, and I wouldn't recommend booting it back up without the SD-Card installed, if you've got apps "moved" to the SD.
  • In Settings you can just Unmount and later Mount the SD Card. For removal and replace.
    Phone can stay on.
  • yeah cause i am currently using a galaxy s3 and i managed to loose my micro sd card and i was just going to drag and drrop all my movies and music via double twist. but double twist will not recognize my galaxxy s3 so ended up downloading airplay through 4hared.com and got everything, it took way longer though
  • What the heck do you need so much storage for? Blows my mind when I see comments like this.
  • Well, let's see. I, for one, have ALL my music loaded on my card. And I have over 6,000 photographs, properly organized in sub directories, and under my own control. Instant access to stuff that I want access to anywhere, anytime, and with super speed. Throw on a few movies, and also I want to cache several hundred megabytes of Map data and I am done. Just because YOU want to be chained to WiFi-only use, doesn't mean that is how everyone operates.
  • I'm sorry but that is the dumbest thing i think ive read in quite awhile. Do you do nothing when you go out but look at your phone or tablet? Everyone who constantly makes the claim that they need vast amounts of storage have the most ridiculous reasons, like needing access to every photo they've taken (seriously?), putting every song they've pirated in which they'll listen to less than 10% of it, putting pirated HD rips of entire series rather than a few episodes. This is also the same group of people who will load every app they possibly can but use only a select few, and wonder why their phones performance suffers and also have zilch for space. The cloud is there for just that reason, to have EVERYTHING always, and to rely on physical storage when you aren't/cant be connected to the internet.
  • Now this was (one of the) dumbest comments I've ever read! Do you not realize that some people like having instant access to their media right away, without waiting for photos to load through the cloud service, or music skipping every 30 seconds because of crappy 3G/4G connection, or videos stopping to load every 10 seconds?! How is it so hard to understand that people who do actually want at least most of their media on their devices, want to have access to that media right away? Cloud storage is also not a reliable form of content playback! Here's a perfect example: I live in New York City, I ride the subway pretty much everywhere. You know what happens when the train goes underground? You loose that precious f***** cloud service! So all of your media that's stored up in the cloud, is gone! And caching is a pain in the ass! Kind of handy having that extra storage don't you think? Google should at least give an option for larger storage on all of their devices! I don't mean SD card slots, but actual built-in storage! Wanna sell an 8 gig tablet to "casual" consumers for cheap? Fine, but at least have an option for larger storage and simply price the device higher (not much higher). 16 gigs max on the Nexus 7 is crap! Granted, at $250 it's the type of crap that doesn't smell too bad.
  • Huffington post and Nielsen have both said that roughly 80% of tablet primarily at home which means the overwhelming vast majority will be under a wifi umbrella, in which using the cloud will be 100% superior to having to store media locally on the device. The onboard storage is not there so you can watch all your 720p pirated media content, its to hold you over so you can have content (books/movies/videos/music/apps/games) on the device on the go until you get *gasp* back to wifi so you can STREAM CONTENT which is what the device is DESIGNED FOR. If you need a massive amount of space on the go you need to be looking at another damn tablet and quit complaining about this one because its not going to magically change. There is no need for anything larger than 16GB on this device, as Google isnt making money off content that isnt coming from the Play Store (read: whatever you have downloaded). This device is capable of quite a lot more but it is designed to highlight the Play Store and Google's Cloud Platform. This is also going to hopefully help with the barren wasteland that is the Play Market tablet app selection, as the low price will bring in a mountain of users which will in turn make developers get their butts in gear and make tablet apps, which will again in turn make other tablet devices not suck completely (and those higher storage capacity, higher costing tablets have failed immensely sales wise) Google doesnt need unnecessary SKUs sitting in warehouses and 32GB of flash memory aint cheap. If you need more storage, look at another device but this whining over that fact is getting old really fast. For 200 bucks im not going to cry on a message board because i cant load my entire music and video library on it.
  • OK I have to reply to this. First, I am tired of your assumption that EVERYONE that watches video or listens to music is pirating that media. This is bogus and has nothing to do with the sdcard debate. I also find it hard to believe you actually use the 'cloud' services in a real-world environment of travel involving planes, trains or automobiles. It is an excellent backup service but not reliably available for everyday use. There are people that simply want quick access to their data without having to worry if they have access to the Internet. Frankly, it is when I lose access to the Internet (14 hour plane ride anyone?) that I turn to my local media the most. Personally, I think Google is making a big mistake removing support for the SDCard and USB media, but that is based on my needs which is obviously not their target market. I can simply say that on my last 2 trips to the West coast, my phone (Galaxy Note II) was out of memory and my shiny new tablet (Nexus 10 32GB) was a paperweight. For the first time in over 2 years, I had to take out the Windows computer to watch a movie on a plane. For me, this is a show stopper and I suspect there are others in the same boat. Until something changes, Android anything has seen its last dollar from me.
  • AGREE. I used to live in NYC, and I completely understand the feeling. Now imagine if a solar flare burns out all the satellites and thus internet connection is gone for an indefinite time period. Will probably have greater things to worry about at that time, but still, all the cloud storage in the world will be rendered useless. No micro-SD is a deal breaker for me, for sure.
  • FYI Internet connections are not made from satellites, unless you are stranded in the Taliban region of Pakistan. That was how Osama bin Laden got his porn while in his cave plotting our demise, for instance. Keep that image. For us, WiFi is one interface to the wired Internet (Fios, Cable, DSL, POTS.) 'Wireless' only means there is a wireless router close enough to bridge the Wireless radio to the Fios or copper connection to the fiber backbone. That wireless router can be in your house or on a cell tower. The availability of that router is the point of this discussion of the limits of the Android Cloud-connected device. The tablet is not connected to cell phone service so no cell towers, nor has it a NIC, so it needs to connect via cell phone USB or Wireless tether, or wirelessly to a router. Is there USB support? I think not. So the tablet requires a cell phone with WiFi router software or hardware, or it requires a Wireless modem in a CyberCafe, or a pirated signal, or access to your home wireless router. Basically it is a beggar with its cup out, "Will work if you get me connected." The complaint started about its lack of storage and no SD, so that at least an owner could carry Media, the WHOLE POINT of a tablet. Android fans are a lot like Mac fans. Conceited and defensive about their lack of services. Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Android and Mac users get to be the bug most often, but it is an Exclusive, Elevated, Special Role they sign up for. And just how "exclusive" is the problem pointed out in this discussion.
  • And what's the percentage of users do you think do what you do?
  • The reason Google doesn't include an SD Card is clearly because it's their philosophy that the web should be your backup storage. After all, they offer a half dozen "cloud products" that do this kind of thing. And that's fine.. it's nice that Google Play Music can learn all of my ripped CDs and let me stream them anywhere. The problem is really once of comparison and economics. Google's not magically offering more storage in their tablet than anyone else.. in fact, usually the same or less. So that blows the "all the same kind of memory" argument out the door. It costs about a dollar to add an SD Card port to a device -- every ARM SOC had the SD interface built-in, you're basically taking about the connector (made in the billions, about $0.25 or less in volume) and a couple of pull-up resistors. And keep in mind, SD Card storage is the cheapest kind you can get. It's certainly cheaper per GB than just about anyone's offering for internal memory. Also super cheap in terms of power. And you're replacing it with the most expensive possible memory: the internet. It's 100x slower, it uses 1000x more power if you're on WiFi or 10,000x more power on cellular, and while you can convince a few companies like Google to give you a little of this kind of memory for free, if you need anything more than 5-10GB, you're going to be paying more to rent that space per year than you did for that 64GB microSD card... once. And the internet can't be used as primary memory: you can't capture a photo or video directly to it, you have to store that in local memory, then upload. And of course, if you're using cellular to upload, you'll blow out your monthly limit with the first 10 minutes of HD video being uploaded. Far as USB, last I checked, just about any Android tablet could hook up a USB memory stick via an "OTG" cable.
  • Don't rely so heavily on the cloud, it is after all simply water vapor, both metaphorically and literally in this case. All your data, Don't put all your weight on that water vapor hoping it will hold you, you'll fall through. It's that false sense of security that makes us believe that clouds are like beanbag chairs in our dream sequences, and a "secure" place to store our files in world of computers, that leads to tragic consequences.
  • Why do I envision you sitting in a small, smokey room wearing all black smoking thin cigarettes and snapping as each performer finishes? ;)
  • 6000 photos? You should get a tabl.. oh wait..
  • I love this!! You could not have said this any better!! I want the control. Besides once everyone is used to cloud storage, and that is the only choice left. What is to stop all of the freebies out there, offering free storage to start charging something for their service.
    I for one, want my sd or micro sd storage choice left alone!
  • So much storage??? My Gameloft folder alone takes up 8Gb of data on my 32Gb sdcard.
    My EA folder takes up about 6Gb. Random apps use about 5GB in the data folder. HTC Watch app uses about 3Gb. I won't even go into videos, camera shots, and a little music. Does this help with why someone would need so much storage?
  • Sure, but then they would need to buy a different tablet and not expect the $200 one to fulfill their high-end needs.
