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Matias Duarte Talks Tablet UI in Jelly Bean, Lack of SD Card Slots in Nexus Devices

Yesterday afternoon, Matias Duarte – the UX master of Android – took to Google+ to field your questions on all things Nexus and Jelly Bean. A number of people responded, prompting Duarte to answer two questions thus far. He tackled the idea of the new tablet UI in Jelly Bean, plus the lack of SD card slots in Nexus devices. 

I’ve copied and pasted his entire responses, as to not diminish or miss any point that he was trying to get across. The first one has to do with the tablet UI that has confused some after seeing the Nexus 10. As you know, it looks like a stretched out version of the phone and Nexus 7 UI, something that was done on purpose.

Why did you make the system buttons and status bar consistent across all devices in Jelly Bean?

Consistency and usability are really important to us, and that’s something we strive to improve in every new version of Android. With Honeycomb we first introduced the idea of a completely onscreen navigation UI which gave us unprecedented flexibility in how that UI adapts and transforms – both when you turn the device in your hands and when the software changes and has different control needs. Now in Jelly Bean we’ve made the universal software navigation buttons and system bar consistent across all screen sizes.

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

Phones are almost always used in portrait mode, flip sideways occasionally, and never go upside down. As screen sizes get larger though, any which way goes. Imagine the frustration you’d feel if every time you picked up a tablet off the table ‘the wrong way up’ you found yourself reaching for a home button that wasn’t where you expect it to be? That irritation adds up and over time like a tiny grain of sand in your shoe and undermines the rest of your experience.

The Jelly Bean system bar always keeps the same 3 buttons where you expect them. This happens dynamically for every screen size, up until you get to small handheld screens where stacking the bars in landscape mode would leave too little vertical space.

The second thing we discovered was that there are almost as many different ways of holding our devices as there are people. In fact people love to use their Nexus so much that they use them for such long periods of time that having a single ‘correct grip’ is actually counter productive and increases hand strain. The Jelly Bean navigation buttons work equally well for left handers and right handers, one handed use, or two handed use, and for devices you’re carrying, resting on your knee, or putting on the table.

Last but not least, by unifying the design we are now able to put Notifications and Quick Settings right where you’d expect them, and only one swipe away.

The second question he answered had to do with SD card slots. As you know from previous Android team talks, Nexus phones haven’t had SD card slots in some time. While there are technical reasons for doing so, Matias puts reasoning squarely on user experience. If you add in an SD card slot, you potentially make it confusing.

Why don’t Nexus devices have SD cards?

Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.

If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.

We take a different approach. Your Nexus has a fixed amount of space and your apps just seamlessly use it for you without you ever having to worry about files or volumes or any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing.

With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for users.

And there you have it. There is a chance that he continues to answer questions, so feel free to check out the Google+ thread we have linked to below.

In the mean time, I would love to hear your thoughts on these two subjects.

Via:  +Matias Duarte

Cheers Kane!

  • Dave Acklam

    If you are worried about ‘confusing users’ drop the !@%#!#% ball on your OEMs & their nasty front-end shells…

    Sense, Touchwiz, and Motoblur are far more ‘confusing’ to users, than the concept of an SD slot….

    Hell, Microsoft got this right back in 1996, when they made Packard Bell & Compaq quit ‘skinning’ the Windows UI…

  • my phone goes upside down when i’m in the car playing music. because of the location of the headphone jack and length of my cord. just sayin…

  • dmd3

    Wow..I can’t believe it. The lack of an SD card slot is why I haven’t purchased an iPad. I’ve been waiting for a high resolution tablet with an SD card slot and thought the Nexus 10 would be it. NOT! Yes, this is sounding like Apple and that’s VERY DISAPPOINTING. It would be nice to see competition in the marketplace.

    What is confusing about an SD card? An SD card slot is a simple, cheap and versatile method of adding storage and makes it extremely simple to move large files. It’s the obvious solution to the iOS shortcomings. SD memory is down to nearly $0.50/ GB (and getting lower all the time). Yet, Nexus is charging $6.25/ GB for more capacity…and you’re locked into that for life. Ridiculous!

    So, how do I get my large files into the Nexus device? Currently I just pop the SD card out of my camera and stick it into my netbook or desktop….no wires to deal with!!! what a great concept. I can move a 4 GB movie or any large file in an instant from computer (or camera) to computer without tying up any internal memory….how simple and convenient! How is the Nexus better?

    Guess I’ll just stick with my 4 yr old netbook ….it’s far ore versatile!

  • aaaa

    It’d be hilarious if Google reduced the size offerings to 2 gigs for the next Nexus device, and argued that Cloud is so much superior and that extra storage makes it too confusing for the average user

  • Cooke

    That is such an Applesque answer for why there is no SD Card.

    Android has always been about choices, and if a SD card is so confused for the average user then why not just include a SD slot while having it deactivated by default and blocking the ability for Apps to install on there.

    Users who want to use a micro SD card can then go into the menu and activate, so that they can use it as external storage the way so many people use external hardrive and flash drives on their laptop and desktop computers.

    But, of course, the whole simple answer is basically…well we want users to pay more for storage.

  • Milind

    What a load of crock on the SD Card! I don’t see a whole lot of people hollering about how complicated it is to have additional storage. If I wanted a locked down simplistic user interface I’d have bought an iPhone. I want the flexibility to add storage for offline use. If they priced the 16GB/32GB/64GB models with the *current* prices of SD cards, then I’d go with it. When you charge $50 for 8GB and $100 for 16GB, it’s called gouging and it’s the reason I want an SD Card.

  • Nick Bohl

    My biggest question at this point is simply, “when can I get the menu button (or overflow) to appear on the opposite side for left-handed users”. On a 4.3″ device I wouldn’t really mind, but as screens get bigger and (and as I MUST have everyone of these large devices) none of them can offer a one-handed experience for me because the distance from left-thumb to top-right is too great. I think this could be done very elegantly and wouldn’t require a terrible amount of work to be done for it. To me, this seems as important a feature as being able to switch between multiple accounts on a device.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    It’s what is happening with Apple and MS too, make stuff for the average user, though these two companies restrict too much for that. Google isn’t as restrictive, but even they aren’t thinking about the intelligent crowd by doing things like no SD card slot, or making MTP the default option (which certainly has its advantages, I’ll admit). Just make things as simple as they can be for the “average user”, which are in the majority and forget about the intelligent user.
    But at least Android gives us the ability to hack it to oblivion.

  • CedrickwithnoK

    Damn, I thought this was a video. There’s something magical about hearing Matias speak about UI design elements

  • do people not realize that the nexus 4 isnt announced for the US carriers(and probably never will)….

    the gnex was announced the same way, 16gb only, no sd card, no lte, hspa+ only

    why is this such a surprise?
    if the nexus 4 gets released for US carriers, than the nexus 4 WILL have LTE, and possibly more memory(32gb) because thats what the US market looks for

    the US market is completely different from the rest of the world and in the US, we are willing to pay more for cell phone service so we can get a phone at a discounted price(which ends up being the most costly over 2 years ironically) instead of buying the phone out right and paying for cheap service

    tbh if my employer wasnt paying my phone bill with verizon, i would be on tmobile’s walmart plan with a brand new nexus 4

    tldr: people in the USA are stupid(really stupid) and its cause of this stupidity, our markets are over saturated with expensive things that shouldnt be that expensive to begin with(like cell phone service), and this is coming from an american citizen who is a realist and not trapped in the reality distortion field marketing companies place on most americans(like verizon)

  • skinja

    “This phone is geared toward Senior Citizens and has to be less confusing, just like an iPhone”

  • skinja

    So now we are all mouth breathing iphone users that cannot understand the file system on our phones?

    Jesus, just add an SD slot and make that be the only place for file storage.

    Thanks to DL, I now have a 64GB sd card in my phone.

  • Jwhap

    Though I hate that Google did not include LTE on this phone…..I think that most of us gnex users are still on contract for another year. I can see how holding off on this for other carriers (gsm) makes some sense. I would have upgraded myself with LTE.

  • sport

    I can see the reasoning for no sd card slot but I don’t agree with it. I bought a 16gb Razr and just recently upgraded the card I had in it froma 32gb to double that, 64gb. Now had I bought a Nexus, I’d be screwed. I like the sd card.

  • Dor Juravski

    As much as I like to buy this phone, no decent storage + extension –> no buy. It’s very simple and if users are confused they don’t need to use the sd card. Most of us want the option to choose

  • The only problem I have with the UI on the Nexus 10 is there seems to be a lot of wasted space on the navigation bar. It certainly makes sense for the Nexus 7 and Phones, but I certainly preferred the way it was on Honeycomb thru Jelly Bean 4.1 in comparison.

  • skinja

    SD cards make file mgmt so much easier. Not harder.

    Just get rid of the internal file storage. And only have SD cards.

  • MentatYP

    Google starting to act like Apple: “We know what’s best for you. We’ll restrict choice if we think it improves the user experience.” That’s not a good sign.

    • Justin Swanson

      I don’t think so, I think the SD restriction is to simplify for general users, not power users. I think power users would love a choice, because it’s android and we’ve grown accustom to that choice. Apple and Google both realize that for general users SD cards can be come confusing for general users and therefore have opted for the more simplified option.

      With that said, I really think they need at least a 32gb model and possible a 64gb model (at least for N10). Change the pricing structure to accommodate.
      Example: N10 16gb $399, 32gb $449, 64gb $499
      N4 16gb $299, 32gb $349, 64gb $399

      or whatever it works out to be…

      • gp126904

        Only problem is that of 16 more gigs they add $100 to the price tag which is insane, $50 should be the price increase.

  • Jillxz

    I have almost come to the conclusion that Google is so very inconsistent . You just never know what your gonna get next. i petty much am getting tired of this kind of thing. Sometimes I think I will just forget about Google and Android phones and tablets and go with Apple or Microsoft products. At least they are consistent .The so-called new Nexus tablet is a real big let down and also a “come” down for Google. No SD card slot and only 8-16G. I will be looking elsewhere for a Tablet as this is unforgivable in my book.

    • I think the 8GB is only for the Nexus 4 smartphone, not the Nexus 7 or 10 tablets. It appears Google got the message about storage on tablets. I’m not really sure why they didn’t carry this storage lineup over to the Nexus 4, though.

  • Justin Halcomb

    At the end of the day, rather you like this change or not y’all will accept it.

    • jeesung

      yes, i will accept it by not purchasing the Nexus 4 🙂

  • feztheforeigner

    Good first answer!
    Bad second answer…. 🙁

  • DanWazz

    Why are people still asking about SD card slots on nexus devices? This question has been answered a million times already.

    • La2da

      Because it is wanted by a majority of users, and the answer just changed from speed to user confusion, so we don’t believe the reasoning.

  • La2da

    Wow. Taking the Apple approach. Nice. I thought the old reason was that it slowed down the system, now its because we get confused. Please don’t tell me what I’m too stupid to handle, what YOU think I will get confused by, or what I am and am not ready for. Its comments like this from companies like Apple, Moto, and Verizon that make me lose all respect and question doing business with them. Someone like my mom can be pretty tech illetriate, but thanks to her digital camera, she at least knows what an SD card does and how to change it out.

    • Justin Swanson

      It’s not about you, it’s about your Mom, your Dad, you Grandmother, iSheep, etc. Will they understand the difference? Will they even benefit from the increase in cost? (even if it’s only a few dollars, but we all know that expands exponentially).

