Ever since Gingerbread and the Nexus S, the Android world has been in a constant and dramatic state of UI flux and we've all faced some hard questions as we adjust to new interface design. "What's the best way to layout software buttons?" "Can we live without micro SD cards?" "Where is all this new hair coming from?" Matias Duarte took to Google+ to answer two out of these three questions you have about your growing pains.

On the subject of the decision to change the UI on the Nexus 10 to be more in line with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 layouts:

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.

While people like myself and our own Jeremiah might find the space to be a bit wasted, it does at least come as a bit of comfort. It's certainly true that the new notifications in Jelly Bean, as well as Quick Settings, make more sense in a swipe-down, gesture-based system. Over time it's likely that most users will simply grow to accept the layout like we did the move to capacitive buttons.

There was a much more abrasive decision Google has made in recent years that Duarte also addressed, though. On the subject of the decision to leave out micro SD cards on Nexus devices:

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

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

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.

Despite all the conspiracy theories to the contrary, this is consistent with what we've heard before from Dan Morrill. Like it or not, Google simply doesn't want to confuse users with prompts on where to save data. Of course, the real problem most of us have with this philosophy is when it's coupled with low storage options. The confusing decision to start the Nexus 4 line at 8GB has made it difficult to stomach the lack of expansion.

As an interesting side note, if you were to go to the Play Store, head to Devices, and select the Nexus 4, the default option is the 16GB version. It seems like Google may perceive the 8GB model as a step down to save some cash, rather than seeing it as the base with the 16GB as a step-up. The one thing the company seems to neglect is that the target market for "people who want to save some money" is everyone.

Still, it's nice to get some transparency from the man who's brought all these dramatic shifts in the Android ecosystem. So far it seems to be for the better, even if there are some difficult decisions being made that might take some time to adjust to.

Source: Google+

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

    I would have a lot less of an issue with the lack of an SD card slot if they had a 16/32/64GB option for the N4.

    8GB is just ridiculous 16 should be standard, the 'upgrade' size should be 32GB. We are probably a few years away from 64GB actually being a 'required' feature for me.

    • marcusmaximus04

      Read the article again. 16GB IS the standard, the *downgrade* size is 8GB. It's a subtle distinction to be sure, but defaulting to 16GB certainly wasn't an accident.

      • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

        I did read the article, my point was that instead of a downgrade option, there should have been an upgrade option from the 'standard' size.

        • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

          You just know he was the guy who came back and down-voted you for making him feel stupid, don't you? :P

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    No one is asking you to have SD card slots, but have 32/64GB variants for crying out loud. 32GB model for $399 and 64GB model for $449 would hurt no one, and actually give Google/LG better profit margins.

    • marcusmaximus04

      Depending, of course, on how many people would actually buy them. Manufacturing ain't cheap and doesn't scale down well. If only a few hundred people buy a 64GB model, LG is going to lose a lot of money.

      • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

        This actually isn't true. The device would be identical in every way except for the storage IC. Running 1000 devices off the line first with the high density storage, and then switching out that one item on the pick and place machine to the standard density would take just a few minutes.

        You don't have to reprogram the machine, you don't have to do completely separate runs of the job. It really isn't that big of a deal to have a small amount made for the higher density storage options.

        • crankyd00d

          Is it really that simple? Do you know about this?

          • Mooki

            I work with PCBs and it really *is* that simple as long as they made the right choices with the flash chips to begin with. Many flash chips share a common pinout across sizes and so can easily be swapped, this is what is happening between the 16 and 32 GB sizes and it could be just as easy with the 64GB version. It can be as simple as changing a reel of flash chips on the machine to do a particular run and then having a few lines of code to detect and partition the device slightly differently. Given that the code can already change between 16 and 32GB versions a 64GB detection would not be difficult.

          • crankyd00d

            Then what is it? They just don't wanna deal with a slightly more varied inventory? Lazy bastards

          • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

            It really is that simple.

    • GraveUypo

      i am.
      bigger storage would help, but i'd still like to have the option to use a sd card.

      • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

        I understand that many would love a simple SD card slot, but if Google is really paranoid about slow cards ruining the Android experience, they should churn out phones with enough goddamn geebees.

        • randomchars

          There's nothing in the article about cards being slow.
          The speed of the card barely matters.

          • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

            That's the only reason why some manufacturers don't put slots in their phones. If a customer buys a slow/defective SD card and his/her experience suffers because of it, he/she will blame the phone, not the card.