  • I was browsing this the other day and I wanted to counter: How often do you play each of the games in your EA or Gameloft folders? You're toting around literally 14gigs of information for the convenience of playing games you are likely to never play while on the bus or at the train station. And HTC Watch? You're caching locally? With 4g service in most major metro areas and 3g service speeds being sufficient to play music on the go, I can't imagine a situation where caching more than a few dozen songs or a single episode of television would be necessary. Anything more than that is simply being difficult for the sake of being difficult.
  • You are overlooking the fact that this tablet is not marketed towards people like this. This is an entry-level device for people who want a tablet to check email, browse the web, watch YouTube, etc. There's no point being upset that the N7 doesn't have more storage. They aren't marketing this to people who have usage patterns like yours. Personally, my SDCard on my phone looks a lot like yours, but I know this tablet isn't for me either. The truth of it is (as hard as it is to believe) that we're not the "average" user.
  • I for one, welcome the change. Between Spotify and Google Music, I still have an almost full 16GB SD card in my EVO. Internal storage is only about halfway gone. The cloud is the future! Embrace it!
  • I'm pretty much in the same boat. I have 32GB on my Gnex and I'm only using 11GB. Taking up this space is mostly my go to music that I listen to often. I figure I can reduce my data consumption a bit by doing so. However, the vast majority of my music is on Google Music and I have Spotify as an option for all the rest. I can completely understand why 8GB or 16GB aren't enough for some people, but it seemingly will work for me.
  • i would absolutely loveee to embrace google play music. but there are a couple reasons why i would rather use the stock music app. 1)the look and widget for the stock app is much MUCH nicer than google play musics. 2) google play music uses A LOAD OF DATA, not just a little. 3) i find when using google play music it plays the same songs very oftan instead of playing all the songs before repeating songs i have heard already. but some things i do enjoy about the google play music is that u can just press forward/pause from the notification pull down. pretty handy. and the saving of storage. and the 320 kbps.
  • When I can access the cloud everywhere I go (elevators, downtown, middle of nowhere, etc.) 100% reliably at decent speeds and with no data limits, I will gladly embrace the cloud, but not a damned second sooner. Anything less is a step down from what we have in existing SD technology. To not include it without a reasonable replacement is a horrible design decision at best.
  • I'm glad someone said it! I completely agree!
  • Having everything come from the cloud in realtime is sketchy, yes, given that wifi and 3g/4g isn't really everywhere. However, the reasonable replacement is to just buy a device with enough built-in storage to handle your needs. Are you really going to churn through 16GB of media in stints between connectivity? If so, the N7 probably isn't for you.
  • I regularly carry more than 80GB of media with me everywhere I go so that I have whatever I need to fit my mood or match whatever situation I find myself in (read a book, watch a movie, listen to music - with various genres of each). I can't always plan for situations, and even if I could, spending the time replacing content on my device is much more difficult and awkward than just swapping a card whenever I feel like it. You're right, the N7 isn't for me. I'm not a fan of that size, either, but that's just me. I'm getting a different tablet, and that's cool. But I still think the cost of putting in a card slot might have been worth the investment by resulting in a more flexible device, which results in more sales. Most importantly, however, I think it's a bad precedent to assume the cloud is a reasonable replacement for sd cards just yet. When the cloud meets my above criteria, sure, but not yet.
  • Yes. But this is a wifi-only tablet. I dont know about you, but I get pretty decent wireless speeds on every network I connect to. Enough to make Google Music, or any cloud based service for that matter, reliable. If you're using a wireless network with at least 25-30 mbps down, it really does become irrelevant whether you're using the cloud or expandable storage. I will state though, that it IS bad because only 4.6GB or something of that 8GB is usable out of the box. Since when does Android and a couple Apps take up 3GB of space?
  • I agree with you on the speed of wifi, and the cloud isn't an issue when that exists. However, as you pointed out, this is a wifi only device which makes it more important to have expandable storage. Since it is a wifi only device, you don't even have an option of using it on a mobile network (albiet slowely). Also, the 7" form factor is more portable than the 10" form factor, and more likely that people will want to carry it outside of the home so you'll want more content options which requires more storage. Personally, the sd slot isn't a major consideration for me, but I do think that 8gb's is too small for a non-expandable devices. 32gb would be a good option, and that isn't available. I could probably live with 16gb's.
  • well I disagree with when you are on WIFI that the cloud isn't a problem. If you have slow Internet access from your carrier, or traffic shaping from your carrier and your Internet access is less than say a few meg down, your 20 to 150m WIFI is useless. Slowest point in your setup is where the cloud fails. When carriers can give us all high speed all the time and with reliability, then I am with you. Until then, removable storage is a must. Thanks....bc
  • You have the "cloud" available about 95% of where you go daily. For the other 5% of the time, you have about ~13GB of storage. Is that 13GB of storage not enough for that few minutes a day you don't have connection? You're writing as if the phone has no internal storage.
  • The "cloud" is not available to me 95% of my day. My workplace does not allow private devices like these to connect to wifi, nor does it allow connection to cloud sites or anything other than web pages at all with work computers. I get by by using my phone (and wireless hotspot if I want to use my tablet), but there are a lot of dead spots in the building. I am fortunate that my current desk location gets a decent 4g signal, but I'm not always at my desk. And if I get moved, I could easily lose any personal net connection whatsoever. Using my phone, I lose reliable cloud connection at some point during almost any drive. And let me tell you, losing it when you can't do anything about it because you're driving is frustrating beyond belief. As for built in storage, you're right; it's there, and it's nice to have as a backup. But being limited to it for all road trips unless I want to just accept that I'll lose connection at some point, and have to swap out media based on that I think I'll feel like listening to every so often are not acceptable solutions to a problem that wouldn't exist if they put in a $5 part (ok, gross speculation there, but you get my point). So yep, no N7 for me. Cest la vie. As I said earlier, I wan't going to buy it for other reasons anyways. But I wonder how many sales were lost due to that one snag? And I seriously hope other manufacturers don't see Google's move in their devices as the new status quo and leave sd slots out of their devices.
  • You are at work though... shouldn't need access to your media anyway.
  • Ha!
  • They put all those restrictions in effect for a reason. You're at work. You're supposed to be doing your job, not playing around with your phone and/or tablet.
  • Very well said! The article provides a nice explanation but it I believe it was the wrong design choice. ...Joe K.
  • I 100% agree. Data access is NOT everywhere as much as Cell/Cable companies want you to believe. Tiered Data plans make streaming expensive, and if you are not in the best coverage area, it can have a high lag. My drive time to and from work alone frequently exceeds 1 hour with multiple data dead zones on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile (never tried sprint, but their coverage in my area is from what I hear from friends that have sprint, they are the worst of them all).
  • Try using that "cloud" to play your music or videos when you're on a transpacific flight for 15 hours.
  • and I guarantee you never use 50gigs of that.
  • Yes, great, good. But why not make the lowest stock version of the Nexus 16gb and the higher version to 32gb. Surely they could have crammed that in there without a big increase in costs, right?
  • Not while maintaining the $200 price point. That was clearly a huge motivation for Google.
  • No reason not to offer a 32Gb $300 model. If I remember right, 32Gb WiFi is the best selling (or second best selling) iPad out there.
  • Couldn't agree more with you on that point. 8-16GB is low for a high-end phone, in my opinion, and it's a possible dealbreaker for a tablet.
  • There is no real reason to push a 32GB $300 model. This is a Nexus device - a developer's platform, first and foremost. Google knows this device doesn't need to be all things to all people - it needs to be a platform to show what can be done on a small-scale tablet.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that you have never seen a mass produced device marketed as a "developer" device. Good way to scare away people. I'm sorry but removable media is a God send for a "developer" or "crack flasher". Can only get your phone or tablet to recovery/splash/boot animation screen? Well instead of fighting with trying to ADB push one file at a time in recovery, you can pull the SD card and drag and drop. Next best thing to removable media is MORE space. So Im not infringing on my user space while loading up ROM Zips. I understand google's reasoning but my Xoom seems to handle it fine.
  • Well the 16GB model already surpassed the $200 price point.
  • Not just because of the lower entry point but because of the nice price increment it can demand for the extra 16 GB storage space. That's much larger than the price difference between a 16 and 32 GB microSD card we could buy ourselves. So I think this was a marketing decision, not an engineering one.
  • My thought exactly. I'm fine with that line of reasoning, but at least offer me the option of buying a 32GB or 64GB model.
  • You have to remember cost and space requirements. NAND memory is still not "cheap", even if the chip prices have come down a bit in recent years. And the cost goes up exponentially as the chip capacity gets higher. Either way, this tablet is intended to have WiFi access, so they figure you won't *need* a bunch of internal storage, because you'll be mostly streaming content. I'm guessing that was the though process behind deciding to go with the smaller amount of storage: need vs cost. They were specifically looking to make this thing affordable.
  • There are 2 reasons it's unavilable in a 32 nor 64 model. First there isn't enough room to put another eMMC DRAM chip on the motherboard. See the iFixit teardown for more: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-7-Teardown/9623/3 Also the Kingston chip that is installed does not come in a single chip 64gb eMMC DRAM module. See Kingston's site for more: http://www.kingston.com/us/flash/emmc
  • So why not allow or force the SD card to mount to the PC via the FUSE system?
  • Too bad Dev's are now programming with the idea you have a huge MicroSD card. I believe the SD data on Asphalt 6 is like 1.25GB, SFIV HD is like 1.5GB, etc. So if you are actually playing HD games on your Nexus 7, that 8GB is going to be used up pretty quickly.