      Does your mom understand how to move files back and forth? What will happen if she disconnects the card while something is being written and it corrupts the file? This is what you should be considering.

      If you have THAT much of a problem with the storage, get a USB OTG and a small thumbdrive and you won’t have any issues.

  • To Quote Google’s Dan Morril from 11 months ago:

    “There’s no particular hardware reason a device can’t have both. The problem is that there is no good UI for it.

    One of the core Android principles is that you never need a file manager. Ever. We wanted to avoid the obnoxious “sneeze and a file picker appears” syndrome of basically every other OS. Local data that apps know how to handle should just be magically available within the apps, or stored in the cloud. You shouldn’t have to go spelunking on your SD card to find data.

    The problem with having both internal storage and SD cards is that suddenly that goal gets a whole lot harder to achieve. For a given shot, should the camera save to internal-16GB, or to SD card? Should an app from Market be installed to internal or SD? etc.

    Yes, we can solve this by letting the user choose, or have it be in settings. But then, that’s a file picker, or close enough to the file picker experience that we dislike it just as much.

    And besides that, there are API consequences: if you stick in an SD card with photos on it, do you add those to the system media content provider? If you do, you will screw up apps because they aren’t designed with the concept that photos can come and go.

    What we will probably do eventually is add an import/export concept to removable storage. So the Camera will always save to internal-16GB, and when you pop in an SD card (or insert a thumb drive on USB host devices) you can start a migration or import/export dialog.

    But until we have that, devices will generally either have an SD card, or a large internal storage, but not both. I totally get that a lot of people like SD cards, and I miss USB Mass Storage myself. But then, that’s why it’s great that there are so many devices to choose from. 🙂

    tl;dr: it’s a can of worms. We’re thinking about compromises for future versions.”

    So, if you want expandable storage, buy a different phone, it’s as simple as that. If you want LTE, buy a different phone. Isn’t that what’s great about Android? If one phone doesn’t have the features that you like, you have the option of a thousand other Android phones to choose from.

    • joejoe5709

      Ok well he said it right there. Why not make the SD card like a separate onboard harddrive? I’d be totally fine with that.

      • Justin Swanson

        Did you miss the file picker part? You’d have to tell the OS/App where you want X stored and they want to avoid that. (Read: for the common/general user)

  • Kevin

    I agree that it’s slightly confusing to figure out what is what when dealing with a SD card. I think that Android could make it easier though. I think that high end devices should come with the slot available for people who want to use one, especially since they’re cutting the storage so much. I use my phone as a flash drive, and I have friends who use it as a media player. I’m happy with my 32GB Gnex, but I think that 8GB is too small and 16 is pushing it.

    • brando56894

      I totally agree with you. In my Rezound I have 48 GB worth of storage (16 GB internal and 32 GB MicroSD), most of which goes to storing music (about 25 GB). When I bought the Nexus 7 I got the 8 GB namely because the 16 GB wasn’t readily available (I bought it in August) and I figured 8 GB would suffice since I wouldn’t be storing any music on it (since I always have my phone where ever I bring my tablet) nor would I be storing any movies on it, boy was I wrong! I learned to live with 8 GB (I’m selling it to pick up the 32 GB either today or tomorrow) but when you actually only have about 5.5 GB accessible to the user it starts to suck. After downloading a few HD games, a few magazine issues and a TWRP backup I only had a few hundred MB to spare.

      I’d be completely happy with only having internal storage, just as long as there’s a good amount of it, like 32+ GB.

  • Stoker

    That response wrt SD storage might be the most feeble spin attempt I’ve ever seen from Google. Confusing? Really? For Android/Nexus users? LOL.

    It’s pretty clear it’s an attempt to enforce Google’s cloud data model in hardware. For the tablets which are media consumption devices at their core it a particularly egregious restriction.

  • joejoe5709

    Ok I whole heartedly agree with the unified UI. This was the whole point of ICS and therefore JB. Honeycomb was the beginning. It was the experiment. ICS/JB is the culmination and the refinement of that experiment. Not only that, I gotta think that this will enable tablet apps to be quickly developed. Now for the SD card topic: I think Google is wrong. I think they should give us the choice. I honestly think it’s all about money. They can get $100 more for a 16GB rather than an 8GB model. If we were allowed SD cards, a lot less people would buy the 16GB model. It might be confusing to 20-30% of Android users. The rest won’t have a problem with an SD card. I hope this isn’t the beginning of Google becoming the new Apple. I love Android, but I’ll jump ship if they want to limit our choices like that. That said, my GNex doesn’t have an SD card and I do just fine. As long as I have a micro USB nearby, I’m good. But the expandable storage would be pretty nice…

  • Buckoman

    I’m sorry, but i wholeheartedly disagree with the SD card thing. If you have an SD card, just set it to save things to the SD card. If you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t use an SD card at all, but I change phones a lot and popping a new SD card in is a lot simpler than transferring everything to my computer through MTP, then putting it back on the new phone. That’s WHY Android has options like an SD card. It just seems stupid to regress into something you were trying to get away from.

    You think SD cards are confusing? Don’t bundle one with the Nexus phones, but at least give us the option. What if I want Shadowgun, Asphalt, Nova 1-3, and Dead Space on my phone paired with my 3GB of music I want to bring on my plane ride because that’s how I roll? It’s literally a major key piece of what set Android phones apart from the locked down storage environment of Apple, where the only excuse was “delete it” if you don’t have space. And now we go from 16/32GB options to 8/16GB without the inclusion of SD or LTE. Is Google now relying on GSM?, because I’m pretty sure Verizon and Sprint aren’t switching any time soon.

    And a non-removable battery? What happened to the “iDon’t, Droid Does” mentality? I don’t want to send my phone back if all that’s not working right is the battery.

    I mean, I’m Android all the way, I’ve supported it from the beginning for the same type of ideology that Google’s now… moving… away from?

    Come on, Google. Think about it.

  • I can live without an SD card, as long the device has sufficient on-board memory. A smartphone these days with only 8 GBs of memory is almost laughable. Yeah, yeah…I get the whole “cloud” thing, but last I checked, apps still live on the phone, and many of them take up considerable memory. If Google decided to move the Nexus 7 to 16GB and 32GB options, it makes no sense why they wouldn’t do the same for the phone. Unless, they are going to sucker people like the did with the Nexus 7, and sell a 16GB Nexus 4 for the same price just a few months after launch.

    • Barring clear cases of trolling, I wish that people who decide to vote down a [substantive] comment would at least take a minute to explain what they disagreed with. It appears that a lot of people are just content with down voting any commenter that doesn’t agree with their view of things.

  • What if you were to drop you phone in a liquid and totally ruin it limiting you from pulling any data off of it (or smash it accidentally)…. If you have an SD card in it you can pull it out and save all of your pictures that have not been backed up. An SD card will live through a whole lot more. Also, with devices being able to take HD video you are going to need the extra space of the SD card. I will not buy a phone without an SD card or LTE, for that matter a removable battery is also a strong point for me as i can replace it with an extended battery and boom, 1+ days of heavy use battery life (if rooted and not on stock rom)

  • mjmedstarved


  • ArrTooDeeToo

    Dang, ol’ Matty is getting hammered over there. A few people are like “Derp, yay guuugle!” while the hard core Android users are tearing him a new one. Wake up, Google!

  • Pegleg

    Insane decision by Google! Nothing like dumbing down your customers and your devices!!!!

  • Omitting the SD card on the tablets is a mistake because it prevents users from easily importing & consolidating their files from peripheral devices like digital cameras or memory cards with important files. If Google wants all your files in the cloud, they should be providing every means possible of letting them there; otherwise, this limitation speaks of a lack of confidence (or desire) in encouraging tablets as anything more than consumption devices. It’s either a shortsighted move or disingenuous of you, Matias.

  • CodeToJoy

    I’m okay with no SD card, but not having a 32GB option is kinda a bummer to me. I’m pushing 12GB used on my Nexus… and that’s with no Nandroid or Titanium backups on it at this time.

  • I might be the minority, but I do find the absence of a SD card slot to be a good thing if it’ll simplify things and keep costs to a minimum. I find myself using cloud storage everyday and stream music on wifi, and what place doesn’t have free wifi? At this rate, nearly all stores, restaurants, college campuses have free wifi. As for the lack of LTE, I do find it upsetting that there will be no Verizon version, but think of it this way: this will give people a chance for an affordable, unlocked phone that will have no bloatware/malware, fast software updates, and no binding contracts from carriers to restrict you on whatever. I rather have a phone that is guaranteed all of those stated above than be stuck with a phone for 2 years and be under the mercy of Verizon.The Bionic left me with a bitter experience after the whole ICS debacle.

  • DatterBoy

    It’s made more confusing because they called the internal memory SDCARD when it’s not and didn’t implement proper naming conventions to make it more clear. I personally would prefer to have an optional slot and be “confused” but I concede that it is not needed for non video storage if you have 32+ onboard. 8 is not anywhere near enough and 16 gets used pretty fast, especially if you are a gamer.

  • alex drum

    “With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for users.” Only problem is that they dont have the right size anymore. 32GB.

  • fauxshizzl

    Being geeks are the biggest segment of Nexus buyers, I have a hard time believing confusion as to storing things has anything at all to do with the decision to not include SD storage. I don’t care either way as I almost never use external storage anyway, but I found his reasoning laughable.

  • Joshua Dudash

    I just can’t believe that we don’t have a choice to use or not to use an SD Card slot.

    In choosing the android environment over iOS, I have physically chosen choice. Especially with the nexus “brand” i feel the we should be on the bleeding edge of all options, bells and whistles. Let me choose whether or not to have the inclusion of a SD Card Google.

    Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • Travis Myers

    I can see his point about no SD cards. However, having the option as a “power user” to add and extra SD card is really handy. I use my SD card to store ROMs, backups, any modification files or custom kernels, movies, ROMs for emulators, quite a bit of music, and the occasional file that I need to transfer between computers. Sure, with the cloud and unlimited data, its not necessarily, but it comes in handy when I don’t have a data connection or don’t want to have to try to download a huge movie file.

  • j973

    I like android a lot but to make myself and others feel as if we are idiots and don’t understand the concept of sd card is just sad , and then release a phone with 8gb and 16gb and call that choice is crap 16 gb is bare minimum 8gb is stupid . nexus 4 sales will suffer terribly comparedto the galaxy nexus , if unlimited data was still available then wouldn’t be so bad cloud storage understandable but it’s all tiered data except T-Mobile but coverage is terrible as with sprint too. storage is key for me as with majority and small percentage doesn’t matter

  • Lolo

    The sd card thing should be about choice, if it gets too complicated for you don’t use it. That’s a very cheap excuse. I have about 10-12 gigs of music and I’m looking for a cheap phone I can use as an mp3 player and phone (obviously). This means that my music won’t probably fit in this nexus 4, since the 16gb will have around 12gb of free space. Android is been all about freedom of choice, and I repeat myself if it gets too complicated don’t use a sdcard….

  • Southrncomfortjm

    Someone needs to create a Nexus 4 case that includes built in memory that hooks right into the phone. Install an app that can read that memory and there, problems mostly solved. Sure, it would add some bulk, but a least the SD card whiners would give it a rest.