            There is absolutely no economic reason why Google couldn't have included a slot in the Nexus 4.

          • randomchars

            Do you have a source for that? Because I haven't seen anything to that effect.
            The reason is not economic, but business based. They want to lock you in even more. And maybe make it easier for non-techies. Nobody thinks that a microSD card slot costs too much.

    • http://twitter.com/MexDroid MexDroid Staff


    • nsnsmj

      I agree. While I would like a microSD card slot, I don't need one if they offer plenty of internal storage. I just want 32GB at least, and I'll be perfectly fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000345962165 Jon Bradley

    They wouldn't keep having to fend off these questions if they actually added higher storage options. His google + post is full of people pleading for 32/64gb n4's which are being ignored.

    If they're trying to push people to cloud storage they should just admit it. 16gb max is not good enough.

    • Yianni Galiatsatos

      They have said that they are encouraging cloud storage, Look at the chromebook, you get 16 gb of on-board storage and 100 gb of cloud storage on Google drive free for 2 years

      • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

        Google Drive is anything but a seamless experience on Android or Chrome OS. Just open the Gallery app in Android, it's complete madness. It uploads your photos (via Google+) and then it shows your Picasa albums which you can't even delete or hide.

        If you're promoting cloud storage (and being the pioneering "cloud" company, Google should), at least do it right.

        • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

          Here's a fix for Picasa and G+ albums showing in Gallery:

          1. Go to Settings > Apps, and clear data of your Gallery and G+ apps.
          2. In Settings > Accounts, uncheck Picasa Web albums and Google Photos.
          3. Open your Gallery app and the offending pictures should be gone. You'll have to login again to G+ though.

          • squiddy20

            You shouldn't have to jump through hoops by delving into 2 different settings, and taking the time to re-sync all your G+ data, just to delete Picasa/G+ photos from Gallery.

            If the average user isn't willing to go through those steps, simple as they may be to us "advanced users", you've failed in ease of use.

          • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

            Not sure if you're directing any annoyance at me... for the record I fully agree with what you said.

            I was just telling @Ashutosh Mishra how to get rid of pictures he didn't want appearing. I had the same problem before, and had to look through xda to find a solution. What I wrote above is probably the quickest method.

        • Yianni Galiatsatos

          It has its faults, I'll give you that, a lot of them. Admittedly, not being able to hide your Picasa web albums can be hell. If you want, the option to edit the albums to your liking is always there so its not intrusive You can turn off the instant upload feature, you're prompted as soon as you sign in to Google+ on an android device.

        • jm9843

          Google Drive is integrated right into the file manager on Chrome OS. I'm not sure how much more "integrated" it needs to be.

      • JG

        The only problem with the whole "8GB is enough local storage, just use the cloud for the rest" is it assumes all of our devices have a dedicated 24/7 Google Fiber connection. Half the time I was out today, my phone was connecting at 1X speeds. I tried to play a song via Google Music - it took a while to start to play, then it played for maybe 2 lines before it had to pause to buffer again... I got tired of waiting, decided it wasn't worth it & just canceled out... Had it been stored locally, it'd have started as soon as I pressed play & played through without any interruptions.

        Along with speed, there's bandwidth issues as well... I don't know about Google Movies, but I've read Netflix uses 2-3GB per movie on Standard Def. Which means forget about browsing the web, or tweeting, etc... Just watching a single movie a month is enough to kill your basic data plan.... What am I supposed to do the other 29 days until I can get data again?

    • Anon

      If they're pushing cloud storage, they should realize most of us do not have good data plans! I'm getting 300MB a month, and that's it. Ridiculous!

  • mgamerz

    8GB of storage is paleolithic, Matias. Get real!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      I received yesterday my Samsung Galaxy S3, the 16GB model, and out of the box it had only 11GB free space (JellyBean 4.1.1), imagine an 8GB model.....
      luckily, SGS3 has an SD slot... :)

  • bL4Ck

    >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.

    this stuff stinks of "Apple reasoning", it's stupid to limit your users, you're not there to limit them but to give them the tools to live their gadgets as they want, not having an SD Card is a great limitation, and anyone knows that its not confusing nor "frustrating", but is more of a "extra" for those that need the extra space, just sell your Nexus phones without an external sd card included, let the user think by themselves and get what they want, it doesn't cost anything.

    • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

      Apple provides 32GB and 64GB variants for the iPhone, no matter how ridiculously they price it. This Nexus 4 storage is a complete joke.

    • marcusmaximus04

      "not having an SD Card is a great limitation"

      Well, that all depends on how you look at it. If you come from the standpoint that an sdcard slot is a standard feature for all phones, then yes, not having one is a limitation. If you view it as an additional feature to a phone, then no. In the latter case, having an SD card expands ability and not having one is the standard.

      You're coming at this from the standpoint that all smartphones must have an SD card slot as a standard part of it, which is understandable if you've been with android for a long time. However, that doesn't necessarily match up with the expectations of most customers.

      • Karthik Sowdi

        No they should have sufficient memory - when it is lacking an SD card is a necessity.

        • marcusmaximus04

          "Sufficient" means different things to different people. For example, I have an 8GB Nexus 7, on which I have 2.8GB free right now, without having taken any real steps to clear out space.

          For a lot of users(most?) 16GB will be sufficient. If you aren't in that group, you're welcome to wait for higher capacities or buy another phone.

          • http://twitter.com/Slipshod Tash Hepting

            And when I'm on a trip from SFO->BKK->BLR->SFO 16GB isn't all that much space for the TV shows I'm catching up on. At least not at a decent resolution. Plus the music/games/apps/backups. If I didn't have to deal with video on an airplane I'd be fine with 16GB (though I'd grumble at having to spend time managing which playlists were local). Even 32GB sucks for this.

            I need to pack light and part of the reason I have a phone with a large screen is because I travel a lot and don't want to carry a tablet with me in addition to the laptop and phone. I can't get a GSM Nexus phone with more than 16GB.

      • xx00xx

        i was raised with phone having sd card: dumbphone, e71, n95 ,n97, galaxy s, s2 so all smartphone should have sd

    • http://twitter.com/nastybutler77 Jameson Ahern

      Exactly right. Why does Google assume that their customers are dumber than every person who uses any type of PC that has the option to connect to more storage devices than just the hard drive? If my mom can figure out how to get pictures moved off an SD card to her PC's hard drive then the average user should be able to handle the mind blowing concept of a seperate storage device on their phone. This is something Apple does, but at least they have the good sense to offer phones with 64GB capacity.

      If another storage option on your phone confuses you, don't use it. Stick to the phone's internal storage and sleep well at night. But why not give us the option to choose whether or not to tackle this mentally draining concept.

      I'm sure it all boils down to forcing consumers to the cloud, but like I've said ad nauseum, most people don't have unlimited, omnipresent connections to the internet. Until that day comes, give us more freakin' storage.

      • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

        Because I, a software engineer by trade, think it's a huge pain in the ass to get the photos that I want off of my phone when half the time they're stored in a folder on the SD card while other times they're stored in a folder on the internal memory while still others they're in a third file who's origin I still can't quite pin point.

        I mean, sure I'm smart enough to track through the file system and eventually get what I want, but ask yourself honestly if the average user is. The expectation is that photos will be saved to one folder, period. When they aren't people like me start getting calls from their parents asking 'why the android deleted their photos.'

        Finally, I admit I think it would be great if the Nexus devices had expandable storage but I have the 8 GB Nexus 7 and I can't really say that I've ever felt like I needed more. Nice to have, maybe, but needed? No.

        • Thepie

          Totally agreed except for 8gbstorage. UNB also have the n7 8gb and is just too little

          • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

            To each their own. My point is that, even though all of the people that get online and complain say that 8GB just isn't enough, for some people it is.

            My main use case is sitting on my couch so I'm able to stream all of my content. I play a few games, some of them a little on the big side, but I don't feel the need to have several large games installed at once. When I travel, I'm easily able to load up a movie or two as well as some music, magazines, and books to keep me entertained. If I was traveling constantly, I can see how more space would be useful but for me it isn't necessary.

          • montgoss

            A movie or two?? The last few times I've taken a trip, I've filled a 16GB microSD card with movies (and a few TV episodes). You know how hard it was to narrow my options down to the 20-30 movies that would fit on the card? I can't imagine having to pick just one or two for even a weekend trip.
            Also, it was a LOT quicker copying those movies onto my microSD card than it is trying to copy files over the USB interface! I don't know why the USB cable is so much slower... but it is.

          • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

            It's no harder than choosing what movie you'll want to rent to watch on a Friday night.