  • And Nova 3 needs TWO gigabytes of free space. 8GB just doesn't cut it unless you stream everything.
  • You guys aren't looking at what this table was designed for, though: media consumption. Much more so than playing games. This table won't be for everyone. I'm sure Google knows that. But, if you're looking for a low-cost tablet that will let you watch movies, listen to music, play angry birds and maybe an occasional game of sudoku, read books & magazines and browse the web while lounging on the back patio, this is the *perfect* tablet for you. If, however, you're looking for something a little more hardcore, then you're going to have to pay for one of the "larger" tablets. It's just like you wouldn't walk into the computer department at Best Buy and expect the $300 laptop to be able to do everything the $1200 laptop can do. Not everyone needed a tablet with all that horsepower, and they weren't willing to pay extra for it. Those are the consumers Google is targeting with this tablet. For some people, this is the device they've been waiting for.
  • You must have missed the part of the Nexus 7 unavailing at I/O were they talked up how awesome it was for HD gaming. Now I personally know it's really designed for media consumption, but Google is the one who brought it up, lol.
  • I don't know why some people don't get it that it would be just such a small, very small step for google to make the tablet for "everyone" by including a Micro SD slot.
  • that's true but the nexus cost 200$. you don't expect to play skyrim on a cheap PC! At least you can play NOVA3 even if it's a pain.
  • The partitioned storage crap is the #1 reason I hated my EVO. The Nexus I don't have to worry about it, it all just goes on their and is simple. You'll have plenty of people who will complain and brag about even a 64GB card is to small for them and nexus won't work for them because of it. I may not be quite as important as to need all that space with me 24/7 but I just don't see it.
  • When Gingerbread borked my OG EVO, causing me to spend four months coping with the limited space AND its insistence that 41MB free was "full," I ended the pain by buying at full price a GS2E4GT. Never regretted it.
  • Just don't understand the need for SD cards. No signal, data limits, want to hold 1000 HD movies, just seem like excuses for wanting one. Glad to see them go....
  • Yep, you don't want one, so everyone who does is just making excuses. Good point.
  • Wait, you forgot to put #sarcasm, or /s. That would have made your post complete.
  • Funny, I was going to say the same thing about your original post.
  • 8GB would hold 1 HD movie at a lower bitrate only
  • OK. I'm gonna preface this with "I'm a tech junkie, too, but..." just because you're not going to like this next part: Why do you have a FULL HD movie on your CELL PHONE?! I promise you can use the 300-400 meg version and it will look *almost* just as good on a 4" screen. And, then you could fit like 20 to 25 of them on there. As for this tablet, the storage isn't intended to be used to store "content" like that. It's for apps and what-not. This tablet is targeting people who wanted a cheaper solution for streaming a movie lounging in bed or on the back patio or something like that. Not for people that want to store full HD movies on their device :)
  • Perhaps he is using the DLNA to display on his high def TV? Bill Gates said we wouldn't need more than 64kb of RAM too. Just because it doesn't make sense for you today doesn't mean it should be gimped.
  • FWIW, the supposed quote was 640k, but Bill Gates didn't actually say that. But of course your main point is correct that people will want to play back HD content on large screens. Most of the simpering cloud-only idiots could never understand something so complex, unfortunately.
  • Because we are in the year 2012, soon 2013, and we are technically able to do this since years, but google now starts to go backwards with technology. This is just stupid. Why do you write "cell phone" to strengthen your argument? In reality, objectively seen, this is a device with an HD screen where you can watch HD movies on it. Just like any normal TV out there.
    And i don't want to have to convert my files just because google travels to the past with storage technology.
  • I used to be a big proponent of SD card storage, but I haven't really missed it since getting a GNex. With my photos in Picasa and my music uploaded to Google Music, not to mention Google Drive, I really only need local storage for apps or cache for media. It's also a really bad time if an SD card corrupts on you. They've always been twitchy for me. I'm sort of glad not to depend on one any more.
  • I honestly wouldn't mind then if they didn't have such small storage limits on their tablets and smartphones then. 16GB is 13GB usable. And flash memory is cheap, with 64GB of storage only costing $70 or so. Why did the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus never get a 32GB or 64GB version? That's what makes me disappointed!
  • OK. First, you're basing that cost on the price of an SD card, which is not *quite* what gets used inside a device like this (not usually) because it's much slower if they do it that way. The NAND memory in a device like this is usually a chip paired directly to the mainboard of the unit. But besides all that, $70 worth of storage is almost half the price of the whole tablet. Google isn't marketing this to people who need that kind of storage. If they put out a 64gB version, it would probably jump the price up to $350-$400, and that is outside the price-range of their (Google's) target consumer market.
  • The latter part, I was talking about the Galaxy Nexus, not the Nexus 7, which does have a 32GB version but only for the LTE version. Perplexing!
  • For some reason I thought I read "secret evil cannibal in Mountainview."
  • The problem is, the removal of SD card space isn't being compensated for by larger internal space. Even when it is, the cost of a 32GB microSD card is usually have the price or less compared to the cost of a 16 or 32GB upgrade in internal space.
  • I'm all for larger built in storage. But i think they should offer an expansion slot for a microSD for media ONLY. It should be able to store music, movies, and documents and that's about it. No apps or other software related files. I just don't understand how they expect us to store our music and a few movies in good quality for our HD screens without having a 32+GB card. And don't tell me that's what the cloud is for. I only get 2GB of data a month, so that's not going to work.
  • The Nexus7 is wifi only.
  • Point taken. But even still that means the device is even more limited meaning you can't have your library of movies on your flight or car ride and it'll be a constant issue of swapping them around.
  • True, but away from home and a free hotspot, I will be using my 4gLTE phone as the hotspot for the Nexus7 wifi only. So data limits are now important. So is lack of removable storage.
  • yes but my phone will always be there when I'm holding the N7 and the two will be tethered so I welcome the wifi only model as I don't want to spend money on parts I don't need.
  • That is what the cloud is for so sorry to burst your bubble. Studies have shown that the vast majority (80%) of people use their tablet at home primarily. The local storage exists for magazines, apps, music cache, and THEN for content when you aren't under a wifi umbrella. You have to make concession simple as that. I can put seasons 1-6 of Dexter on my phone in QHD and only eat 12 gigs of data (72 continuous hours of content...), with great picture clarity and sound. How much shit do you need to put on your device for when you go out? I dont need 3 days worth of straight video content on my device unless i was going away for a very VERY long time. With a 16GB device you can easily put both seasons of Game of Thrones in decent res, have room for apps and music. If you are trying to flood the device with 720p rips not optimized for mobile you'd get maybe 5-6 episodes if that.
  • We are in 2012 where samsung started to produce 128GB Chips for smartphones, I hate it that google timetravels back to the past with their storage capacity. I really don't get it how people want storage not to evolve anymore. Too small storage is bad but more storage than you need is NOT. Its not a physical storage, so your phone won't grow bigger the more files you save. Its a sign of technology evolution.
  • At $199, cost had to be a consideration also. Google did a much better job than Amazon when it came to chopping features to get the cost down, they were able to keep Bluetooth, front camera, accelerometer and even add NFC. But the sdcard and rear camera died on the chopping block. Still a very functional device IMHO. Jay
  • I would not care that much except putting out a tablet that forever will only work with 8GB and charging $50 extra to boost it an extra 8GB is ridiculous. Added to that is Google still does not have any great solution for HD videos other than renting. Added again is the fact that this is a wifi only device. This will be a great coffee table tablet but other than that, I would not buy it.
  • Let google still put in 8GB of internal storage. That should still not prevent me from wanting to mount an SD card. Once of the benefits of Android is it is many things to different people. I was going to buy the Nexus 7 (love the killer specs!) but I would never buy a device without a micro SD slot.
  • The 32GB on my GNex is just fine for me, so I don't really care that it doesn't have an SD card. I am a lot harder on my Prime in terms of storage, though, so a tablet with 1/4 - 1/2 the storage of my phone is worrisome.
  • good article and explanation about the filesytem and mounting issues... but "We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data." maybe he meant external, but am i crazy in thinking removing the ability to expand storage capacity only furthers the issue of not enough capacity??? apps can be moved and installed onto the sd card. also, sd cards can be formatted to ext like any other block device... cloud is not a viable storage solution for routinely used multimedia until carriers and ISP's get off this bandwidth gouging kick. cloud or otherwise, i'm not a fan of swapping out files between my central storage point and my day to day device every time i want switch up my playlists.
  • I think they were talking about earlier android phone versions where the internal storage was partitioned to a small app partition and a large media partition, ignoring external cards altogether.
  • The real conspiracy is that the "cloud" concept forces you to be dependant on an internet connection.
  • All of my previous Android phones that had a microSD slot required a battery pull in order to access the slot. What a pain. The biggest problem I've had with the Galaxy Nexus' storage is file transfer to my computer. I use an PC program that automatically double-checks that a file wasn't corrupted while it was being copied or transferred. That app doesn't work when I transfer from the Galaxy Nexus. For individual files I could individually check MD5s on the phone, then do the same on the PC, but that would take too long and be a hassle. I'd like to be able to drag and drop the phone's entire "sd" contents to the PC for backup and have the PC auto-test the files' integrity.