    • TylerChappell

      I think the argument can easily be made that cloud services are a million times more confusing to even the average non-techy user than SD cards.
      Several months ago I was in a Best Buy and some young ditzy blonde and her mother were in there deciding on which tablet to buy. The young blonde had a Macbook and an iPhone and was asking a Best Buy rep about iCloud, wondering how it would work across her 3 devices if she bought an iPad. The silly Best Buy rep was completely dumbfounded by her question of what is stored in the cloud, and whether it is a free service or something she has to pay for.
      Instead, the stupid Best Buy employee starts going on about the external hard drives they have with the network connectivity that can function as a person’s own personal in-home cloud storage.
      It’s this level of stupidity and ignorance that confuses the crap out of customers, not the idea of being able to add more storage to your mobile device with a small memory card.
      Think about it, anyone who is familiar with technology as old as floppy disks and CD’s is familiar with the idea of removable storage. For Matias, as brilliant as he is, to say that it’s just too confusing for customers makes it appear as though Google sees its customers as the same dumb sheep Apple has capitalized on catering to, and that’s unfortunate, especially for them to release a beautiful new Nexus 4 with handicapped storage and sans LTE when the technology has improved from what it was a year ago.
      I hope the Nexus 4 is a flop just for the sake that it makes Google wake-up a bit.

  • “you can decide what’s the right size”… As long as its either 8 or 16GB.

  • jhjr24

    One of the main selling points of Android from the beginning was the ability to expand memory, it set Android apart from Apple. With the Nexus 7, as an example 8gb is not enough. 16gb should be the starting point if they are going to move forward with this idea. Although I would rather have control of my own ability to add more space to my phone or tablet.

  • Eddie Del Real

    8g, really! About 2g used for the OS, then i install shadow gun, horn, and need for speed and i only have about 1gig left. Google, can i stream my games on the cloud too? If not, then bump up to 32g

    • Southrncomfortjm

      Just get the 16gb then.

  • Anguy

    Ehm, the reason Google doesn’t want SD card slot, is because they want users to be constantly online and use Google cloud services, its that simple… It has nothing to do with “user confusion”. Google doesn’t make any money on people who use offline maps, hear music offline etc. they want everything to be on cloud, that’s where their business interests are.

  • dhirensavalia

    I don’t think many novice users get Nexus phones, so the “confusion” would be extremely minimal. I would use the SD card just for my backups. Ohh well.

  • noc007

    Ok. That makes sense on the justification of not doing a card reader. However, you don’t know how much space I do need nor do you know how much I’m willing to pay for extra space. I need at least 32GB now to give me the basic storage space of the stuff I carry with me as well as some room for new stuff. If I wanted my music archive on there as well, I’d need 128GB. I’m not willing to pay $100 for every doubling level of storage. I can pick up a Class 10 MicroSD 64GB card for ~$50, but I’d need to pay an extra $100-$300 to get the top built-in storage offering and that may not even yield me 64GB of storage.

    I treat my SD card like I treat a SIM card. I put it in the phone, use it, swap it out to a new phone I’m upgrading to, and rarely ever take it out for any other reason. IMHO, the internal storage and add-on storage is really simple:
    -Include storage options like you do now for those that don’t want to be bothered. Everything gets saved there by default
    -When a SD Card is present by default install all apps with their extra files to the internal storage and save any documents, pictures, videos, and downloads to the SD Card
    -If there are any documents, pictures, videos, or downloads present on internal storage when a SD Card is introduced, provide the option to move that media to the SD Card.

    -Give the user the option of where stuff gets saved to by default.

    My wife could care less where stuff is saved and rarely does she do as much as me. I, on the other hand, need all the storage space I can get and I’m able to manage my file systems. I’ve always viewed Android as something that is open in so many ways with a virtually endless opportunity to change it to the way I want it to work. Give us the SD Card slot for those that want/need it and it can remain empty for those that don’t.

  • gorkon

    Let me address what I really think about Matias words….

    1. SD Card

    I agree with him. Have a 32 GB Galaxy Nexus and not once did I wish it had a SD card. As for getting stuff on/off I just hook it up to my computer and copy things off or use Airdroid or any number of networking apps to do it. My car picks up media off my phone when I plug it in to the USB port as well so MTP isn’t an issue for me. I wish it was mass storage, but I can live with it the way it is.

    2. Universal Tablet API

    I am mixed on this. I get why but I also think that tablets aren’t the sames as phones so they need different interfaces. Maybe I might feel different about this when and if Asus releases a 4.1 update for my OG EeePad.

    • p0k3y

      You agree with him on SD Card? There s/b a new term for aSheep now. The excuse he gave is ridiculous – user confusion? Well, for the ones who are confused, they probably won’t even know it’s there. But for the rest of us, it’s all about options, which is what Android is supposed to be about. Next thing we know, Google would be talking about how it’s better for users to buy Google hardware running Google software and why it’s better to have everything locked. Wait, isn’t there something like that out there already in the market place?

      • gorkon

        This isn’t about us….we’ll get by either way. This is about the people who BUY Apple devices. They think the SD card is too complicated. I don’t agree that it is, but I and most people can work around it by having enough storage to begin with. I think most users can do that. This has nothing to do with locking down the platform or anything. In fact, it’s even more open that it was when 3.1 was out. It has everything to do with making it easier for every one and with only the integrated storage it does that. Plus another person in the thread has said this too…when apps are run off of the internal storage the phone is faster. SD memory is generally pretty slow when compared to the Nand flash used in the phone. I am saying I can live with it and really don’t care either way.

        There will ALWAYS be those who won’t buy android at all anymore due to the complexity of earlier devices. Google may have lost them to apple permanently already.

        • p0k3y

          I would not run apps on ext sdcard. But I do use my tablet to watch videos quite a bit, especially when I travel. That point alone makes the the MicroSD slot essential.

          Not saying Google will be locking things down soon. But I do see an erosion in the Android philosophy, which is giving users control and optioins for their devices. That’s y I like Android over iOS. As they chip away these things slowly, Android will lose its edge gradually, even if the OS improves.

          • gorkon

            In those instances I just use wifi and stream it off of my desktop or laptop. With that said, my Nexus has 28 GB available for use and of that I have 24 GB total. GRANTED…..that’s because I am podcast zero at the moment. It would still be that low even with the couple that are due in the next hour or so. SO I stand by and say if there’s ENOUGH internal storage most people would be fine with only the internal. That said, only 8 GB on a Nexus 4 is stupid these days.

  • Nyko

    No SCARD? (using Galaxy Nexus for reference) Anyone with children should agree with these points/use cases; those without kids may soon have kids.

    1. Yes you can take 8-12MP pictures and record 720/1080 video, until you fill up your phone. If I run out of storage I am forced to manage data then and there or wait till later to add more content to my phone. To mitigate this I have to micro-manage my internal storage so I’m not left without storage when “MOBILE”.

    2. SD Cards aren’t a new concept, with Android they may be confusing… so rather than developing a better experience with SD Cards, they just remove them all together? Technology is too confusing, why teach & innovate when we can just get rid of all technology? I’m guessing nobody at Google takes 100s of pictures/videos of their kids on their Galaxy Nexus and hates the slow IO over MTP.

    3. Since new Nexus doesn’t have LTE, now people are supposed to stream their media over slow data connections? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an “option” to load 32/64 more GB of storage in the event your phone doesn’t have a decent data connection? Even with 4g/LTE, what if you don’t have an unlimited data plan?

    I’m sure I could continue the rant for hours with plenty of more use cases, but in the end… The big picture feels like “You will never get a fully featured phone with great specs, why? Because then you wouldn’t have to upgrade in 2 years or get the next Nexus Phone”

  • gambit07

    Hm, the way he’s speaking, it sounds like they are going to be dumbing down the nexus line as much as possible. No sd card slot because it’s too confusing? Really? Less options are better for the consumer? Sounds a lot like apple. What happened to the power user? Forget that, what about having more screen space available with androids old tablet style notification area not taking up real estate at the top and bottom of your screen. Or the ability to access your navigation buttons and notifications from the same area of your tablet? I’m not a fan of the way they are moving on this.

  • mbaldwin85

    So users are either too stupid for SD cards or not savvy enough with “techy nonsense”? Great explanation. I wouldn’t mind the no SD card if 16gb and 32gb were the norm, and not 8gb. I’m currently using 22/32 on my Gnexus

  • balthuszar

    the only thing i like having an sd card for is so that i can transfer pictures, and other files from my old phone to my new phone without so much as a blink…i don’t think i’d miss the sd card beyond that…heck, i have 3 or 4 empty micro sd cards laying around because i just transfer the one out of my old phone to my new one

    • gorkon

      It’s called a USB cable. Hook it up and copy them off. What’s hard about that? In fact, Verizon and others usually offer to do it for most of the people who aren’t savvy.

      At least these COME with USB cables AND use a standard one too!

      • p0k3y

        What about taking movies on the go? Where would u plug ur usb cable into on the plane? Oh, your Macbook?

      • balthuszar

        so copy them off of one phone to the computer to my new phone, or take the sd card out of my old phone and stick it in my new phone…hm…

        • gorkon

          I’m not disputing which is easier…but there’s really not much difference. Heck you COULD hook BOTH phones up and copy them…then you don’t need to pop out that tiny MicroSD card…..

  • i love android, but we are being hypocrites when we say that its ok not to have lte. we harassed apple fanboys because they didn’t have lte. stop glorifying the nexus 4. it really is a bad phone.

    • gorkon

      I’ll agree with this one…

    • c4v3man

      It’s not a bad phone, it’s just not a top end phone. For what they’re charging, it’s a great phone.

      Yes, it should have LTE, but this isn’t some $600 phone, it’s a $349 phone with $600 specs except for LTE. For a lot of people (who have consistent WIFI access) it’s a great tradeoff…

    • agreed, Nexus 4 is not an overall good option to me.

  • Scoccercoach

    SD card, no problem but give me USB port so I can take my files with me and work on them when I want to and where I want to without having to rely on being in an area with wi fi. I can work on the plane 4 hours going coast to coast if tablets have usb ports.

  • SDcard_user

    Why do people like us who know how to use SD cards have to suffer, because of people out there that don’t??????? They should just buy Apple devices!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This guy is a scrub. he is ruining the android experience, not improving it. somebody fire his ridiculous ideas. He’s going to stagnate android’s remarkable progress. no lte, no sd slot, no removable battery? only 16 gb nexus. gtfo

  • Clift

    My biggest gripe with not having an SD Card is not the card itself but the lack of USB mass storage mode. MTP doesn’t work with mobile/car audio so you’re stuck. As someone who does a lot of traveling and a lot of time in rental cars, that’s a big deal. They don’t all have Bluetooth, and I don’t always remember to bring my stereo to stereo cable, but guarantee I don’t forget my USB cable.

    • gorkon

      Works fine on my Chevy.

      • gorkon

        Actually I’d like it better if the cars that offer bluetooth would offer up A2DP.

      • Clift

        Which model/year?

        • gorkon

          2012 Cruze….

  • HotRodJohnson

    I’m OK with no SD card, but for the love of God, 16GB and 32GB should be the standard (or if you are aiming 8GB at people that only want to use the phone, great), but to consume movies or music (on the go) it would be nice to have more space.

    • Southrncomfortjm

      8gb is laughable, 16gb is doable, 32gb is comfortable.

      • TylerChappell

        These words describe those storage spaces for probably 98% of people, excellent. =] I would never recommend anyone get less than 16GB, unless its some grandma or something.

