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Galaxy Nexus Roundup: Only 16GB Showing from Google, No Flash Support, Vodafone Still Testing, and No USB Mass Storage

Since it’s a Saturday and there are a ton of Galaxy Nexus stories floating about, we thought one massive post would be a better option than forcing you to click around between a half dozen stories. Chatter over the last 12 hours or so has involved the lack of Flash support at this time, an updated spec list showing just a 16GB model in the states, a lack of USB mass storage, and Vodafone (Verizon’s Euro partner) refusing to sell the G-Nex while they finish up testing. Lots of stuff, so let’s jump through it. 

Up first is this adjustment to Google’s landing page for the Galaxy Nexus showing that the device will only have 16GB of internal storage. On Thursday, this same site listed both 32GB and 16GB options, so this change is a little confusing. We know that folks with the device in hand already have 32GB versions (LTE as well), leaving us even more confused. Could they possibly cut out the 32GB option? I would certainly hope not. Since the phone has internal storage only, and no chance to add additional space through a micro SD card, this would be a huge disappointment. And let’s not forget about the $299 price tag we have seen time and time again. Both the RAZR and Rezound come with 32GB of total storage, are expandable to 48GB, and priced at $299 – we better see the 32GB version of this phone or there are going to be a lot of unhappy Android addicts.

Update: As one of our readers pointed out in the comments, Verizon’s own training documents show that the phone will launch with 32GB. Try not to freak out yet, folks.

Reports from a variety of places have pointed out the fact that the Galaxy Nexus does not come loaded with Flash 11, nor can it be found in the market as a supported app. Adobe announced last week that they were stopping development on mobile Flash, so the idea that Ice Cream Sandwich is not currently supported, sort of makes sense. The good news is that Google fully expects there to be a working version in the near future and had this to say to SlashGear:

“Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS.” – Google

So try not to stress over something like Flash at this point. And I wouldn’t doubt it if you could simply pull Flash from a currently supported device, sideload it on the G-Nex and get it to work as it does on every other phone.

According to Pocket-Lint, Vodafone has refused to sell the Galaxy Nexus in Europe while they finish up testing on it, similarly to what Verizon is rumored to be doing. This may seem irrelevant to those here in the states, but it should be noted that Vodafone is Verizon’s Euro partner.

“We’re continuing to test the GALAXY Nexus software to ensure our customers get the best possible experience of the device. We’ll provide concrete details on availability once the testing process has been successfully completed.”

After reading that, I think it’s clear that Big Red’s partner in the wireless game is as anal picky thorough as they are when it comes to testing. To be fair though, Verizon has always stressed that they want their customers to have the best mobile experience possible, so extra testing measures aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If testing takes an extra couple of weeks, I’m fine with that as long as the experience is almost flawless.

And the last part of this mega-G-Nex post has to do with the lack of USB mass storage on the device. Shocked to hear that? You aren’t the only one. To explain his team’s move, Android engineer Dan Morrill took to reddit to discuss:

ICS supports USB Mass Storage (UMS). The Galaxy Nexus does not. This is the same scenario as Honeycomb, as for instance HC supports USB Mass Storage while Xoom does not.

If a given device has a removable SD card it will support USB Mass Storage. If it has only built-in storage (like Xoom and Galaxy Nexus) it will (usually) support only MTP and PTP.

It isn’t physically possible to support UMS on devices that don’t have a dedicated partition for storage (like a removable SD card, or a separate partition like Nexus S.) This is because UMS is a block-level protocol that gives the host PC direct access to the physical blocks on the storage, so that Android cannot have it mounted at the same time.

With the unified storage model we introduced in Honeycomb, we share your full 32GB (or 16GB or whatever) between app data and media data. That is, no more staring sadly at your 5GB free on Nexus S when your internal app data partition has filled up — it’s all one big happy volume.

However the cost is that Android can no longer ever yield up the storage for the host PC to molest directly over USB. Instead we use MTP. On Windows (which the majority of users use), it has built-in MTP support in Explorer that makes it look exactly like a disk. On Linux and Mac it’s sadly not as easy, but I have confidence that we’ll see some work to make this better.

On the whole it’s a much better experience on the phone.

And he didn’t stop there. If you cruise over to this reddit thread and search for user morrildl, you can find a variety of responses to questions from other reddit users. He talks file systems, SD cards, why some phones leave out external storage slots altogether, and more. Great reads.

Cheers Chris, Chris, Michael, Richard and so many others!

  • the site now says 32gig version 

  • Alex T

    I think they are holding back cuz of bugs. Or else why won’t they release the HSPA+ version here in the states?

    • Anonymous

      because Verizon is supposed to be getting an exclusive deal.. so no HSPA+ for a while in the US

  • One thing about Mass Storage…you can now save your music to google’s cloud using Google Music.  This should free up a lot of room on people’s phones, and 32GB may be more than you would need ATM.

    • Jmj3783

      Yeah But if you have a 2GB or even 4GB plan, how much of that will you use streaming music from the “cloud” ?

      • Despends if you are on Wifi or not.  Plus, I have an unlimited plan..so it doesn’t matter.

  • Nsbjj

    I am loving my new RAZR.  I only wish I didn’t wait so long.  Good luck to all of you still waiting on the Nexus.

    • Anonymous

      care to share with us what is so great about the Razr? (and I am seriously interested). The more time passes.. the more the Galaxy nexus is losing it’s appeal.. I might consider the Razr/Rezound instead.