  • Ah, but it simplified things by not having to constantly monitor the sd slot for a insert event and then mount the filesystem. By requiring you to shut down and pull the battery they only had to worry about checking the slot once at boot-up and either it was there or not.
  • I truly don't understand why anyone would put all of their music on their phone. It really makes no sense. Your phone is constantly receiving texts, emails, phone calls and many other notifications that will interrupt your music listening experience. Plus, most phones don't even have good audio chips. If you want all of your music on one device buy an MP3 player or (god forbid) an older iPod Classic with the amazing Wolfson audio chip. These will store all of your music and then you can use your phone as a separate device for gaming, pictures, and phone things.
  • ummm.. you can disable the sounds on notifications, phone calls, etc. or ignore them all together so that they don't interrupt your listening if you don't want it to be. if you have a second device and headphones, you're not gonna hear that stuff anyway, so nothing lost there.. having a second device is just one more device to carry and manage, defeating the purpose of a smart phone. i guess we should just stick to a a two-way pager for text messaging, a phone for making calls, an mp3 player for listening to music and a gps unit for navigation, so none can interrupt the other. and unless you walk around with studio quality headphones, it's unlikely that the difference in audio chips will make a human-noticeable difference in rendering mp3 quality audio.
  • Yes. So I should just accept the inferior quality of my S II's audio chip (which I can easily hear without studio quality headphones) vs my iPod and not "carry around" two devices that will easily both fit in one pocket.
  • _removed_
  • Ha guaranteed you can't tell the difference biggest load of bs isheep crap I've ever heard stick with your locked down apple products and like what they tell you to like d-bag.
  • Not sure what phone you're using, but I'm using a SMART phone lol. I use my phone for calls, texts, emails, music, gps, camera, video recorder, internet, games, and even research papers. And using PowerAmp music player, my phone has audio quality on par with my friend's "older iPod Classic with the amazing Wolfson audio chip" lol
  • I'm not saying that someone shouldn't have any music on their phone. I'm just saying that it makes no sense to have ALL of your huge music library on your phone, which people seem to want to do. If you want to store all of your music on a device, get something with a large storage capacity with a good audio chip. Some phones do have good audio chips (Galaxy S and S III), but when you can purchase an 80gb iPod for less than you can a 64gb micro SD, why wouldn't you?
  • What kind of complete moron would want to carry around multiple devices in their pockets when an SD card slot would make that completely unnecessary? You can't possibly be serious. Maybe when you grow up you'll understand. The fools who don't want other people to have SD cards on their phones are astoundingly obtuse. They actually believe that people should spend time every day swapping out music on their phone rather than having enough space to have it all there so you can decide at ANY time what you want to listen to. The fools who insist everyone should rely on online storage are just hard to take seriously. There are so many good arguments against relying on "the cloud", with no good counter-arguments. I guess this is just another symptom of the idiocy spawned by our dumbed-down public schools. Idiocracy is nigh.
  • I assumed it was more to appease developer worries about "SD-ware" (did I just create the most awkward neologism ever? I think I might have!) piracy.
  • I understand and appreciate the motivations for not including a Micro SD slot from a technical perspective. However, the approach does create issues. And the biggest one is that the manufacturers seem to be making an assumption that users will always have either a high speed WiFi hotspot or wireless internet access that is inexpensive and/or not metered available. When they do not have one of the above the utility of the device takes a big hit unless sufficient storage is provided for users to "pack" everything they need for use when not in ready web access. Now I have to admit that my jaw drops a bit when I hear of users saying they have 16 or 32GB cards filled with mostly music and that it all is needed. At the usual ratio of 1.5MB/minute or 6.75MB for the typical 4.5 minute song that works out to a mind boggling 2,370 songs. Now movies makes more sense as a typical 2 hour movie clocks in at about 4GB. All this said, couldn't Google do a "halfway house" approach? Such an approach provides a slot but not a way to put anything on the slot without going through Android? Then the card can be formatted to ext as there is no outside compatibility scenario.
  • Mind boggling 2370 songs? That is garbage I have over 17000 songs and want to be able to access all of them. Without depending on data connection or carrying my stupid stooge made 160gb iPod classic! Why carry that when my smart phone should be able to handle all my tech needs! I love music and sure I don't listen to all 17000 songs everyday but it's mine and I want it available without carrying multiple devices! I hate Apple moving devices and can't stand the fact that in still dependent on them to have my media library with me at all times.
  • Actually, having all of your storage on ext4 doesn't necessarily provide better security. To maintain backwards compatibility, Google uses FUSE to effectively disable permission checking for /sdcard even though it's on ext4.
  • thank you. as the quote says, it's just better this way, without any reason.
  • thanks a lot§ Too bad you're unique ! Plenty of website would make good use of your wisdom^^.
  • I can understand why some say cloud is the way to go but in some country's we don't have unlimited Data plans. In South Africa cloud storage won't work that we'll data is expensive so I want to keep my music and photos on my phone or tab. Google just think of the big guys not the Lil 1 at the bottom
  • Its unfortunate that there's so little storage on the device then. I will be buying the 16GB GS3 and pairing it with a 32GB SD card instead of getting the 32GB version of the phone simply because it gives me more storage for a cheaper price.
  • I wouldn't give a damn about the lack of an SD card slot if it wasn't for Google demanding an extra $50 for 8gb more storage space. That's an Apple move, not something I expect Google to pull. I used to criticize Apple for the exact same crap, now what?
  • Jerry come on dude. Yes the "no SD route" is ok but saying "here is a big block of storage" instead is a flat out travesty and untrue. 8GB and 16GB is a joke and you know it. Hardly a "big block". I would say in general we shouldn't care about where we get our storage, just as long as its ample. Its not and this is why we even have to now talk about all this.
  • Please show me where I said anything of the sort. I'm simply trying to point out that all the crazy conspiracy theories I'm reading, that Google doesn't include an external storage option because they want to lock you into Google cloud services, is pretty much a crock. If I were to voice my opinion (which i did in the review) it would be that "if you need more than 8 or 16 GB of storage, this is not the tablet for you". I'll recommend the TF300 -- which is a hell of a device for the price.
  • "Google still supports removable storage in Android, but it is leading by example and providing phones (and now a tablet) with one big block of storage..." Is that inaccurate? Did you mean, leading by example by including a small block of storage? BTW, come on dude. No one cares about conspiracy. We only care about them gimping the device for no good. It just seems like you are defending a GLARING flaw which seems to have been intentional.
  • I was merely using the words of Dan Morrill, who writes this shit. I'll take his word on the matter over an army of butthurt Internet warriors every single time. I never condoned their reasoning. You make it into whatever you want to make it into, but that's all on you. People were saying a lot of bullshit about WHY Google doesn't use external storage. Most of it was wrong, and it seems only natural to go to the source -- where the answer had previously been given. Don't like it? Then don't buy one. Attacking me for showing you something you don't like is counter-productive. I didn't do it.      
  • I wasn't attacking you. You quoted someone without the quotes AND it was an asinine statement as you pointed out. Don't be upset at me for being confused that those were your words. You are clearly a harbinger of all that is Android and I thought you were throwing out your principals there and so I cried foul. And lets be honest, Dan is wrong here concerning the 7 and we all know it. Of all the wonderful things they have done right, I certainly wouldn't defend this one. Sorry for confusing your wisdom with Dan Morril's. He is of course right here...he just clearly isn't talking about the Nexus 7
  • "butthurt Internet warriors" +1 on the awesome band name...
  • Out of curiosity. Mostly our phones have large amounts of storage so could we not pair the phone to the tablet and access its storage? Sort of peer to peer?
  • It's great in theory to have cloud storage, especially if you have a great wifi signal. My dad has a Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 16GB of storage and wants to put movies on it to watch for when he deploys to Afghanistan for a year. He has room for about 6 movies with apps and music. Yeah he could "stream" movies off Netflix or DropBox, except for the fact that the internet is so slow over there it's not even practical. If he however had an SD slot I could load up movies on cards and just change out the cards when he wanted to watch something different.
  • If I could hook up an external hard drive or USB dongle *just in case* I need the space (like I can on my S3), I wouldn't mind the lack of an SD card slot so much.
  • I don't mind so much the lack of sd card but if you are going to eliminate the sd card then put some usable int storage. 8GB is crap. 16GB is crap. The minimum is 32GB. To add int storage is very cheap and to not put it in IMO runs a otherwise great phone. Like the new HTC 1x from AT&T, they ruined that phone 16GB if storage kept so many potential buyers away from it. The Samsung Google Nexus GSM version is a great phone but no int storage ruined it for many customers, the 32GB Verizon model IMO is the phone to buy even though many say it is not a real Nexus that is total bull shit IMO. You can always flash the update if you need it a little quicker. I will take the int storage and LTE any day. I do not agree with no sd card no matter how they try to shove it down your throat. I will always take a phone with the sd card and removal battery unless they make up for it with plenty of int storage.
  • You forgot to say in your opinion. 8GB is plenty for me. 4GB is too low and 16+ is unneeded for me.
  • Annnnnnd how much would the N7 cost if it had 32GB if internal storage?? And would that price be in line with Google's objective to compete with the Kindle Fire??
  • At least they could have included support for USB host mode so we could plug in an external drive. I don't think you can do that using the native software. Perhaps a hack can be done to get it on there. 8 and 16 really is pretty sad though, I bet it would be an extra 10 bucks of cost to get 32.