      • HotRodJohnson

        8GB is laughable to a content junkie (like you and me). I know many people that really just want a phone and could care less about all the extras that Nexus 4 brings, so I can see customers where 8GBs is not an issues (and apparently so does Google). I only argue for 32GB cause I figure if I wanted to download movies (and really I would probably take a tablet for that) I would want the wiggle room. On my current phone I’m using about 12.7 out of 32GB (about 2.1 for Downloads, 2.5 for apps, 1.66 in pictures, and the remaining 3ish GBs is probably the OS). In my day to day use I could live with 16GB, but when I travel, that’s when I would want to load it up (with music, video, or books) but I would find the 3ish GBs left confining. For my mom, or my wife 8GB is plenty (especially if I show them how to use Google Music). For me I would want the option for more space if I choose. Some of my feeling on the storage stems from owning the OG DROID and running out of space and not being able to move enough apps to SD, and part stems from the fact that apps keep getting bigger and bigger, but I also see people that don’t need but a few apps (and probably more on the other side of the world).

        • Southrncomfortjm

          Frankly, I could get by with 8gb if I needed to, even without unlimited data, I just don’t want to. I’m using 15gb on my GNEX with multiple playlists, several big games, tons of photos and more than a few custom ROM packs sitting on my SD card. Its just nice not having to worry about space.

  • ckeegan

    I have no problem with the lack of SD cards, but the lack of a Nexus device with 64GB built-in is what I find stupid.

  • Liza_Minnelli

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what are you kids putting on your phones that you need so much storage? I got a 16gb G Nexus and I currently have 9.36gb free, I use up more space when I pin some music or a movie before a trip but that’s it.

    If your telling me its full of movies and games then I can’t take you seriously on this.

    • “If your telling me its full of movies and games then I can’t take you seriously on this.”


    • gambit07

      What you’re saying only makes sense if you are the sole user of android. Problem is, you’re not. I have a 16gb Nexus 7 and it doesn’t have enough space for my games, music, and apps. Period. I also have a 32gb Galaxy Nexus and guess what? Not enough storage for my music. You can use the cloud, but it consumes more battery even if you are getting good enough data reception for consistent playback. On a tablet that’s not always even an option as there is no 3g/4g for cloud playback on most tablets so you’re out of luck with no WiFi around. Hope that helps you understand where people are coming from since at the moment you sound completely uneducated.

      • Liza_Minnelli

        Your in luck, cause just came out with a 32gb nexus 7!!

        As for your phone, I understand you use most/all of your space, however I feel streaming most and pinning some music and movies provides a quality experience for the overwhelming majority of people. I also feel most people don’t have many games on their phones.

        Bottom line Google has a philosophy on this they clearly feel strongly about and a small percentage of people that “need” there entire game and music collection on there phone won’t change it.

        • gambit07

          I agree they won’t change it and I never argued they would, but you just made my point for me. They came out with a 32gb nexus 7 because 16 and 8 apparently wasn’t enough for everyone. But what about the people who already bought a 16gb model? Oh that’s right, they can’t expand their storage so the only option they have is to try and sell their current nexus secondhand to make up as much of the cost for the new 32gb model as they can. This is how google is moving forward and I don’t like it. It is exactly the way that Apple sells devices, and yet no one seems to be commenting on that even though there was an uproar over the fact the ipad 4 came out with slight spec bumps 7 months after the ipad 3. The new nexus 7 is coming out with upgraded storage specs 5 months after the initial release and nobody is saying anything? I think google has garnered more favor recently than apple especially among the tech community but they should be getting called out for this just as much.

          • Liza_Minnelli

            I’m just thinking out loud here but seeing how most pants/shorts come with a minimum of (4) pockets you could get an ipod classic for every song on your computer(like 80gb or more) and a gameboy for all your gaming needs, factor in your nexus phone and that is (3) devices taking up (3) pockets leaving (1) pocket open for your wallet and keys.
            Throw in a man purse for your nexus 7 and you can have all the digital content your posses with you at all times.

          • gambit07

            It’s sad that you’re small minded enough not to recognize people might have needs that are different than your own, resorting to trying to make fun without even raising a relevant point. I’m guessing that ideology manifests itself in other negative ways in your life, good luck

      • Southrncomfortjm

        How much music do you actually need at your fingertips at any given moment? Do you use Google Music? I have thousands of songs, but only keep a few playlists (totally a few hundred songs) on my phone at any time using Google Music.

        • gambit07

          How much anyone needs is extremely subjective. I don’t really have complaints about the 32gb on my gnex, but at the same time it is not enough to house my entire collection. I like to random play all, and listen to my music that way. If I had a microsd card I could have all my music and not miss out on any. I’m disappointed in the lack of an option to do this, internal storage has been around on phones for a long time. If you only wanted to use that storage, fine. No one is forcing you to put a microsd card in your phone in order to confuse you. The reasoning they’re using is what is insulting to me, it’s pretty clear they are using this as a way to push their cloud storage, but they’re not willing to come out and say it. Also, cloud storage uses more battery and only works when you have a reliable data connection.

          • Southrncomfortjm

            Don’t get me wrong, their excuse is garbage and everyone knows it is – seriously, is cloud storage any easier than SD storage? Nope. I’m just responding to the reality we have – if we want a Nexus device it looks like we are getting 8 and 16gb for phone and 16 or 32gb for tablets and then finding a good way to live within those limits if we want the Google Nexus experience.

            Honestly, the best solution for you (if you want the Nexus 4) is to go with an unlimited T-Mobile or unlimited prepaid plan and use Google Music. You can store 20,000 songs in the cloud and stream right over data anywhere

          • gambit07

            Yeah I understand, I use google music as well but the hit on battery life and not having 4g everywhere make it less then ideal for me. Anyway I’m good with the gnex for now, and the space is fine for me, but I don’t like the way the ideology is going. I know there are other options but nexus devices are crucial since they are so easily update-able. We are limited with our options both ways it seems. I hate to see google start moving towards an apple mentality, easier is not always better. Especially when ease of use isn’t even really the issue.

    • Southrncomfortjm

      That’s the thing. Many people don’t want to spend 10 minutes managing storage. They want to carry around 40gigs of music (35 gigs of which is rarely, if ever, used) on top of 10 movies “just in case” they need them. Reminds me of the dudes that carry condoms in their wallets “just in case” a chick throws herself at them at a party.

  • Pegleg

    Lame excuses regarding the SD card issue! Is he saying Nexus users don’t have the brain power to handle memory management? Who is this guy? Time for a staff change Google!

  • Sounds more like Apple’s philosophy than Google’s. Disappointing. We can handle a little complexity and prefer being able to decide for ourselves.

  • nightscout13

    Too complicated to have an SD card? You sir, are becoming an idiot.

  • dray

    I can live with no Sd card, but Instead of buying a Nexus4 , I will keep my G-NEX and buy a Galaxy S3 32gig and pop in a 64gig SD card… yes some people need space. I like music, podcasts and my job involves international travel … I cant stream everywhere i go , so i need the space. Even 32gig on the new Nexus 4 would have been great for me. Google is messing up. I just hope they get it right next year. and I guess I have to learn how to root anf flash to keep my S3 up to date…. sigh!!!

  • krees

    Not to beat a dead horse about the SD card….but sd cards being confusing is a load of crap. Android isn’t meant to be simple…it was designed for the geeks with openness, flexibility, and power. Removing the sdcard (my opinion) removes alot of the flexibility. I have a 32gb card in my skyrocket and I keep alot of rom backups on there. A few gigs at least is used by such rom backups which would be a significant portion of the fixed disk… That doesn’t leave me with very much for games and pictures on a 16gb nexus.

    I agree with “With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you
    can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for
    users.” but I don’t see how 8 and 16gb options are enough. I keep hearing, “we want it cheap so we kept the memory down” but then to not add the flexibility of an sd card reader is dumb. The majority of users that would be confused by the sd card probably wouldn’t even buy one and thus….would never have the opportunity to be confused by said card!


    • Android has to be simple if its going to be widely adopted. Well… MORE widely adopted.

      As it is right now, I’d wager that more than half of all android devices have never touched the play store because the users don’t know how to get to it.

      • krees

        Right I get the idea it has to become more simple to gain wider adoption but don’t remove the sd card readers because you think it will confuse customers…the customers that would likely get confused wont even buy one to begin with so that’s an empty use case (in my opinion). I like what Matias has done with the ui…just don’t let him make technical decisions or answer questions with a bs response.

  • LegalAmerican

    I understand his point, and I can totally accept other people’s point of view who make a case against having an SD card slot. However, isn’t Android all about choices? Isn’t that what makes it different than Apple? I don’t need a board of trustees deciding what is or is not confusing for me. Give me options and I will decide what I can or cannot comprehend. I do not root my devices, because I do not understand all of the steps. I do however, know how to use an SD card and I enjoy being able to purchase one for use in my phone if I desire.

    • Android is all about choice – there are plenty of phones out there now that have SD card capability – just not the nexus line.

  • I’m sick of hearing about SD cards in Nexus devices. They did away with them and more than likely they are not coming back. Google is moving cloud storage forward, if that’s not for you then go get any other non nexus device.

  • Jacob Svonavec

    Yeah I’m pretty sure I can figure out how to manage my storage spaces…Plus Most nexus owners are rooting and unlocking the phones, I’m sure they are more than capable of managing storage space, biggest line of garbage.

  • E Diddy

    The one argument for an SD card: When I need to replace my phone due to a defect or broken screen (or whatever) I can just pop the SD card out and put it in my new phone. All the photos, music, etc are saved without any hassle.

    • Dave

      Same could be said with cloud services. All your photos, music, contacts, and apps (sans app data) is synced thanks to the cloud.

      • Jacob Svonavec

        Clouds are great and I use them, but if your service isn’t the best at all times having the storage to download items to the device itself makes that issue not as painful. Do you like your hands tied behind your back? I for one do not.

  • i always get surprised how much i am in the minority reading comments when it comes to sd cards. i definitely don’t miss having to have an sd card partitioned so that i could use app2ext or app2sd. that was a huge pain in the butt have to set up all my apps like that every time i changed roms.

  • JoeInMO

    I’m fine with no SD Card slot as long as the device has enough memory (32GB minimum). The push toward cloud storage is nothing but a money grab since unlimited data plans are nearly extinct… not to mention the fact that cloud storage is scoured to target ads pushed to you.

    • Captain_Doug

      I’m dying with 16GB. I can make it work but I have to run a tight ship. 32GB really should be an option for the N4. They’ll probably release it later…

  • mr android

    matias, dude. Way to make
    yourself look like an a** hat
    while insulting everyones intelligence.
    You must be trying to get forstall’s

  • nobody72

    dimwit comments on the sd slot; if a user doesn’t want the complexity they can just not use it. Can’t google fire him and add a sd slot to the devices ?

  • Chris

    No SD card or decent amount of storage = no purchase of a Nexus device. I was so ready to switch out my Asus transformer for the Nexus 10, but only 32 GB with no SD card = no, thank you.

  • sc0rch3d

    I was “SD card happy” when I got my GNEX. However, I got lazy one time after a flash and accidentally enabled auto-upload to G+ (pics and videos). I’ve never used my SD card since then except to store ROMs i’m about to flash.

  • Michael_NM

    That SD card answer is very applesque. I can’t stand it when manufacturers consider their customers to be idiots.

  • The consistent UI is something that Android has lacked for some time, and was an advantage to both iOS and the new Windows 8/RT/P8 (Live Tiles). I’m glad it has arrived on Android, and the experience will be the better for it.