      • I am loving my RAZR as well! What is great? Well I have it and am using it. It is very light and thin so I do not notice in my pocket. I am still use to the thick bulky phone I had before. It has Flash support which I am now reading the Nexus won’t have out of the gate. On the 4G network everything so fast. I showed it off to a co-worker and he remarked that he has seen personal home computers go slower loading up web pages and streaming video. Everything I have thrown at it concerning apps and video playback has just worked. I have yet to get any of the lockups the article last week was referring to. To me it seems like a small tablet computer with phone.

  • Twitter: AlwaysAndroid

    Personally, as long as it doesn’t give me AIDS or cause terrorism, I am still getting this phone. All my music is on GoogleMusic anyways, so I don’t have to worry about space and I rarely have my phone in my pocket so being a little bigger isn’t an issue. You guys can have fun waiting for Verizon’s next pure Google phone, oh wait…

  • Mass Storage kinda seems like a big thing.  I was fine with no memory cards because I have a Tbolt with a free 32 gb memory card and plenty of space.  No mass storage means I can’t easily put videos and other things onto my phone in the most familiar manor.

  • Anonymous


  • Ahsan

    Holy shit 709 comments? Most I’ve ever seen here.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldnt buy this nexus for $100 seriously spec for spec it doesn’t beat anything out, unless you want the near tablet sized screen pressed to your head. So its a Nexus, and has the first release of ICS. Well any of us remember the bugs in the first release of any other android version? I’m seriously remembering Froyo specifically. Any of us serious about our phones are going to root and load a ROM on any device we are purchasing. Vanilla Android doesn’t offer nearly as much benefit as Cyanogen anyways. Just my .02 but alot of you guys have been looking at this thing with tunnel vision since the first breath of information regarding it. Not realizing that 1.2ghz dual core is more than sufficient but not the best of whats available, 16gig is acceptable for most especially with a cloud for music 😉 but definitely not something that screams benchmark. No expandable memory is just pathetic, the cost of an empty SD card slot to a manufacturer has to be near that of a pack of gum. 4.65″ is the biggest, but definitely not something for everyone and seriously 5mp? my D2 has a 5mp. This phone should be avoided like the plague since the release of it is the only thing keeping recent and near future device releases from running ICS out of the box. We need to show google that this type of behavior is not acceptable. I speak to this from fact that right now the D4 in development slated to be released this month will be released with GB only because they cannot release ICS before the “flagship” device.

    • Dominick DeVito

      Do you feel better? I hope you do, because that was the biggest load of garbage I’ve read in a long time.

      1. 1.2GHz OMAP 4460 is a great chip
      2. 5MP camera, yes. But has improved sensors + ICS = the best Android camera ever.
      3. 4.65″ is big but the phone is the same size as most 4.3″ – mot point
      4. D4 is being released with 2.3.5 because of Motorola andor Verizon, not Google. If Motorola could keep their pants on and wait a few more weeks then they can release it with ICS. But they don’t care, they want as many phones out as possible. 

      Motorola, Quantity > Quality

      • Kierra

        Do you feel better?

      • Anonymous

        i’m just curious, which phone are you buying, nexus or razr?

  • Avanrysseghem13

    I personally don’t think the phone is big compared to the screen size. People need to think about before complaining. It may be bigger then other phones (barely) but the screen is also bigger. I’ve been looking forward to this phone for for 3+ months. I have considered the razr because I love motos build quality and the rezound for the high res but I want the 4.65″! I do a lot of online research/surfing on my phone so bigger is better for me. I also like to watch videos. This is where I get disappointed. If it only has 16g of storage you can only fit 1 HD movie. It would defeat half of the purpose of my reason for wanting that large screen. I would have to wait for another 4.65″ phone to come out and that pisses me off.

    • Avanrysseghem13

      I am seriously frustrated with Google or samsung or Verizon if they put out this or any top tier android phone with a 16g Max storage capacity. I really hope Google updates their page to say 32g soon or they’re going to lose many would-be nexus purchasers including me. I am now going to start looking into the next phone that will be released with a 4.65″ screen. Thanks for making me hate you Google/Samsung/Verizon or whoever is responsible for this

  • trumpet444

    I completely agree with the Sd card standard. Just because the eyephone comes w/out external storage doesnt mean we want ours w/out an sd slot. As far as 5mp cams? I don’t mind as long as the sensors get better. A 12mp cam may end up just taking a billboard sized piece of crap. I would go for quality over size, to some degree of course. I’m fine with 5-8mp as long as the quality is comparable to standalone 5-8mp cameras

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you on the camera. Larger mp doesn’t attribute to good pictures. These camera phones need better lenses though to make them the quality of standalones. I also think the size of the lenses on cameras in phones is too small compared to say a canon elph, and that is also part of the problem.

  • trumpet444

    Wow. Lots of dirty trolls in here. One of them calls themselves an “angel”

  • Anonymous

    Almost 700 comments. Droid Life has hot to be pulling in a huge amount if advertising dollars on this. Good job DL on directing people to your site. You should give marketing seminars.

  • hatethanet

    Even Apple guys (the reasonable, non-fanboy ones that is) know the Galaxy Nexus is the real deal: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/11/19/galaxy_nexus_web_benchmarks_outpace_iphone_4s_as_woz_picks_up_early_copy.html

    • Dominick DeVito

      That’s because the 4s disappointed them and now see some real competition.