  • I was just about to say the same thing. I wish they would have allowed for usb storage.
  • Then give me 8 gigs of storage for apps and expandable storage for everything else. That seems like a shoddy excuse.
  • I have the Galaxy Nexus, and I don't really miss the SD card on my phone. But I have to have one on a tablet. Relying on streaming and cloud storage is fine when you're at home. But if you travel a lot with your tablet, it is just easier to have your stuff already loaded on some SD cards. And as others have said, 8/16GB just isn't enough to warrant removing the SD slot. I would only ever consider losing the SD slot for a tablet that had 64GB.
  • And yet the SGS3 works perfectly fine with a mountable SD card and internal SD card with MTP...
  • Thanks for the explanation,Jerry, but let Google know if they continue to TELL me what I want and not GIVE me what I ask for, I will use a platform that DOES. To echo comments above, I will NOT own another device without a SD slot. My First Gen Galaxy Tab 10.1 is hamstrung with only 8gb storage with no expansion, my wife likes to watch episodes of Top Gear while we travel, just how many of those will fit in 8GB? About 10, IF we are lucky.
    We both have Galaxy Notes and we both have 32GB SD cards in them, and they are both FULL, hers with video, mine with music. And I could use 64GB, actually, I have over 100 GB of music. If I wanted a maker to tell me what to do, I'd have a house full of iDevices.
  • Very attractive tablet but neither 8gb or 16gb is enough in my experience. I sold my "other" non sd card slot 16gb tablet and replaced it with a 64gb model. Life is good now :-)
  • With all due respect to the nerds(engineers) at Google, they should get out more often. Wi-Fi is not everywhere when you're outside of Northern Califoania. I'll give you an example. Google is in California, USA, Nexus 7's manufacturer is in Taiwan, China.
    Ask one of the Asus employees to fly from Taiwan, China to California, USA. Where do you get
    Wi-Fi access during the 13-hour nonstop flight across the Pacific? No access to the cloud on the
    Nexus 7. Within the US, there are still thousands of miles of Interstate system not covered by cell phone signals.
    (upstate NY and parts of Indiana, Illinois, and Oregon come to mind) Google's argument is the same one use by Apple, Inc for not having memory card slots on iPod/iPhone.
    Is it my imagination or does Google resemble Apple now?
  • The 8 or 16 gig is to store stuff in when you are out and away from wifi my friend. But the the idea is for those guys hanging around starbuck drinking coffee and reading an ebook or magazine or srteaming tv/movies.
  • Both 8 and 16 GB of storage space is not a lot and certainly not enough. The standards for today should be at least 32 and 64 GB as standard options for a flagship device, especially if it has no way to expand the storage with a microSD card. Google should be ashamed to include no memory card slot (which is super cheap to include) and only offer a choice of a paltry 8GB or 16GB on their flagship Android devices and for ignoring the complaints of thousands of people that want the option to expand their storage. Having so little storage space on an expensive flagship smartphone or tablet is counterproductive and lowers it alongside entry level devices from other manufacturers, so my money won't be spent on a Nexus device unless Google comes to its senses. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note with 16GB onboard and up to 64GB storage on a microSD card and I decided to buy it over the Galaxy Nexus simply because no memory card slot is a deal breaker. C'mon Google listen to your faithful Android users!
  • I'm sorry, I just don't understand the explanation in this article. The thesis is that there is a reason to not include the SD card. There is then an explanation of how Android cleaned up the partitions to simplify the system (and a welcome change that is). However, there is never any connection between the change and the premise that an SD card somehow interferes. The removable storage can be mounted anywhere in or out of the current partition scheme (Linux is cool like that), and media access can be performed in any manner they wish. I understand the Windows Phone restricting usage because they are relying on the crummy "secure" part of SD that no one uses. I can understand the explanation of reducing support costs because of weird interactions with certain controllers and certain cards (or even wanting to avoid the flood of cheap knock-off cards that don't work properly). But I think the real reason is that Android has really crappy support for SD cards, and no real direction as to how system designers should set them up. The media scanner half works but usually not as intended. The card removal logic had (and I think still has) a serious bug introduced that corrupts the media database. And I believe that applications using an external SD card are not generally ready to handle removal of in-use cards.
  • I should have added that I think all of the problems with external SD cards would be addressed extremely quickly if the developer devices (i.e., the Nexus line) actually exhibited these problems. I assumed with the Nexus S that the lack of an SD card was to force developers to use the new storage APIs that Google introduced. At this point, though, it's just getting ridiculous.
  • hate to sound like an idiot but don't most people have limited amounts of data on their plans? How much data does one consume by streaming their music from google play or amazon's cloud player? And forget about watching a movie on netflix! If data is unlimited then I can see there being no need for an sd card but with the average user having anywhere from 2-5 GB of data monthly an sd card is almost a necessity. am I missing something here fellas?
  • Android Central - come for the Android, stay for the Jerry. The file system bit I had not considered. Then I think they need to start with at least 16GB not 8. I understand they are trying to keep the costs down, but don't tell me that 8GB of flash memory is worth $50. Was it made in the USA? (smacks of Apple's RAM upgrade pricing)
  • All I have to say is no external storage, no deal. I have a hard time with even 32GB of additional SD storage, so no extra storage is indeed a deal breaker for me, which is why I bought an android phone and tablet with SD slot and got rid of my iPhone.
  • Google wants to become Apple Part II. (I was going to say Apple II, but there was a computer actually named Apple II.) They want to force everybody into your Play walled garden in the cloud. If it was about giving users the flexibility to use all the space for whatever the user wants, they would've gone with 32 GB and 64 GB options. But noooo... they had to include the least amount of space possible so you are constrained in your data storage and have to leave those 8 GB's for storing apps. Sorry Jerry, but I'm not buying it.
  • I don't really care much either way. The 4Gb the kindle fire has is a little low though. I am not sure I really believe this though because manufacturers can still partition off whatever they want can't they? I have a feeling Google isn't making any money on the 8GB model and is using the 16GB model to sort of break even on sales.
  • You all do realize one of the first Nexus 7 "hacks" will be adding USBOTG support for flash drives and external HD's.
  • Eh, it's a $200 tablet. I think most of you guys are pissed because the device isn't what you wanted. I get that. I also get that Google had a particular idea in mind when they created the concept of the Nexus 7. Perhaps their concept and your particular needs don't jive? Also keep in mind that this is the FIRST Google tablet. They wanted to get something into the hands of the masses, so they had to make it as good as possible for as cheap as possible. I also suspect one of the major reasons this device was created was so that DEVELOPERS would start to create tablet specific software/applications. As it currently stands, there aren't a hell of a lot of Android tablet apps. There isn't really a developer device. Yeah, yeah, the Xoom....but I don't think that really fit the bill. This device, I suspect, will see similar Dev support that the Gnex enjoys. I mean, seriously, it's almost insane the amount of stuff that's available for the Gnex. I think that is a major aim of this device. Give the Devs a device they can creat apps for.....a NEXUS device.....much like the phones. Watch, two months from now, there'll be more stuff for this thing coming out of the Devs than you can shake a stick at. I suspect in the near future, you'll see increased storage on these things, as well as a larger sized Nexus tablet for those who prefer that form factor. This was just the placeholder. Get it out and into people's hands, and go forward from there. Keep your mind open. Don't get so down on stuff because it isn't exactly what you wanted. That's the great thing about Android. If this particular device doesn't fit your needs, find one that does. Try that with Apple and tell me how it works out for you.
  • The Motorola Xoom was the first Google tablet.
  • Having unlimited mobile data on my contract 16gb isn't an issue for me! I stream Rdio and Google Music as well as use Tunein and 8track etc so it's only apps and a few movies that reside locally for me. Another 8gb would be nice but 16gb is enough to keep me happy.
  • "with one big block of storage" So under 6 GBs of space is considered a "big block" now? :P Also, I know that Google breaks even on the $199 tablet, I can't complain I suppose.
  • If you want to argue that we don't need SD cards then they need to stop being cheap and put at least 32GB internal storage. A major problem is this:
    16GB Micro SD = $8
    32GB Micro SD = $20 Typical 16 GB Phone = $200
    Same Typical 32 GB Phone = $300 So basically we're getting robbed blind with no choice...and the above scenario is if you're lucky enough to have options. Most of the time you get 8GB or 16GB with not even the option to pay $100 for extra storage.
  • I wish when wiping the device they would ask if you want to erase the sdcard partition. Its a pain when using the stock recovery to have to reload my sdcard after a wipe by connecting to my PC. If anything wipe the android and the data folders on the sdcard but leave the download and 3rd party folders alone.
  • I wish when wiping the device they would ask if you want to erase the sdcard partition. Its a pain when using the stock recovery to have to reload my sdcard after a wipe by connecting to my PC. If anything wipe the android and the data folders on the sdcard but leave the download and 3rd party folders alone.
  • You know, as I read more of the comments here and take all of this into consideration I can't help but start to think "This Nexus tablet wasn't designed for us." It was designed for my Mom and my Wife. Lite users that would normally buy a kindle or nook or some other content linked device and then consume data regularly. These users make money for Google and live in a space that isn't dominated by Apple. This Nexus is not for us in any regard. There is very little, if anything, cool about it beside the price and latest Android version. If they made a table for us, it would have all the sick stuff that the Transformers try to cram in there. It doesn't and it wasn't designed with us in mind. Lets at least call a spade a spade, that's what I have liked about the android environment. We don't rationalize our devices so they are the best and only. We aren't drones, we are smart and informed. Pretty soon Avril Levine is going to make a comeback album about Phil and Jerry and call it Droid-Boi.