    As for the SD Card, I’m of mixed feelings. While I agree that having a single volume is beneficial in many aspects, not the least that it is much easier to develop around, it also means that OEMs need to make sure that they include enough storage space that they will not frustrate end users. 8GB isn’t too bad if you have an SD Card for media, but without that extra space I really believe that 16GB is the smallest size I’m comfortable with.

    • SchwannyT

      I TOTALLY agree with you. I am so sick of telling people to get an iphone for their first smart phone so I don’t have to be on the phone with them every night searching their phone for pictures and music they thought they dumped on there. I gladly recommend Nexus devices to ANY user because I can help them without having to hold the device

  • Paul

    Don’t ship it with a memory card in it. Anyone who puts a memory card in it should be smart enough to know where things will be.

    Also, photo galleries etc show things from both so unless you plan on taking out the card for a transfer, it doesn’t matter which it’s on.

  • This guy is a straight up idiot for not putting expansion micro sd slot, he must be smoking something because everyone I know from college students and many others like to expand and put more on their devices, seriously with security issues I would never in my life put something on a big server which can be hacked at any given time then your screwed. This is the Apple Nexus trying to scam people out their hard earned money, we are not in a time to be wasting money. Nexus will never see a red cent from me, just like I banned apple for their jailed in software and lack of hardware improvements, Nexus a pathetic product, like that guy said “Apple puppets” well in this case “Nexus Puppets” its not difficult to figure out where to put pics and other files like that

    • Yea, it’s safer to put all your important stuff on an sdcard that can be easily stolen then to place it on a secure cloud server where it can be hacked. Makes perfect sense.

      • Im not one of them people who carelessly leave their devices laying around for people to steal same as those people who drop their phones in toilets simply careless and dumb in my opinion o yeah if the stock market can be put back in the stone age so can servers

  • WickedToby741

    Wow, a lot of backlash on the new Nexii. Whether its the lack of LTE in the Nexus 4, the new universal tablet UI, or the lack of SD card slots, people are hating on these devices. Look, these are choices Google has made and yes they’re for some of the same excuses Apple has been using. If you don’t like it, don’t buy these devices. Android is great because you have that option unlike iOS.

    • p0k3y

      Yep, I am staying away from this bunch.

  • Chuck Finley

    I’ll be honest, I’m cool with the whole “not including SD slots on Nexus devices”. If you’re going to do something, at least be consistent on it (…Nexus devices won’t have SD slots). It’s not like you won’t have the SD option elsewhere; just not on Nexus devices (which probably will have other devices similar to them on different carriers anyway).
    Besides, they’re Nexus devices, someone somewhere will figure out something (i.e…hack) to get more space some kind of way.

  • schoat333

    The SD card thing is obvious. They want to compete with the iPhone, but people always say Android is more complicated. they are eliminating those complicated parts.

    I’ve had my gnex for almost a year, and haven’t missed an SD card at all.

  • Derkk

    Sounds like they are trying to dumb down Android to make it more like iOS. Let the stupid people in the door so they will accept it. Personally, I get it, but I don’t like it. If a user doesn’t want an SD card to keep it simple, then don’t put one in there. With the good games taking up 1-3 GB and Nexus lines not upping the game in storage capacity, it’s killing my desire for the nexus line. Offer 64gb options, or even 32 for that matter. These are more than just phones.

  • HerroMoto

    Still do not agree on the SD cards. They really need to bring them back. They can really save your ass if you can’t access your phone for some reason and they are easy to transfer to phone to phone. One complaint about my Gnex..

  • monkey082506

    I have the 32GB GNex and the 32GB Nexus 7…I have no reason to have more than that on a phone or tablet. I don’t think the 16GB being the highest option for the Nexus 4 was a brilliant idea on Google and LG’s part though. If there will be no SD card the two defaults need to be 16 or 32, nothing less, just unacceptable.

  • David Verba

    Wow, “Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.” & “hat’s simple and good for users.” – more and more like Apple…..

    • Jacob Svonavec

      Major typos in this message. I believe your trying to say that restricting a users ability only limits what they can and are getting out of the device. That’s not the Google way.

  • jcampbell474

    Just like Apple and most of all, like Verizon (consumers don’t want 1-year contracts, don’t want unlimited data, etc…). Blaming their money-making strategies on the consumer. Google, I had higher expectations of you…. -1


    Buttons on the bottom of the new tablet UI look really ugly while stretched out, and having the status bar is a bad idea when there is so much realestate on the bottom bar where the notifications used to be on the tablet UI, the new UI is just inefficient. Also why can’t Google program android to put the SD card memory in a Raid 0 formation allowing it to use both the SD card and built in storage simultaneously? They can make it so when you go to remove the SD card that it will prompt you with information that says that by removing the SD card you might lose storage capability, and information that is stored on the SD card.

  • I don’t like when companies act like I’m too stupid to understand something (in response to the SD card slot question). There is a reason why I want additional/removable card storage. At least allow for the option, so that ‘I’ can make the choice.

  • Futbolrunner

    And thats why im going with an Asus Transforer Infinity instead of a Nexus 10

  • Br_d

    When you grab a device off the table, the accelerometer puts the buttons where you expect them to be. What they did on 10″ devices is put the soft navigation buttons in the center and the notifications at the top, which are both out of reach of your thumbs in landscape mode and also taking up more vertical space. This results in a worse user experience for everyone. Google’s decisions regarding these newest devices are mostly getting a big WTF from me.

  • They spit out the same garbage when asked why the bootloader is locked. “Oh, not many people use it and it’s too techy for the average user.” So?! That doesn’t explain why you should remove the option for people that do want to use it. If an SD card slot is confusing, don’t include an SD card. The people who don’t know enough how to manage extra storage most likely won’t know enough to add a card in the first place. If they do want to use that storage then it’s on them to learn how to manage it. I’m fine with decisions I don’t agree with being made due to business reasons, I just can’t stand the ridiculous nonsense they make up to rationalize it to the public.

  • makelegs

    sure….because, historically, the primarily high level users who actually buy Nexus devices can’t figure out what that sdcard is for, or where they just saved that picture they snapped. Simple is nice, but options are better.

  • Chris Russell

    I’m not sure why executives of big corporations always think they have a lock on what suits everyone. Unlike iLemmings, I think Android users are the smarter bears out there, and I for one as an Android user, am passing on the Nexus 4 as it lacks both LTE and additional storage. Note II here I come!

  • R. Christopher Prater

    So basically what you are saying is that you opted to eliminate expandable on board memory in favor of Google Cloud Storage; Right? Ok, I am glad you came right out and said it…

  • David Rosen

    i actually am all for no sd card slots… once they have 64, 92, 128gb models of devices at the same price as the current 8/16/32gb ones. i find the second you start moving apps to the sd card (even if they’re just games or something simple) is when issues arise.

  • Insulting to say the least. Android is about choice, and at this point I am starting to choose non-Nexus devices that have the ability to be unlocked, rooted and CM10 installed on.

    Note 2 or SGS3 is calling my name.

  • I’m ok w/o a sd card slot. I missed it at first but I have since found faster better ways to transfer data. Also I would be kind of nice if they could somehow put a regular usb port. That way I can just plug in my flash drive instead of using an OTG cable.

  • I can kind of see the point of the sd card (don’t necessarily buy into it though). In ICS+, it’s a pain to move apps or other content to the sd card, so it’s just there for media you copy. Even the camera is not always able to save to the external sd.

    That said, it would be a lot easier to accept the lack of sd if they would make the built-in storage a lot cheaper, and more in-line with what you could buy an sd card for

  • NorCalGuy

    Make a 64 GB then can’t you see we want more… even apple knows that…

  • GotSka81

    It seems to me that if users continually complain about your devices not having SD card slots, then perhaps it’s not “confusing for users”, other than the fact that they can’t figure out why you aren’t including an SD card slot.

    That said, I understand the desire to make a device easier for Grandma Notech to use, but perhaps a better answer would be to get creative and make it work more seamlessly, as opposed to labeling it “confusing” and writing it off. Sounds like the approach of a certain fruit-flavored company I’ve heard of.

  • So, he just called all users stupid? I got the Acer tablet specifically because it had an SD card slot. The full USB port is nice too. Helps to back up my camera, when I am on the road, to my SD slot on my tablet.

  • Luxferro

    “Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.”

    Not that I care too much about lack of SD card, but that quote right there is something Apple would say.

    • GotSka81

      ‘Everyone likes the idea of having an SD card, and that’s why we’re going to tell you what you REALLY think. Why? Because f*** you.’

    • carlinscuderi

      If I was confused by it, why would I like it?

      • balthuszar

        you like it because you don’t know you’re confused by it

        • carlinscuderi

          If I don’t know I’m confused by it, is it actually confusing?

  • eh he didn’t really answer the ui question.also sd cArd reason is horrible

  • Maybe instead of worrying about confusing users about the SD card, Android should publish a set of standards as to where apps should store files. Pictures/Music/Videos/etc… go on SD Card. Game files, caches, etc.. go on Internal.

  • Al Chandler

    His comment on the SD was not truly in our favor. He pulled an apple, stating its what we want when really is to sell phones are a high price based on storage. People have been using SD cards for years. they know what to do and when to do. Don’t treat us like apple users we know out tech stuff…

    • Rebel

      But as Android becomes the most used platform on phones, the overall knowledge or tech savyness of the users will be, on average, significantly lower.

  • violator702

    Confused? Really? Apparently we are just ignorant, and it has nothing to do with SD cards slowing down the phone, or trying to get everyone to use the cloud. I expected much more from him.

  • Truthful Matias

    The reason we didn’t include SD card slots is because we want you to pay for content, and because we like money.

  • T4rd

    “With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you.”

    Too bad we can’t decide that we want any more than 16 GBs on the Nexus 4. That’s pretty restrictive, esp. considering all of the competition offers phones that can quadruple that. I would have gladly payed another $50-$100 for a 32 GB Nexus 4. 32GBs should be standard on most phones if they don’t have expandable storage.

    • GotSka81

      I second this. How can Google release a Nexus last year with a 16GB and 32GB option, and then a year later take a step backwards to 8GB and 16GB? AND they removed LTE? I’m an android fanboy to the bitter end, but all this is starting to sound like a failure of a phone.

      Remember when we all made fun of Apple for not including LTE with the iPhone 4?

      • Paul

        That was also when LTE had MUCH less coverage. This is even sadder…

      • Rebel

        The phone isn’t being driven towards American buyers as much as the GNex was. LTE is the hype here, but Google is looking at the larger picture across the world where GSM is still the majority and people buy phones off contract as the norm.
        They are looking to dominate that market and not the niche one all of us encompass.

        • Stoker

          Right. Because the US is such a miniscule portion of gizmos and a such a small part of the world consumer economy. LOL.

          • michael arazan

            California by itself is the 2nd largest economy in the world, 1st being the U.S., the US has 350 million people, 90+ million use verizon. Need to take a page from Samsung and release it across all the carriers in the U.S. if you want success for it. Not to mention Europe has started getting LTE everywhere as we speak, and S. Korea and Japan already have it.

      • Honestly, I support Google’s decision to remove LTE for this iteration of the Nexus. They made their decision, and are standing behind it. They are keeping costs as low as possible, and unlike certain other companies, they are passing those cost savings along rather than just pumping up their margins. If that means they don’t include the latest cell technology, which not only increases device costs but also development and regulatory costs in addition to introducing carrier control (in the case of a CDMA Nexus device here in the US), then I will applaud them for standing firm in their convictions and accepting the backlash they knew that such a decision would incur.