            Also, again, my point was that it's not like 100% of the user base wants or needs more space. I am perfectly happy with my 8GB. I understand you might not be, but others need to understand that there are use cases that make that perfectly reasonable.

          • montgoss

            Uh, it is harder than choosing what movie to rent on a Friday night. It's choosing what movie to watch for the next three days! I can't think of any movie that I'd want to watch more than once in a weekend...
            I have over 900 DVDs converted to Android compatible files. If I could, I'd bring them all on my phone/tablet. Streaming just doesn't work across a very large portion of this country (or on nearly all airplanes).

            The fact that some people might be happy with 8GB is no reason to make 8GB the only option. Same thing with 16GB. That's why manufacturer's originally put SD slots in the phone. That way, those of us unhappy with the limited space could double or triple it with a microSD card. That's the closest you're going to get to pleasing everyone, instead of that minority that's happy with 8GB...

            Nexus users are going to be the biggest Android fans and some of the most tech-savvy purchasers. They above everyone else should be able to handle expandable storage.

      • Thepie

        U r truly jesting, right?
        I was at the tmo store and a guy came in and didn't know how to set up a pin in the play store.

    • GraveUypo

      why would you buy, say, a 32gb version that costs $100 more if you could buy the 8gb version and add a 64gb card, end up with twice as much storage and still have a $40 change? that's the reason they do this, no matter how much they want to sugar coat it with that nonsense.
      thing is, they don't even OFFER a 32gb version, which is inexcusable. i think they want to force their stupid cloud storage on everyone.

      • RichardReich

        AND use the card over and over on each new phone you buy! If you add up the ridiculous memory surcharges over three or four phones, you're talking very serious money.

      • http://twitter.com/NickInLA Nick

        Because the sdcard is way slower than the internal storage you get, slowing down the performance of your phone, leading people to think that their phones are slow.

        • montgoss

          In my experience, it is a LOT quicker to take out my microSD card, put it in the USB reader, plug that in the PC, copy the files onto that, then put it back in my phone than it is to transfer those same files using a USB cable directly to my phone. Maybe you just got a really shitty SD card? Try getting a name-brand card that actually has a class rating.

      • Thepie

        I was all pro external SD, but now UB prefer internal only. In have the 32 xoom and it seems like infinite storage. I would think goog four now wants to keep costs down so they are only offering lower memory options. I don't believe they are being sneaky trying to trick anyone. Just my thoughts

    • mgamerz

      Don't insert an SD card if you don't understand how to use it. Problem solved. Keeps people who don't know how to use it satisfied, and people who can satisfied.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

      Agreed. I chose Android over iOS because I didn't want a company deciding for me how best to use my devices.

      I wish this trend of Google over-simplifying things would stop. Is it so important to get more market share that they're willing to go down the Apple path and dumb down their devices? All the OEMs are doing their bit to keep Android going strong with their own releases; the Nexus line shouldn't need to cater to the least technologically-inclined market segment.

      This is so ironic given that the OEMs are releasing devices that are supposedly more complicated to use.

    • apomk2

      It *is* confusing. The original hack of moving apps to your sdcard was a usability disaster. The S2 ended up having 3 (!) partitions.. internal memory, an internal sdcard and the external sdcard. Apps moved your stuff all over the place. It's just not acceptable, and, especially with the requirement to mount your sdcard in Windows, not fixable.
      They should just focus on proper wireless and cloud support.

  • Stephen Long

    I agree with his comments about SD cards. I had an EVO 4G w/ 1GB of memory and an 8GB SD card. The experience was awful, tbh. But also agree with everyone else that 32/64 GB should be available - and not at a huge premium.

    • Dreamcasting

      They're in it to make money, of course a premium should be there.

      • Stephen Long

        Of course there should be a premium - but not a huge one that cannot be justified. $50 for 16GB (comparing 16/32GB versions of the Nexus7) of flash memory cannot be justified. The last USB 2.0 Flash thumb drive I bought was 64GB. It was $28. Even at $28, I bet that still was at a halfway decent margin. I have seen 16GB thumbdrives and microSD class 10 variants as low as $4.99 retail.

        Looking at the Nexus 10, the story is even worse - 16GB of flash memory is $100 when you compare the 16GB and 32GB models. That's just price gouging the customer in a very Applesque fashion.