  • When you want to beat Apple... you don't make the same excuses that they do. You do something different that most consumers want... like expandable storage. I waited for this and still bought a Galaxy tab 2 this week. Because of the external storage.
  • Speaking of the nexus 7. http://www.pcworld.com/article/258983/google_nexus_7_tablet_on_sale_stap... Staples is gonna start shipping on thursday?! Ok Google, I pre-ordered mine on announcement day, so when the hell is mine coming? It better be BEFORE staples starts getting them to doorsteps or i'll be PISSED.
  • How about an array of 10 sd card slots in there and link 640 gigs worth of cards to one mount. that would be a decent start, but really I could use 5 TB.
  • if you dont like it ...dont buy it! you bought the phone you liked because you liked it. and you didnt buy the phone that you didnt like... use the same logic. its not for you, get over it. oh btw, some people are complaining about it eating into their data program.... its a wifi tablet... jeez i'm a noob at this stuff but even i know that. if you dont then you dont need to be complaining about a tablet you dont want anyway.
  • I don't think people are going on about not liking the tablet necessarily but more so just greatly disagreeing with Jerry here on the obvious gimping of the device for no good reason.
  • I believe this is inaccurate. The article has the correct reason for why there is not separate *internal* storage for apps and user data (the user data portion is sometimes called the *internal* SD card) anymore but that has nothing to do with an external SD card that you would buy and plug into the device yourself. The Dan Morrill quote in the article even says that he's talking about *internal* storage.
  • Honestly, I think sometimes its just about having a bigger number of something.
    Just a year and a half ago people would say if xyz device doesn't have 32gigs of storage its a deal breaker. Then when 64gigs are available widely its "if its not 64gigs its a deal breaker". I think some (not all) wants to fill up their storage JUST to prove the point that they need it and have a way to justify it to you. Great you have 40 gigs of music on it. 80% of the songs you probably heard just once and never again and every time it pops up you skip it because you hate it. But you're never throwing anything away that you downloaded. When we only had 16-32gigs at our disposal you never hear people chiming in that the storage was a HUGE problem. But suddenly when 64gigs are available 32gigs IS a deal breaker? come on now. Time to stop being a digital hoarder and clean up all the crap on your drives and cards.
  • Making the leap from my first two smartphones (BlackBerry Tour and EVO 4G) both with SD cards was a transition full of worries of adequate storage space. Today I have few(er) worries. My Galaxy Nexus has 32GB on-board which is backed up with a combination of Google Drive and Dropbox accounts totaling 210GB of additional external storage, if I don't count the one-year bonus of 50GB on Dropbox courtesy of Samsung. Even my Galaxy TAB 2 with its 16GB of storage is adequate with just an additional 16GB card (from the EVO 4G). I'll probably eventually pop in a 32GB card to bring the device's local storage to 48GB, if only because Sprint's data coverage is slow and spotty at times so as to make accessing cloud content a painstaking challenge. Once data speeds improve (and I hope they do), my reliance on local SD card-based storage will likely become a thing of the past.
  • SO no more old fashioned attaching android phones as USB removeable storage?. Because the Samsung way of doing it is just too slow. With old-factory USB removeable storage I can really hammer over files to my phone etc. But the second it gets locked into MTF it really slows down and it takes forever to move stuff to and from my phone :/
  • Geez folks...do the same thing I do for my 16GB iPad and my 8GB Kindle Fire...get a 16GB Kingston Wi-Drive for $50 on amazon. App space is still an issue but you just doubled or tripled your music and movie storage on road trips. And if that's not enough go with the 500GB Seagate GoFlex satellite. Both does wifi passthrough now so it's not nearly the same annoyance from even 6 months ago.
  • "We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data. This approach lets us merge everything on one volume, which is way better." I'm sorry but this is a non answer to why the Nexus devices do not have an EXTERNAL sd card.
    Android INSTERNAL storage is structured as a system area, and an "sd card". In some cheap devices, the "sd card" used to be a real sdcard, but it is now generally virtual.
    THIS is what Google are talking about when they say they want to unify storage, no longer having the internal storage divided into system and app partitions, and a virtual sd card.
    It does not at all explain why the devices do not have an external sd slot. In fact a better model to follow might be for tablets to include just a couple of GB of internal storage, for the exclusive use of the bootloader, recovery, kernel, and essential system code.
    All apps, user data and media would then be stored on external sd card.
    This would make the base tablet cheaper (perhaps vendors would include a derisorily small sd card as a starter), and also more flexible for users, who could choose how much storage they need, and increase it as neccessary.
    it's roughly the model cameras vendors use.
  • Indeed, with all user data, settings, apps, and media stored on external media, this would provide a very simple way to make tablets multi-user with perfect privacy between users, or to seperate home and office profiles etc.
    Just pop in your personal sdcard and the tablet has all you apps, settings, and media right there.
  • deffinately agree it nice to see google doing this but always people will want to have the ability to addextra space on their devices I gotta save for a nexus 7 looks so good man thanks for the write up
  • God, what a dumb post. One block of storage ... ie, 8 or 16 gb ... is a block of a joke. It's not enough, at all. It makes the device severely flawed.
  • well lets be honest here, its a WIFI media consumption device, its meant to be used for personal and home entertainment where a wifi connection will likely be readily available, you will have plenty of room to put a few videos or a bunch of music to tide you over during travel, but for the most part it is designed to be used around the house or in any other WIFI location where device storage is not necessary. On my gnex I was skeptical that 16gb would be enough, but now I realize that through googles various streaming services and the availability of wifi and data connections i have little need for mass storage on my device, currently I use less than 1gb of my roughly 13gb of available storage, and very rarely run into an issue where my music or content cannot be accessed. The next step for google obviously looks to be cloud based apps, apps are growing to sizes no one would have expected a year or 2 ago, an option needs to be available for people to load an app while they're using it but allow it to go away (for the most part) when it's not in use, requiring minimal device storage for an app. Sure requiring a data connection to access content may cause a poor experience if data/wifi is not available, but moving forward it will be a wise choice, the world is rapidly becoming more connected and in time we will see internet availability so widespread that device storage will be of little importance when shopping for your next phone or tab, in the meantime though google still offers you the choice to house content on your device, or albeit a bit ugly, on an external usb drive
  • Love google but need SD card
  • It would be ok if GN wouldn't have in GSM version 16GB of memory but 32-64gb and Nexus 7 wouldn't be limited for maximum of 16gb. I got that it would't be that cheap but it's HW is pretty good so why don't make at least 32GB version for about $300. GN wasn't cheap phone so why it's sticked with 16GB in GSM version.. I don't need SD but give these devices some more memory or at least allow USB cards by default
  • This is great news about the sharing of the internal memory, but that still doesn't mean that that's all there should be. I am glad about the new model, but it still doesn't offer enough storage. If you don't live in a major metropolitan city or you live on the fringe of the cell network, or even worse, have low (read under 5m) Internet download speeds due to carriers, you need more storage. Further, the cloud does go down and then you don't have access to music, TV shows or videos. It's fine to provide this nice memory model, but also provide an SD or micro SD card slot or access to USB for those who simply can not yet take full advantage of the cloud or want to be ensured, that even if the cloud is down, the device is still capable. How much does it cost to simply put in a micro SD slot, and even better, have it accessible from the outside as on the Motorola RAZR so you don't have to futz around with taking the back cover off. And on a tablet, I think there is sufficient space to put a micro SD slot. One external micro SD slot or even better, micro SDXC slot and the Nexus 7 would have been a machine I would have purchased....bc
  • And bullshit is bullshit even when it comes from Google
  • Is storage the only problem people have with the Nexus 7? If so I think I'll be getting one. 16GB is plenty for me and I have no problem using cloud and streaming services.
  • That is absolutely my only problem with it, which is why I will still most likely get one. Everything else looks great, and I usually have an active internet connection (rooted using tethering, if need be), so I can get to my files. I would still prefer an SD card slot, but I don't think it will be the deal-breaker that I initially thought it would be.
  • I get why Google re-imagined the storage scheme to allow the system and apps to use the whole block of internal storage. Apart from the storage crunch, moving apps to the sd card like I used to do on my original droid made them load and perform (if there were read/writes after loading)sluggishly. Google is trying very hard to eliminate the perception of lag or choppiness, and getting rid of an external sd card on the Nexus will help in that area. The Nexus is not supposed to be a "swiss army knife" tablet able to be the do-all device for every user. It definitely has a target user profile. While I understand if people are disappointed that they don't fit that profile, it's ridiculous to bitch and moan because Google didn't cater to you personally. Would I prefer to have the option of external storage? Hell yes! Do I feel cheated, betrayed, and personally insulted by it not being there? Ummm...no.