        • gorkon

          Actually I look at this as Google saying hey Qualcomm…..please release the source for your LTE drive mmkay? 🙂

        • Zoloft_User

          Since when did the Nexus program become about saving money and offering a lower grade phone without LTE. It is supposed to offer the best of what is to come when it comes to phone specs and software It is 2012, going on 2013..LTE is starting to become bigger and bigger…also, along with SD Cards being confusing…I didn’t realize that the average NEXUS user was someone who got confused about a piece of technology that many are demanding the NEXUS line of devices.

          If you are confused, then go buy a Apple product…

          • kixofmyg0t

            Yes it’s about “saving money”…..by removing more and more features yet it’s still the same price.

            I don’t agree with SD cards” confusing” Anyone, ESPECIALLY Nexus users. If you don’t have a SD card you have so much space….If you add a SD card you have more space, that’s confusing?

          • As a GS3 owner I actually do understand what he’s talking about. I love having the extra space, but most apps just completely ignore the external SD card. In order to get spotify to use it, you have to install an ancient version that lets you chose the folder to store data in.

            However, I don’t think the answer is to simply not add SD slots. The answer is to come up with a solution that works for all phones.

            And seriously stop trying to charge 100 dollars more for a 16gb bump in storage. I just bought a class 10 64gb microSD for under 50 bucks. it’s not 2005 anymore, flash memory is cheap.

          • GotSka81

            I can understand that, however, if a user places their pictures and music on the SD card instead of the internal storage, there is not need to tell the apps to use the external storage. What we need is a better solution, not a simplified shortcut.

          • Beepepp

            Yea, I definitely don’t understand that explanation, since Nexus phones aren’t even the most purchased phones by the average user. In fact, it’s mainly the techy users who care about getting a “pure Android experience”, since the average user doesn’t even care.

            Not to mention, it seems these so called idiot consumers have led to phones like the Galaxy S3 with it’s “complicated SD slot and removable battery” and now the Note 2 to make it one of the top selling Android phones on the market.

        • Jon Tobin

          I also agree. At first, I was upset (but only halfway because I use T-Mobile), but I read this article on The Verge about Google’s decision. Basically, LTE is not deployed on a wide scale worldwide, and Google would have to build Nexus 4’s with extra radios just for Verizon/Sprint and a different one just for AT&T. They did not want to deal with carrier policies. The best quote from the article is this: “Tactically, we want to make sure Nexus devices are available for every network on the planet.”

          It’s worth a read.


        • GotSka81

          I understand the concept of lowering cost by cutting some corners and passing that on to the customer, but as many others have said, the Nexus is not about an inferior product…it’s about a phone that will last for years and years. LTE is not CDMA-exclusive, so to not include LTE is a step backward, whether for Verizon or AT&T.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Can you imagine the sheer amount of hate if Motorola released a phone with no SD card or LTE and only 8GB and 16GB of storage and that’s it?

        Think about it.

        Now look at all the people defending LG and Google for this just because it’s a Nexus. I thought Android was about choice, about customization, about being open. This isn’t any of those. Of course I’m gonna get downvoted to oblivion for saying something negative about their holy phone but I really think this is a backwards step. I always considered the Nexus program to be a example of how Android SHOULD be, the hardware should be the best of the best and the software should be the latest and greatest. I was horribly wrong.

        I don’t have the option of more than 16GB because SD cards “confuse” the “average” user. I don’t have the option of LTE because the “G-Nex” experience was “horrible”(agreed). I didn’t know removing features was considered moving forward now.

        • FAL_Fan

          You are completely correct in what you are saying, they have made a step backwards. A restricted nexus is an oxymoron that has been brought into existence by Google and LG.

          • kixofmyg0t

            I remember how many people were foaming at the mouth from the previous RAZR’s non-removable battery. Thousands upon thousands of “ZOMG LOL MOTOFAIL” type comments.

            Now look at them. “Oh hmmm yes good chap I see that a non removable battery is quite good. Yes yes. Oh and No LTE? SMASHING!”.

            Now it’s no secret that I’m pro-Moto and all…..but I didn’t like the idea of a non removable battery that was smaller than the extended one for Targa. I agreed that IF a battery was large enough then it would be ok sealed. Now if Moto releases a phone without LTE or SD card support(or even NFC now) you can count on me blasting them for it.

          • Bopbop

            Usually when there is a non-removable battery my first though is that they want to include a big ass battery without making the phone ridiculously thick. Which in that case is acceptable if it includes a minimum of 2500 mAh.

            But, when the Nexus contains a battery around the size of the one inside the Galaxy S3, which happens to be removable on top of that while being thin… It is ridiculous. Can’t even think of a positive thing to say about it like I could for the Razor Maxx phones.

        • Nick Bohl

          I agree with what you’re saying, but you must remember (like Rebel said a few posts below) Google has much bigger fish to fry than us here in the U.S. Plus, I’m also not so sure that the Nexus line is “an example of how Android SHOULD be”, but a stock experience that offers a less restrictive development environment. I mean, they are sold with the sim and boot loader unlocked, not for “more choices” but “less restriction” from a development perspective. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I think we (myself definitely included) lost sight of what Nexus IS, and what us consumers WANT it to be.

          • yarppppp

            The Samsung phones like the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2 have the hardware that I wish was the standard for all Android phones, which is a minimum of 16 gigs, removable battery, and a SD Card.

            Meanwhile, Nexus phones run the frequent updates and stock experience that I wish all Android phones had.

            If one of the manufacturers managed to come out the hardware features of the Samsung phones combined with the stock experience of the Nexus devices that’d be my dream phone.

          • Nick Bohl

            But you see, the problem then arises of product differentiation. If one manufacturer releases a lineup of phones with top of the line hardware and stock, low-delay software updates, and let’s say it does well… the others will too, then there’s nothing to separate one from the other. In order to avoid such a situation, the OEM’s decided early on to go ahead and make their own mark in the ecosystem. I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.

      • duke69111

        They appreantly did not learn from the Nexus 7 needing to be re-released with a 32gb model.

      • You can thank Verizon/Sprint for not having an LTE carrier version. The HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus never had LTE or 32 gigs. It was about hitting a price point for an unlocked phone with compatibility for the GSM networks. Same with this phone. Stop comparing it with the Verizon/Sprint version.

        • jmsbwmn

          So all of the Nexus fans on Verizon and Sprint aren’t important enough to be included as customers? Also, all of the complaints about lack of storage are justified. The iPhone is a shining example of a successful phone without an SD card, but they also make 32 GB and 64 GB versions to make up the difference. Go ahead and hit your price point, but then make larger capacity phones for those who are willing to spend more.

          • DainLaguna

            is it really googles fault you are tied to a carrier? they have never been fans of that. it was unheard of to have a nexus on a carrier like verizon…but gsm nexi were still in abundance. if you dont like it, you can buy any of the handsets google provides the os for that handidly address all your issues with the nexus4

          • GotSka81

            I don’t think jmsbwmn is complaining about being tied to a carrier, he’s stating that the VZW Nexus is still a Nexus, and those of us that purchased it are still customers. I (for one) have stood by Google since the days of the OG, and I will for years to come, but it looks like the ball has been dropped with this phone. It happens to everyone, and that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to buy it.

        • GotSka81

          Why would I not compare it to the last Nexus? Regardless of the carrier, this years device is inferior in many ways to last year’s. Nexus phones are (historically) made to last years and years and are cutting edge. I can understand trying to appeal to a broader market, but compromising the quality of your product is no way to do it.

    • Azn_Android

      Exactly. I support Google’s decision to take out the SD cards but they really need to offer more onboard storage as well.

    • New_Guy

      I bought a 16GB Thunderbolt because I already had a 32GB card I could swap out. I would actually buy the 8GB version of a new phone so I could swap the card out again and pay less for the phone. But, hey…maybe that’s why they removed the slot in the first place :)…

    • Stoker

      “With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you.”

      That is a disturbingly Apple-esque response: Bill an insidious hardware limitation as an ease of use feature.

      • TheDrizzle

        I agree. This whole statement is eerily “Apple-esque.” However, if we do not like the Nexus, we can go pick another phone from the myriad of devices out there running Android. Unfortunately for the Android purists, our options are getting smaller and smaller.

        • Snoooop

          Yea the crappy thing is that for those who want a device that gets frequent updates and runs pure Android the Nexus is the only option.

          It is frustrating to see the Nexus devices reminding me more of Apple in terms of hardware. Nonremovable battery and laughable internal storage to go along with such high end specs. Those who actually want to take full advantage of those specs will quickly run out of space due to games and movies taking up several gigs on their own.

          And of course, it’s pretty hilarious to see to what lengths fanboys will go to spin the removable features as a positive.


      “With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you.”

      Sounds a lot like Apple….

      • DainLaguna

        except that apple doesnt provide the core os for other devices that DO have expandable storage, do they?

        • ERIC REED

          No, they don’t. But now google is telling you if you want to use their “pure android” experience they will now help you decide what is best for you. And I guess no LTE and no expandable storage is one thing you didn’t need. A very Apple move on their part!!

    • michael arazan

      On my D1 there was always an option that said “save to sd or phone in the app drawer” with one touch. Yeah that is soooo confusing. and all my pics and vids saved to my sd card on the D1. It took me a whole 2 minutes to figure it out after i turned on the phone the first time.

    • Well said.

  • emrikol

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I use my Gnex upside-down all the time so that the charging cord is out of the way. That way I can lean the “lowest” edge on the arm of my couch while I lazily browse. Thanks AOKP!

    • Yeah, me too. First thing I did when I installed a custom rom was to enable all orientations.

    • joejoe5709

      I’ve always just flipped it on its side, but that’s not a bad idea. 🙂

  • cloutist4

    Would be nice if they made a 32gb nexus 4 for $399 or eventually pulled the same move they did with the nexus 7…not a deal breaker for me though…

  • Confused? That’s almost insulting.

  • Tony Byatt

    “Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.”

    Oh Reginald…I disagree…
    -Family Guy-

  • psuturtle

    Sounds like an apple answer to me.

  • Josh Flowers

    any phone that doesn’t have an SD option needs to come with Stick Mount, an OTG cable, and a Root Kit software right out of the box.
    love my GNEX, but miss having 48GB of space that i had on my Thunderbolt (with a 32gb card)–which made me order an OTG cable.

  • I might be the only one on this site that feels this way, but I’m more than okay with nexus devices having no sd cards. I like the simplicity and form factor on phones and frankly with the original evo the sd card was absurd to put in and take out, and on the htc incredible the pop off cover so you could access it made the phone feel cheap and over time broke. I also have no problem with it because 16gb is more than enough storage for non movie related memory and frankly, if I need to watch a movie on my phone I can just plug in my micro usb to usb adapter and play movies off my usb drives, which as compatible with all my devices (computer, phone, cdj’s, etc). An sd card slot should not be a deal breaker and I am more than okay with Google’s choice of the lack of it.

    • Br_d

      I agree. While I can see why some people want it, I have never swapped out the SD card in any of my Android devices. I never had the need for it.

      • It isn’t that I ever swap SD cards, it was the ability to have a 8/16/32GB phone and then put an additional 32GB in there for music. I know people always hype up cloud storage, but I simply don’t have a reliable data connection where I live so I like to have all my music with me. As far as removable batteries go, it isn’t the end of the world, but being able to do a battery pull has saved me multiple times.