    • crankyd00d

      I will gladly pay the premium, what I hate is not being given the choice to do it. Well, I guess we do have to options to buy or not to buy the damn thing

      • Stephen Long

        Oh, I'll pay it too - but not gladly - because 16GB is not enough storage. They know this and are squeezing money from consumers by placing an inordinately large premium on memory.

        I bought the 16GB Nexus 7 for $249.99 - now the 32GB Nexus 7 is $249.99 and the 16GB Nexus 7 is $199.99. The entire pricing structure and attaching these premiums for small incremental bumps in storage available is flawed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Werner-Salinas/707962640 Werner Salinas

    Games r just too big apps ain't the same anymore the sd card slot is a must for movies videos games apps etc im going to wait until Asus put out a tablet with this screen resolution n of curse a micro sd slot

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Sunghwa-Woo/542631978 Ray Sunghwa Woo

    Your Nexus has a fixed amount of space: 8gb too small
    and your apps just seamlessly use it for you: oh yeah because it's only 8gb, there's just no extra room for your apps
    without you ever having to worry about files or volumes: there's no room to worry about
    or any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing: techy nonsense? if you have a 1tb hard drive and use a usb drive is that a techy nonsense?

    this all could've made sense if Google started the standard version 16gb or higher.

    • marcusmaximus04

      "this all could've made sense if Google started the standard version 16gb or higher."

      The standard version is 16GB.

    • GraveUypo

      i know a better solution than to remove external storage entirely: make a virtual drive that combines all physical storage into one virtual volume.

      there, you don't have to worry about "any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing" AND you can have enough storage for more than the stock google apps.

      • Aaron Maslen

        This is what Windows Phone 7 does, IIRC. The SD card is unusable in any other device afterwards, however.

        • GraveUypo

          well that's one thing windows phone 7 does better than android then.

        • Cheeseball

          Windows Phone 7 doesn't support microSD cards. You may be talking about Windows Phone 8.

  • aatifsumar

    In a world where games take over 1 GB of space (with some even 3.5GB) and where your phone can record and play 1080p video, HOW is anything less than 32GB enough?
    Also, in a world where 64GB Class 10 microSD cards come for $60, how is it fair that our phones are stuck on 8 and 16GB?

    • Davy Jones

      I think the real issue hear isn't specifically about the memory on the Nexus. Rather it is that many of us are craving the stock Android experience with timely updates. While we would like this on the phone of our choosing, instead we are forced to buy a limited form "Nexus" device released once a year if we want this. While Android does provide choice when it comes to hardware, it involves a sacrifice on the software side.

      The unfortunate thing is, if Google can't even manage to get Motorola to make devices like this (due to carrier pressures), I don't know if there is any hope for the rest of them.

    • http://paleografie.tk/ S.W. Leefers

      I agree, it's madness. They are trying to force you to pay up for 16 GB and more internal memory, I think that's the reason behind it. I believe 16 GB costs only maybe $7 more than 8 GB for Google, and yet they increase the price of the phone by $ 50. That's a 600 % profit on the extra memory. Same for 32 GB and 64 GB. How can this not be a huge incentive for Google *against* including SD cards in their phones?

      They could have the OS put all music and films on the card by default, and the rest in internal memory, and let you fine-tune it in advanced settings, just as tons of applications will do for you. That would already be a huge boon, and it would be very easy to implement. Duarte's "confusing" bit sounds like bullshit, excusez le mot. Worse, it sounds
      like Apple.

  • http://twitter.com/mircury119 Mircury119

    I don't get it. Why treat people as idiots when it comes to sd cards. This is one of the things that keeps me from getting a nexus device. I loved my nexus one which had an sd slot. Maybe they should focus on programming an easier to understand interface for the sd cards instead of taking the easy way out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614282502 Ethan Goldberg

    Android users on a whole are far more technically astute than average and the lack of a Micro SD slot so the customer will not get confused is just utter nonsense. Give me a slot on the Nexus 10 due out soon. I promis that I will know exactly where my files are placed.