  • It's already been discussed in other places, but lack of storage for those who absolutely need to carry their entire media collection can be achieved thanks to Android USB support. Simply plug an external drive and there you go... I think this solution is perfect because it provides an easy enough way to get fast access to vast amounts of data without having to fill local storage with (regardless of what they say) stuff that is only seldomly accessed, specially considering the impact that would have on the device itself and its performance. Yes, it's not as elegant as having it all in one small package, but then again, it doesn't take much to set up a reasonable music library (1-2 GB of stuff one is currently listening) and a movie or two (how long can a bus/train ride be?) and then leave the rest on the external storage should it be absolutely necessary. Such a solution, combined with Cloud storage/Services should suit most users... Those who feel otherwise should perhaps look at a different kind of device.
  • I agree completely...The problem being that this isn't enabled on the Nexus 7 as of yet.
  • Um Google should stick to what's working for android and stop changing things up so much. If they want to change things up, how about making calls easier to separate and end different calls with out having both ppl stay on the screen while you Hung up with one. It should just go back to the other person picture instead of staying with 2 ppl on there. That annoys the pants off of me and the iPhone had that since day one. I like the one screen buttons but the SD card is the main reason i love my EVO so much. I'll rather have 32 gig SD that 32 gig internal anyday. Now I have to pass on the nexus 7 tablet because it isn't the android tablet I've been waiting for. It's like the crap pad that apple makes. Maybe HTC should make a nexus tablet or just a real nice tablet instead of asus. I don't like Samsung, there build quality sucks. Motorola and HTC r the best Android makes period
  • No SD card = Don't buy. That's as simple and easy as it gets...
  • I couldn't care less about storing tons of "stuff" on my phone. What I want an SD card slot for on a tablet is for viewing my GoPro videos. It doesn't do me any good to have a device to capture great video, and not be able to view it on my tablet. Yes... GoPro has come out with at WiFi backpak that seems like it would work, as you get remote control and viewing of data via an (yet to be available) Android app. If you give me an SD card slot, I'll use VLC player and watch my video, please and thank you.
  • Incomplete answer. Yes, ext2/ext3/ext4 versus FAT is part of the issue (a] licensing the FAT access from Microsoft, b] code base reduction). 1] Major cell service providers are pushing for disposal of phones, and are now making phones with batteries that are not replaceable (thanks to Apple for this useless trend). This tidbit is from my meeting the eastern regional sales manager of Motorola Mobility, just weeks after Google bought MM. Cell providers do NOT want to have to support cellphones from 2006. You WILL dispose of your phone when the battery fails to hold a charge, since the battery cannot be replaced on newer phones. 2] Storage capacity (for a given dollar purchase price) doubles every xx months (feel free to do the research, it is out there). 3] By saving the cost of the SD card support hardware, the phone now costs less to manufacture. Sure, it is only 35 cents less, but consumers do not pocket that amount as savings, that amount is profit. 4] Consumers do not readily grasp the need (nor the methods) to flush data buffers. We often simply eject the MicroSD card, without powering off the phone. That is definitely one reason why the SD card moved from externally (user) accessible to under a cover - so we'd be forced by mechanics to shut down the phone before removing the card. Not properly flushing data buffers is a 2 fold issue. A], consumers 'want it' to be the way Microsoft taught them to have it: just remove the CD/DVD/thumb drive/floppy disk when the light stops blinking... B] Buffered data writes improves performance by delaying writes until a predicted moment when the phone should be less busy. So, buffering will be used as per nominal Linux/Unix paradigms (not the Microsoft paradigm), and consumers will make SD card data errors be part of their life; "Please reconcile the differences, we want it now", we will continue to say. So, clearly, the phone hardware designers have elected to force the card to stay put. Now add up the concepts that built in storage will eventually be filled ("The average cell phone consumer in our exhaustive 'industry wide' study of Dave Sigglerstads cellphone habits shows that all consumers will need XX.X gigabytes at the end of their 2 year plan, so the next cellphone could have that much be built in, and when he gets to the end of his contract, the relacement phone will have 2 times as much storage... already built in".). Cellphone makers market themselves as heroes this way (add marketing spin here).
    I] no more consumer storage ineptitudes (they cannot remove it, cannot interrupt delayed writes, cannot accidentally lose it),
    II] gain another reason to force replacing the phone in 2 years time (battery failing -AND- storage is filled are pushing the replacement issues). I'd propose that the solution was NOT solely a ext2/ext3/ext4 versus FAT issue. All the topics I raised are contributing to a common corporate goal of controlling (aka: 'maintaining') revenue streams. I'm sure some could pick apart portions of my post, and that is only because nothing is 100% perfectly historical of all situationss, but surely, my points are absolutely not totally out of the picture.
  • I've read all the comments on this thread and found your comment in particular to be the most informative regarding the Ext vs FAT licensing issue mentioned in the article. Why are smartphones and tablets being manufactured without removable storage options like MicroSD? Stupidity rather than conspiracy is my conclusion... My first thought was, why not just format the MicroSD as Ext? Apparently, mass storage on these devices is not allowed because the unified partition is formatted as ext4, which Windows won't recognize without a driver. In this case there is the issue where Windows will incorrectly see the drive as unformatted and offer to format it for you. Oops, there goes Billy Bob's pr0n collection... I hope this industry trend of removing an external storage (MicroSD) option from tablets/smartphones stops. Surely there can be other fool proof ways of preventing improper dismounting of removable storage. Not everyone wants to wear shorts without pockets! ;) P.S.
    Why is there no comment rating or date sorting system on this webpage?
  • Let me google this problem for you: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=micro+usb+to+usb+otg+cable+samsung+galaxy
  • I accepted the route Google have taken when I purchased my Galaxy Nexus and personally have not had a problem with my storage and media management. I accept Google's decision with the Nexus 7, true there could have been more storage on board, I get that, but the deal maker for me was the size, high density screen, CPU & GPU and above all the Price Point. I personally have moved away from carrying around as much media as I could syndrome, as I found I never really needed too, not as much as I first thought I would. Now I would tend to move towards using something like the Seagate GoFlex satellite if I needed to carry HD films etc, but that is what I choose to do and is not ideal for others. I would hope that Google will eventually bring out more devices with more storage and I could imagine a 10" device and possibly 3G/4G devices at a later date, in both 7" and 10" varieties. For the Nexus 7 I would have liked to have seen the storage options being 16 & 32 Gb but I do accept, to meet the target price, this wasn't possible and I applaud Google for their efforts as I had no intention of joining the tablet market until a device of this nature was available Now where is that Nexus 7 I ordered?
  • For those who would like to see a sd card slot in future nexus devices... http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/add-sd-card-slots-to-future-nexus-dev...
  • This controversy is eternal. Every hardware manufacturer would like to not allow expansion for various reasons: cost of licensing the standards, ease of support, etc. Apple’s choices on this front is exactly why I’m switching from Apple IOS devices to Android devices. Because I can’t get the machine I want and remain with Apple. And I'm perfectly willing to switch away from any manufacturer who does not meet my needs. I recently purchased the ASUS Transformer Infinity, and expandable memory was one of the big reasons I chose this device over the iPad, along with the choice of hardware keyboard. The only thing I wanted, but didn’t get with the Infinity was a replaceable battery, but the extra battery in the keyboard helped me make that decision. I’ve purchased two SDXC cards at 128GB each, and carry a large chunk of my media library along with me. No need to pay the telephone company’s sky-high data rates to stream something that I already own. My phone contract is nearing the end, and my next phone will not be the iPhone 5, it will be something that runs Jellybean, and has memory expansion, and some means of extending battery life.
  • For the a device like the Nexus 7, the main advantage would be an external SD card to be used by photographers. This is a key advantage that the Asus Transformer has over the iPad. You can easily get your afternoons shots into a large device to review or show customers. Any other scheme is slow and/or tedious. Note that this usage is different than Androids typical use of the user space. This is purely temporary storage and is meant to come and go live. For a tablet, I wouldn't necessarily expect a removable battery, but for a phone, it is absolutely essential. Looking at the design of the GS3, there is no longer an argument that making the battery permanent is necessary for size.
  • I don't mind the lack of an SD card so much as long as USB OTG is supported in some manner or other. I don't want to depend on "The Cloud (tm)" for storage.
  • I understand the security and accuracy benefits, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't get on board with the way MTP works. I just plain hate how my Nexus 7 shows up when I connect to the PC and the limited way that I can directly interact with it via PC. I'm doing the USB OTG thing but its inelegant at best. Having been with my Nexus 7 for several ,months now, I really have to say, it simply made no sense whatsoever to limit such a capable device to 8 GB of available storage. Google should buy this back when the 32GB model becomes available. PERIOD.
  • Not sure wtf some of these manufacturers are thinking, but I travel to a lot of areas of the world where there aren't any Wi-Fi or network service available. I still want to be able to use my tablet or device stand alone when I do. If i want to have pics of my family, a good chunk of my music, stand-alone apps, and movies to take with me, 8 gigs isn't going to cut it. Also, I have yet to see any company's, or government organization's information security teams plan for and / or respond or set themselves up to be 100% hack-proof (which will never be possible in my eyes). I think Sony can attest this, along with a very long list of other's that have gotten their asses handed to them...no way in hell am I ever going to trust anything entirely to the cloud. If I can't have these simple options on it, then I won't be spending my money on it.
  • All i read is excuses! why not talk about the many many benefits? biased a little? I just changed from iPhone to Galaxy S3 and one major factor was the SD card. I just love that i can change the card and fill them with movies on travels. Same with photos and other stuff that can be saved on SD. SD card is also extremely cheap nowdays so 64gig is awesome. Also if my phone breaks i can always have my data and photos and other things safe on SD.