        • monkey082506

          Not to hate but do you really need to have 32GB of music on you at all times?

          • Azn_Android

            As a music lover who, while not necessarily having 32 gb of music, likes to keep all his music together, the answer is yes.

          • Exactly this.

          • No I don’t need to have it all. I like to have it all. I don’t pay hundreds of dollars for a phone to not have it do what I want.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Do you really NEED to have the dialer app installed at all times? Do you really NEED a headphone jack? Wi-Fi? LTE? NFC? Do you really NEED any more internal storage than what is necessary to run the phone to make calls?

            It doesn’t matter what YOU think he NEEDS, or even what he thinks he needs. The better question is with every other device out having this feature why does the Nexus not? the beauty of Android is choice. Do YOU NEED a SD card? Doesn’t matter if you NEED one or not the option isn’t there to have one if you wanted it.

          • monkey082506

            First of all I didn’t say I don’t think he “NEEDS” it as you feel you need to capitalize on. I simply asked a question, apparently this is a big deal for some. Sorry go buy another device, you won’t be having a Nexus anytime soon. For the ones who don’t “NEED” the extra space we’ll enjoy our Nexus devices and report back. Didn’t realize this would get people so worked up…damn

          • kixofmyg0t

            You know what is “confusing” to the average user and it’s something I don’t NEED? Google Voice. So let’s go ahead and remove that for the next Nexus.

            People would defend Google for it and try hard to rationalize it.

        • Symbiotx

          This is exactly my issue. I have a 32gb card full of music. That’s separate from all the pictures and videos of my kid on my phone. One reason I didn’t go with the iphone is because I can’t use my card. Don’t take out a feature that has been there because you say it’s confusing for some people. That’s ridiculous. It’s even more frustrating if it’s to push the cloud. Some of us have data caps or can’t use data everywhere we drive.

        • Br_d

          What I meant was that I have never used anything other than what comes with the phone, storage-wise. I only have a few gigs of music, and I mostly just listen to podcasts or pandora anyway. Not sure why I got downvoted for stating my personal usage habits.

          Battery is a different story. I swap my battery almost every day. I couldn’t live without a removable battery.

    • panicswhenubered

      I feel the same way after having a Galaxy Nexus for almost a year. However, I didn’t use to. I used to think that I needed to have an SD card slot, but with a 32GB phone, Google Drive, Dropbox, and especially LTE, there really is no need for it. Now having said that, since the Nexus4 does not have LTE, it could be a problem, since the time to get large files from cloud services will be longer.

      • Michael McGuigan

        The problem with cloud services is unlimited data plans are going away. Even with that, I could easily get by with a 32gb phone with no sd card.

        • Cowboydroid

          Actually, they’re coming back. Sprint has kept theirs, and T-Mobile brought theirs back. Verizon and ATT are the only two intent on limiting data usage.

          In addition, wifi is still becoming more and more widespread. You can walk into almost any building these days and get wifi. You only really need cell service when in transport.

          • kixofmyg0t

            You can walk into almost any building and get Wi-Fi?

            Dude what fantasy world are you living in? You can’t expect everyone to have a nice cushy office job where unsecured Wi-Fi is around every corner. I don’t exactly like the idea of being connected to unsecured Wi-fi anyway.

          • Cowboydroid

            Yes, it’s not a fantasy world. It’s Dallas. And you don’t have to be in an office to get wifi.

      • New_Guy

        Absolutely. It should be either or. LTE and no SD, or no LTE with expandable slot. Instead, they removed both. Hello Note 2!

    • monkey082506

      I’m also sure that 99% of the readers on this site own an external hard drive…back your stuff up just like we all do with the PCs and you’ll never have a problem.

      • Justin W

        I don’t think it’s anywhere near the 99% you are estimating. I don’t and havent ever owned an external hard drive. I view it as useless, especially since I have a dropbox, box, and drive account. I can store all my important files there, and I can also keep all my music in Play Music without having to stream all of it.

    • Azn_Android

      I agree with you 110% percent. While I myself do not get confused with the SD card, normal users who like to use android will get confused.

    • Jroc869, Cool story bro

      I concur , I know people are upset but I think these are steps in the right direction to get android more polished and uniform. I do think though that they need to do two things if they want to shut people up. 1 is create a very polished and very good cloud storage and streaming service. 2 I think they certainly need to cut out any 8gb devices and strictly go with 16 minimum and increase the max to at least 64.

      • brando56894

        I’ve always had MicroSD cards on my devices (OG Droid, Incredible, Rezound, Asus Transformer) but when I got the Nexus 7 the lack of an SD card did kind of suck since I opted for the 8 GB since the 16 GBs were all sold out. I’m going to sell my 8 GB and get the 32 GB in a few days. I have 48 GB in my Rezound and that is definitely enough (I mostly store just music on it, about 25 GB worth) but it’s always nice to have the option to add more storage if you would like. As you stated I think 16 GB should be the absolute minimum if they want to completely get rid of external storage, there should also be options for 32 GB and 64 GB. Give people 64 GB in their phones and they’ll forget all about MicroSD cards!

    • I’m actually prefer no SD card and no removable battery. Call me crazy I guess.

      • ok, crazy 😉

        i have to admit, it is easier not having to worry about “two” sd cards (in a lot of new devices, the internal memory is treated as an sd card). I agree with the others that i can count on 2 fingers the number of times that i’ve swapped out an sd card or a battery for that matter. That said, if their memory “upgrades” weren’t so darn expensive ($50-100 for 16 GB???), we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        • Alexander Sitte

          The memory upgrades are so expensive, because the memory is way faster than sdcards. Even if you take a calss 10 sd card, onboard memory will be 20-50 times faster. Thus the cost. I have an SGS 3 and barely have anything on the SD Card because internal storage is way faster.

          • MrCrusha

            I have a 64GB class 10 in my phone and any application that is on it has had no problems. You wouldn’t even notice the speed difference with any app or game available today in the market. By the way I got the card for 50 bucks and I would not purchase a phone without the microSD slot. Frankly to also think that people are so dumb to not understand where the music or pics are stored is insulting. The better approach to state is that the user experience would be better because it takes the slower SD card purchase that people make out of the equation of poor performance on the device.

      • I agree with you. I never pulled out my battery in any device. I have an empty 16 gig sd card in my phone and I don’t even use it.

      • Greg

        Crazy! I am okay with nonremovable battery now that I have the MAXX

      • gorkon

        GOT to have a removable battery…..

      • Cowboydroid

        I concur. There is elegance in simplicity.

        I only wish the battery was larger. But maybe this talk of power management upgrades in Android will pan out, and we’ll see better longevity from the typical 2100 mah.

    • MikeCiggy

      I don’t need an SD card but I can’t live with just 16gbs. 32 is the sweet spot.. And they missed that with the nexus 4

    • New_Guy

      My problem is that I already own a 32GB microSD and would actually prefer to buy the 8GB version, pay less for the phone, and swap out the card immediately. I shouldn’t have to pay extra for the space when I already own a card that can be swapped. It would automatically make me look elsewhere if the slot is not there.

  • I’m happy they have their reason to stick by, but on screen nav bars is just wasted beautiful screen area. have my nav bar hidden 99% of the time on my N7. And going from Galaxy Nexus to sgs3 it was so nice having the whole large screen utilized.

    • I like the on screen buttons, they just need to extend the screen all the way to the top and bottom.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    Give me SD card, or give me death.

    Nah, I’m kidding. But I did just buy one of the 64 GB class 10 cards from that post last week. Damn you kellex!

  • w00pw00p

    it’s not confusing, we are not stupid. don’t assume for us please. give people a choice, not what you think is best.

    • No kidding, this was a very Apple-esque move. The old tablet interface was much better.

      • WickedToby741

        Google wants Nexus devices to be Apple-esque devices. There are other options you know.

        • Azn_Android


      • guesst

        HAHAHA honey comb was crap!! it was slow, choppy and half the time the features would just crash! im glad that they got rid of that crap!!

        • No one said anything about Honeycomb. What are you even talking about?

      • jxcgunrunna

        I disagree. The old tablet interface was confusing and made little sense. Why would I swipe up from a tablet and down on a phone? What about the fact that games have on screen buttons right above the system buttons?

        • It was not confusing.

          • Azn_Android

            I’m really tired of people acting so self-centered on things like this. The world does not revolve around you bro. Saying “it was not confusing” is NOT an argument. Why was it not confusing? What made it seem so intuitive to you?

            The reality is, the tablet UI vs the phone UI made android quite confusing. Like jxcgunrunna said above, it does not make sense to swipe one way on the phone ui and another on the tablet ui. It leads to inconsistency. I hate to bring iOS into this but compare and contrast the iPad UI to the iPhone UI. They are CONSISTENT with each other. That is an example of an intuitive UI.

            People tend to oppose change, but you will get used to the new UI. Google is focusing on improving the user experience and they are making all the right moves. Remember, we are the 1%, not the world 🙂

          • Kernschatten

            First. You do not swipe on the tablet UI. You tap.

            Second. The tablet UI has the softkeys and notification area easily accessible by your thumbs in landscape. The Apps button was a little out of place in the upper right corner.

    • LiterofCola

      How is this confusing? I go into my settings and select: Move to SD card and viola! Easy. This is just them trying to save a buck.

      What about no LTE on the Nexus 4? That confusing for users as well?

      • “move to SD card” is different. i can see his point, but i would love the option to add one if i wanted to be “confused”

        as for no LTE, he went into it…basically saying the LTE Gnex was a horrible device and trying to work with CDMA and LTE was a PITA. hopefully soon it will get all worked out.

        • gorkon

          Yep. Drivers all closed and such. Verizon will figure out a way to get a Nexus back AND keep it a real Nexus. Sprint will too.

      • You realize many Android users don’t even know about Settings, right? There are far fewer tech savvy people than you would think.

        • Veritas99

          I’ve had removable SD cards on my work Blackberrys for a good 5+ years and I’ve never heard any non-tech savvy co-workers complain. Software can easily handle it…this is a Google-driven attempt to push cloud storage.

        • ajaxman93

          Maybe we should punish a few of the non-tech savvy people and it would give the others incentive to try harder?

      • Cowboydroid

        My goodness, some of you people are clueless. For them to include LTE, they would have to make extensive carrier agreements that they don’t want to make, and it would severely hamper the update cycle since the LTE software is proprietary and must be approved by the carrier.

        GET A CLUE!

        • bitpimpin

          Logic… thank you for restoring my faith in the droid life community!

    • Joshua Carnett

      It’s hard to believe these days, but most people are not tech savvy. Even people who use computers every single days (basically everyone now) only understand the bare minimum needed to do their job, and anything outside of that completely stalls them. People reading Android news sites may not be confused by SD cards, but we are most certainly the minority in that regard.

      • Yep

        Respectfully disagree. What you are illustrating is a design flaw in Android, which Google is “fixing” by simply doing away with the hardware option, vs. making it more intuitive for the unwashed masses to use; thereby removing that option for everyone, including those of us who aren’t intimidated by buttons with the friggin instructions right on them.

        I got a little testy at the end, and that wasn’t directed at you, Joshua. I’m just not liking very many of the decisions that the phone manufacturers are making w/ respect to hardware lately. (Replaceable batteries also being a big gripe of mine.)