    Any way i will only buy Samsung myself cause they always have SD card. I say thanks but no thank to the lame excuses from them!!!
  • mtp is a pain to use. I wanted to transfer my Listen app and podcast downloads to my backup phone when we were camping using titanium backup, astro file manager, and a windows laptop to mount the Gnex mtp. Piece of cake right? Wrong! It was a royal pain! I could never get mtp to see the real file system. After erasing my titanium backups and making a new backup of the Listen app to get the data on my listening progress, mtp just kept showing the previous deleted contents of the titaniumbackup directory. I ended up having to use my wife's phone as a hotspot and then copy the files from one phone to the other with airdroid using the laptop as a go between. At four am in the middle of nowhere, having had a little too much nicotine and not tolerating my wine, and having just dealt with a flat camper tire, I was none too pleased that a simple file transfer took a whole stinking hour using root tools on 3 androids, and the disgrace of having to use a Windows Computer, that went dead in the middle of the whole process necessitating my having to drag my UPS out of the camper closet! BTW, did I mention that as a grown man I would like to have my universal usb capabilities back?
  • I really doubt that Google cares but I'd never consider a device w/o removable storage (or a removable battery.) As always, YMMV
  • "We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data. This approach lets us merge everything on one volume, which is way better." Just because a handful of users are retarded babies doesn't mean you should treat everyone like that. I'm a big boy, give me back my SD card slot in a phone that isn't loaded to the brim with bloat from the factory.
    SD card slot were actually the reason number one I picked the Android ecosystem over Apple's iOS, put that into perspective.
  • Most phones aren't loaded with boat anymore, unless you count all the helpful features that OEMs build into their overlays as bloat...
  • Technical limitations are usually short-term, it just requires smarter minds to fix it. If it's such a problem, just have 8 GB internal for apps, but include the inexpensive OPTION to have sdcard mounted for only media (which takes up most of people's space anyway). As a software engineer, I see all too common these practices, where the engineers justify their laziness in all sorts of "creative" ways.
  • This is not the first time I read this explaination. While I undertand the move, then minimum internal size should be 16Gb - or even 32Gb. 8Gb is a joke in such configuration IMO. Also the device should then NATIVELY support at least OSB OTG to enjoy content from external drives, which is not the case (if I'm not mistaking). Without those, I could not go Nexus. The N7 with 32Gb would be enough though ... nice move on that one...
  • I just read this whole thing in Jerry's voice. :-D
  • was this whole thing created so the rants would flow as for googles team and the big boys to sit back n read? without people here in this community,ac being the biggest i know of,they really wouldnt know what to do next . will it be the bigger we get the more theyll listen? or the bigger they get the more theyll care less?
  • "We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data. This approach lets us merge everything on one volume, which is way better." ...and the answer to this comes as a ridiculous 8GB (or 16GB) internal storage (no SD card) in Google's newest Nexus? OK, there might be no cloud storage conspiracy, but the flagrant contradiction between the above statement and the actual solution puzzles even the most ignorant, non technical, uninformed, child minded user. As for the serious, informed fans, give us a break and come up with a better excuse. This one doesn't fly. Would I buy the latest Nexus or the 7' tablet? Hack, no!! Even an Apple fanatic would be annoyed by an 8GB offering in their latest fruity phone - use that as a reference, everyone seems to be doing it anyway.
  • so now they just limit the storage so those things fill it up faster and people are forced to delete things? Makes perfect sense. Not to mention how hard is it for people when saving things to have a prompt that says save to sd card? Google is starting to sound like apple with the reasons they do things and why everyone should just follow in line.
  • It seems SD cards slots are as touchy a subject as politics.
  • Thanks, great article. There are so many conspiracy theorists out there. Most of the time there are solid technical/usability reasons for stuff like this.
  • I find it amazing that someone writing for a online tech newsletter thinks 16B is "one big block of storage" in 2012. No SD Slot = No Purchase!
  • in short: no SD card is major reason i will not buy otherwise brilliant NEXUS device. While all this arguments make sense THE MAJOR POINT is 16GB is too few for heavy user or even a common user who likes to load videos on their devices.
    And I THINK THAT ANOTHER OF REAL REASON is that Google can push more expensive devices with larger storage, which costs fraction of the price premium to produce. As for online storage - people keep using that argument but it will be viable in 2-3 years when we get back to fast unlimited data plans, in US that might work on acceptable (but only acceptable level) in Europe where I live online storage makes absolutely no sense with current data plans costs. I personally still use iPod and I have over 60GB of music and podcasts and i actually like to keep it this way - on most new mobile devices that's impossible (KUDOS to Windows Phone for adapting SD cards when everyone drops that and BTW an interesting implementation of SD cards on WP devices dealing with above issues by merging the cards into system files)
  • duplicate comment
  • duplicate comment
  • "Woo hoo, took some amazing photos on my backpacking trip. Now that we've stopped hiking and can look at some pictures by the campfire, just check this out guys... let me pop out the micro-SD card in it's full-sized SD adapter from my camera, and then quickly slap it into my nifty new Nexus 10 with it's gorgeous screen, no fuss, no waiting, no cloud! Oh wait, hmm, where's the micro-SD slot on this thing? It doesn't have one? What!? Why did I pay $400 for this??" Just one scenario where an SD slot would be useful. Transatlantic flight with your blu-ray collection ripped onto one 32GB SD card? Yep, that would be useful too. One card for movies, another for music, another for work all neatly kept in a little SD card pouch? Sounds like a winner! An SD slot would have cost next to nothing to add, and it really sucks that it's not even an upgrade option. I'll probably be purchasing another tablet for this very reason.
  • Fine written article. I once fell into that group of users who believed it was some sort of conspiracy as well. Glad that I've read this.
  • Wait... you guys believe Google's explanation? The technical problems they cited could be worked around. The real reason they ditched the SD slot is almost certainly because it allows them to entice consumers to consider the product at its entry level price, then get them to dish out a lot of extra $$$ at checkout in order to have a reasonable amount of storage. Remember, Google and Samsung are corporations. They like profit.
  • http://www.zdnet.com/google-charges-50-for-7-50-worth-of-storage-in-the-... Best answer yet.
  • And your a tech junkie? Go to bed old man the kids are talking.
  • Well I use a 64gb Galaxy S3 with a 64gb class 10 micro-sd card. It's pretty boss to have almost every app in the play store on my phone. People ask me, "can you do that" and i'm all like "sure can!". The things I can do from my phone are mind numbingly cool and the only reason that is possible is due to the vast amount of storage! Bit-torrent on the phone sure is cool, saves so much electricity with overnight downloads. Then i just pop the micro-sd into my pc and copy downloaded .iso files over. My phone takes a photo whenever the screen is turned on, then syncs these photos to dropbox when phone is on wifi and charging. When I got to my friends houses I copy all their music/movies/games to my phone. So tell me, how would someone like me use a phone with no micro-sd? I wouldn't. And to the people who think the space is not a necessity, that is because your mind is small and unimaginative. I bet you are the sort of people with more push-notifications than apps. You are the death of computing, because you do not understand the power of your own data storage. The cloud is convenient, but not as useful as your own local data, and never will be. Cloud = your data. If you have no data, you are not contributing to the cloud, you are just a leech. Also you save the environment as 100,000 computers don't need to organise streaming your data across the world you bunch of n00bs.
  • To me, what is missing is a new partition type - "External SD". What I'm looking for is a use case that I've not seen mentioned but is huge to many people. I want an externally available Full sized SD slot - just for media files. The main use case is for photography. I want to be able to take pictures on my DSLR, remove the SD card, slip it in my Nexus 7 (or whatever), browse through the new images on a big screen - check for things that need repeating or adjusting, then pull the card and take some more images. I don't want to reboot, I don't want to be able to add apps to it. It is purely for temporary (to the devices perspective) storage. This model would also lend itself to downloading movies to the SD card from a computer - without tying up my device - so that I can view it on a plane or in a car. With some sand or with some tar. -- oops started channeling Dr Seuss there - sorry. It seems like a perfectly reasonable use case that doesn't warrant a holy war.
  • The whole reason for having a sd slot is for storage because we all don't want Apple like products where we are nickel and dimed to death and spend a small fortune when we quickly run out of storage and saying that it slows the device down is just bullcrap. we all don't have free wifi everywhere like somepeople do so we need the extra storage because it is a lot cheaper than buying a larger capacity device that's why Samsung and other android products that come with sd slots sell so well, what will you do next follow apple and Kindle products and says nobody uses wma files or that Obamacare is good for the nation?
  • Could ther be an inadvertent or side reason perhaps. I'm thinking maybe lead the way by putting more devices out there with loads of built in storage, eventually (hopefully sooner than later) we'll see more devices with standard 128 gigs of storage built in. (and beyond) At the same time other manufacturers will still include micro SD along side this bacause they will still see it as a demanded and viable feature. If I just spewed out a theory that's already been said I'm sorry, but I finally bothered investigating this. Btw: personally felt the nexus devices were more gearde towards business and students even. You know the worker bees (as well as die hard android enthusiasts, still I feel this in particular is rediculous no matter who it's target audience may be)
  • I know im mad late but i needed to voice this. i find it hard to believe that a person has h