        • Azn_Android

          While I do agree with you on the replaceable battery front (it’s a life saver for me on my Gnex), I find that adding UI instructions or “making it more intuitive for the unwashed masses to use” simply just adds to the confusion. You’d be surprised by how stupid people can be. Again like I said before, these moves are for the majority of people who refer to HTC One X’s as “droids”

      • Stoker

        People who find sd cards confusing can, by all means, continue not to use them. But the claim that they are confusing is a disingenuous justification for taking them out.

        • MentatYP

          Exactly. This is a dumbing down and cost cutting measure. Tech illiterate people: don’t use the SD card. Tech savvy people: use it. What’s so confusing about that? I don’t like this “we know better” approach Google is adapting. It’s starting to look very Apple-like.

          • JIMMY

            These supposed tech illiterate people have been using SD cards and similar devices like flash drives for a long time too. Especially, since digital cameras have been around for such a long time.

            This just comes off as an excuse to get people to pay more for storage. And course, Google doesn’t even offer the option to purchase enough storage to account for the absence of a sd card. 8 gig/16 gig?

            Seriously…? The Gnex had 16/32 gig options, and now it’s regressed in size? What is it going to be next year. 2 gigs and 4 gigs?

        • jeesung

          yeah, both his explanations were pretty weak.

          Tablet UI had the same icons as phone, in the same order. just, imo, shifted to a more convenient location.

          if it’s a right-handed vs. left-handed thing. put in an option to switch sides or an option for Phablet vs Tablet (i.e. buy out Paranoid Android for their hybrid code)

      • JB

        The fact that Google is blaming the end users seems very lazy. The problem of making internal memory and SD cards play nice is a software engineering problem. Seagate and Samsung both released hybrid hard drives in 2007 that intelligently allocated files to either a SSD or HDD as usage patterns dictated. Seems like that could be done with two flash drives even more easily. Google needs to stop throwing up their hands and get their a$$es to work.

      • Bsody

        While I agree that the vast majority of people with smartphones are not exactly tech savvy, I do not think that the people who actively choose nexus devices are in the majority. We choose Nexus for what it is and what it allows us to do. If you find having the option to use an SD card is too confusing, you probably do not need a Nexus.

        • Baaahhh Im a dumb idiot

          The vast majority of people don’t even purchase Nexus phones, and didn’t even know what the Galaxy Nexus was. They don’t even care about pure Android.

          Most of them end up purchasing the Samsung devices like the S3 and the Note 2, that come with the incredibly “confusing” SD card and removable batteries and they seem to some how get their simple minded brains to use it just fine.

      • Dumb simple head

        Easy solution would be to disable the ability for anything to be automatically stored on the SD Card, so that those who want to actually use a SD card can go into the menu and activate the ability to due to.

        But, either way Duarte’s explanation is very insulting. Not to mention, it is mainly Android enthusiasts who care about the pure Android OS experience, and are the ones who are tech savvy.

        Meanwhile the average consumer is going around purchasing the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2, which happens to come with a minimum of 16 gigs, SD slot, and a removable battery. And their “simple minds as seem by Duarte” seem to love using those devices in spite of having so many options.

    • Azn_Android

      Well aren’t you self-centered… You say that on the basis that YOU think the world revolves around communities such as droid-life and XDA. In reality, this is meant for the majority of users who have no idea what an operating system is. These are the people who refer to their HTC One X’s as “droids”. While mostly tech savvy users purchase a nexus phone, you forget that the main point of the nexus program is to provide and set a standard for all other android phones, not necessarily in specs but in user experience. This is why you are finding more and more manufacturers not using expandable storage or replaceable batteries. Do people like you and I think it’s dumb? Yes I agree that I’d rather have the choice. However, Google is not going to come down and take the extra mile to satisfy the desires of the 1%. They are focusing on the welfare of the platform as a whole.

      Thumb me down all you want guys, but the user experience of android will never improve if Google focuses on satisfying the small population of geeks like us.

      • The new tablet interface is not an improvement.

        • Azn_Android

          How so my friend? Does it not agree with your personal preference? I send my deepest condolences on the inconvenience.

      • LegalAmerican

        Just putting a SD card slot in a phone would satisfy 100% of the people. If they want to use it because they are tech savvy, it’s there. If they don’t want to use it, they don’t have to. It’s not like putting an SD card slot would ruin the experience for 99% of people while only satisfying the 1%.

        • Azn_Android

          Because the Nexus devices serve as a model for all other android devices in terms of experience. If other OEMs copy Google, they will find one way or another to screw up the experience by, for example, adding an sd card inside by default and making a majority of the phone’s storage removable and only giving 8 gb of onboard storage.

          • MentatYP

            Or they could show manufacturers the right way to do it and it can be the responsibility of the manufacturers to follow suit. Manufacturers will put SD card slots in regardless. Why not show them how it’s done?

            This is one less thing differentiating Android devices from iOS devices, and that’s not to the benefit of Android.

    • znewman

      For the Android enthusiast it’s no problem and I think since ICS it would be easier to tell, but I have gotten a bunch of questions from family about how to tell what is stored where on there Android phones.

    • I am a tech saavy person, hell I am starting to dev for Android, and I do indeed find the sd-ext confusing at times. Is it a huge issue? No, not really. But when I am trying to drag and drop file from my desktop, or find files on my phone, or any number of other operations, it can be frustrating at times to have to search through two different file systems or mounted volumes to find a specific file. I have enough stress and frustration, so give me a large enough volume of internal storage to fit my needs (and no, 8GB is NOT enough, Google), and I have no issue with them removing the sdcard slot.

    • Fatty Bunter

      It’s not that people would be confused by a microSD card slot are stupid, it’s usually that they just don’t have or want to devote the time to figure out the complexities of how their phones work. I know some VERY smart people who, because they haven’t spent any time fiddling with their phones, have no idea how to really use it. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Simplicity benefits the majority of people, smart and dumb.

    • Raven

      I love what he has done with the UI for the latest versions of Android
      but I find his rationalization of the lack of MicroSD slots pretty
      weak and borderline insulting. Why not give the option?
      Any user intelligent enough to buy a MicroSD card and insert it into the
      slot is going to be intelligent enough to figure out how to use the
      additional storage space. I have 32gb MicroSD cards in almost all of my
      Android devices (currently 3 tablets, 2 phones) except my Nexus 7 and
      every time I get a new one I pop the card out and copy it on to a new
      one and insert it into the new device and voila instantly ready to go
      with documents, music, pictures, and movies. But, I sorely miss the
      option on my Nexus 7 and it will probably prevent me from ever buying
      another device that lacks one.

      I love the ability to have multiple 32GB MicroSD cards for my Asus Transformer. I have one general purpose one with a mix of music, pictures, and movies. I have another one almost completely full of high-res pictures, and I have another completely full of movies. Also, Android devices are great until they die for some reason and all of your data is trapped inside of it. Being able to simply remove the MicroSD card has been a great help to me twice already.

      • wagner

        Wow Twice…

      • Justin Halcomb

        Why have multiple SD cards when you can use cloud storage? I think that’s what they saw the ability to introduce cloud storage to the average consumer. Why create something and not use it to the full. Having cloud storage makes for a better experience and you don’t have to hassle with multiple cards.

        • tehserver

          Why use cloud storage when you have data usage limits? What if I want to go offline or am going somewhere with limited bandwidth that I don’t want to have to stream everything or won’t be able to?

          • MentatYP

            Shh… don’t use logic. The “put it in the cloud” nutjobs have consumed the Kool-aid and swallowed the company line whole. They won’t listen to reason.

        • JB

          How many 4gb games (Bards Tale and more to come) can you fit on your “Cloud Storage”?

        • Billybop

          Why not have the option to use cards, and also use cloud storage….

          Is the existence of a SD slot suddenly going to make my ability to use cloud storage disappear?

          Android has always been about choices. Well it used to be anyways.

    • zUFC

      Exactly!!!!! ^^^^^ I don’t want my phone or computer to be user friendly like I-Junk. I want it to be more technical with more settings and more things we can do to it. I am so sick of this “lets make everything think for us and leave the users out of it” NO!!!! Keep it for the tech savvy

      • David

        If they do that, android would not appeal to the masses and fail as an OS. Developers would leave because there will be little support for the platform. Let’s be real, majority of people are not tech savvy and without all the non-techy folks, android would not be where it is today.

        • zUFC

          Trust me, I know why they think they have to do it. But that doesn’t mean I agree. Just like PC’s vs Macs. PC’s are by far the superior one to the masses. But yet way more technical and tech savvy friendly. Once set up (programs or what not) the idiots can use them. But tech savvy users can also have their fun. Thats how android should be!!!! Easy for the idiots but still open (with settings) for us people. PC’s prove you can have it both ways. P.S. I don’t think developers would leave. Where would they go? closed platform Apple. I don’t think so. Even Windows Mobile still has developers.

  • OMG I’m so happy they left out SD Card slots. I would have been soooooo confused!

    • First Prime

      Whether that’s the true reason for omitting them. It makes sense from the perspective of someone who isn’t tech savy. Sometimes just being told how much space you have is enough for a lot of people. For people like us on here, it can be annoying, because we have many uses for expanded storage. Personally I’ve never had an issue with fixed storage.

    • That is not why they don’t do SD cards anymore. They don’t do them anymore because:

      1) They want you to use Google’s cloud storage
      2) cost

      • Tristan Cunha

        As someone who used to have a phone with an SD card, and then started using a Nexus phones without one, I agree with Matias 100%.
        I always thought that I wanted an SD card, but really it was just another cost for me, I never came close to filling it up, and while it wasn’t confusing to figure out where to store stuff, it was just one more thing to think about everytime I installed something or saved a file. I’ve never owned more than 1 SDcard (the one that was in my phone), I’ve never filled one up, swapped one out, or used it to transfer files.
        I’ve had my phone for over a year, the 32gb of storage is still mostly empty, and I have no desire to go back to the old way of having a separate card. It’s an option that I didn’t really need, and getting rid of it has been a benefit. I don’t have strong feelings about it either way, it’s just a phone stat that I don’t care about anymore.
        Part of this is probably due to storing all of my photos, videos and music online, and only keeping a copies of a few of the most recently used physically on the phone. Basically my phone’s storage is just where apps and their data go.
        I guess some people use their phones in a very different way than I do, and there are lots of phones with SD cards for them, but for most people I think the SD card-less phone will work great, and be one less thing to deal with.

      • stupidllama

        and possibly 3 (and i don’t that this is true but i heard it somewhere) that it also has to do with licencing fees for the fat exfat formats, if they include micro sd then microsoft gets some royalties from that and that’s what they are trying to avoid.

        I guess i probably would have an issue with his statement if we really had a wide verity of choices in size that were similarly priced, so 299 for 8gig, 325 for a 16gig 350 for a 32 and 375 for a 64. I just seems to me that phones are either 8/16, 16/32 or 32/64, but none of them are all of the above, also the $100 difference is just insane. Even the $25 increments i used seem high, but at least you would have lots of choices.

      • Paul

        Also, so you pay a lot more for a little bit more onboard memory.

      • gorkon

        Which is BS. Cloud storage is great if your bandwidth is unlimited and for a lot of people it’s not.

  • Sean Livingston

    I shall read this soon. Just wanted to be first lol.

    • and yet you still failed, meanwhile those that beat you read, understood, and contributed meaningfully to the discussion.

    • znewman


      • Sean Livingston

        lol, yep.