    • Luis E. Cornejo

      Google is really blind. Microsoft already have support for microSD card and the Microsoft Surface tablet have microSD card support for up to 64GB. Google, what are you doing? Open your f...ing eyes... The Microsoft surface is selling as hell and I don't see any results from the Nexus 10 sales. Your next Nexus devices MUST have MICRO SD CARD SUPPORT YES OR YES!! Google, you are being warned. Next year, we will see TIZEN DEVICES from SAMSUNG. And PERHAPS they KNOW how to give MARKETING to that OS and... DITCH ANDROID!!! GOOGLE, YOU WERE WARNED!!! If you don't get SERIOUS about it and if you don't LISTEN to your FANS. Next year, many of them will go either TIZEN or WINDOWS PHONE/RT/PRO and any other OS appears. I hope you learn from this.

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    If Google wants to promote Google Drive, they should add an option to Android to have all the media files transferred to Drive "seamlessly".

  • GraveUypo

    sorry, both crappy excuses.

    "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."
    left handers, right hands, they both have two hands they can use. i don't see a situation where the menus on the corner would take more than "equal" effort to use as with them in the middle, but i can see a lot of situations where they would take less.

    "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."

    So you think i'm a retard and can't manage something as simples as have two different storages on a device. how very apple-y of you, google. this is just a lame excuse to sell bigger storage versions for the considerably higher price they do cost.

    • marcusmaximus04

      "this is just a lame excuse to sell bigger storage versions for the considerably higher price they do cost."

      Reality check: they're selling the 16GB version of it for $350, off contract. Go try to find another phone anywhere near this caliber for that price, higher storage/SD card slot or no.

  • Veridor

    I understand the point Matias makes about confusing users with prompts, but I agree with the other commenters: this wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue if they had 32/64 GB versions. 8 GB is pointless, and 16 GB should be the minimum.

  • http://twitter.com/mircury119 Mircury119

    "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." Ya, except when your f'ing apps run out of space or you can't install another app. What takes more time and is more frustrating then? You have to delete pictures, movies, apps to get space.

  • Magnesus

    A lot of bullshit. It's all fine and all until you realise your device is full. What then? Throw it out?

  • Samvith

    Man, they are just bullshitting us with the missing SD card slot 'explanation'. Oh well, will have to wait for the 32 GB version then.

  • Johnathan Kulow

    I think the biggest driving force behind all of this is pushing things to the cloud. Don't store things locally. For pictures use dropbox or G+ instant upload. For Music use Google Music, for documents you have dropbox or drive.

    The only bottleneck is your data plan but the world we live in today is one that is connected at the very least 80% of the time with wifi and the extra 19% is held steady with mobile data plans.

    Nothing is stored locally on my phone, everything is on one of the many cloud based services out there. Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Music, etc.

    Granted, one place some people may run in to some issues is on a plane. Well most planes I have been on in recent months have had wifi for the duration of the flight and besides, if you have nothing on your phone in the first place it wouldn't be hard to plop a couple movies on your 8GB's of storage present on your phone.

    So where is the real issue with 8GB of internal space? Besides the American mindset of "MOAR!"

    • GraveUypo

      the world YOU live in today is right. i'm only on wifi at home and i don't have any data connection at all when i'm out of town for most part. also my monthly data cap is a cute 500mb, which could be consumed in a day of regular use.

    • Veridor

      What about metered/tiered data plans?

    • mesmorino

      The issue lies with people like me who don't have constant access to the cloud, and very often the moment you need it most is the very moment it's unavailable- If you're commuting underground, or commuting in places without decent cell coverage (nevermind data coverage), or working in places with restricted or regulated emissions, you want your media (and it very often is media) readily available.

      And then there are the data plans- Aside from the monetary cost, what about the hit in battery life? I have enough things sucking the juice on my phone, without also adding streaming music to the list so I end up with a dead phone and a large bill

      And this is without considering the reliability of the cloud- What happens if lightning fries the servers where my data is stored, and it's all lost permanently? Regardless of how likely that scenario is, it's possible and is only one of any number of things that can happen.

      It's all well and good living in America where cloud access is cheap and ubiquitous, but America is not the world and the fact of the matter is, in the vast majority of the world internet access is an expensive and unreliable luxury, at best.

    • http://twitter.com/hedami Hedami

      "For Music use Google Music"... what if I don't want to? What if I want to use an app with different types of features. The Google Music API is not open, so app developers can't (officially) support it. I'm wrapping up development of a new music app myself and obviously would prefer to use my own app since I've developed it with features that I find valuable (and hopefully other people will too).
      Also in addition to locally-stored media, you're forgetting that apps are getting bigger and bigger these days, especially games.
      Also as you mentioned, if you don't have an internet connection (or a poor one), the cloud is going to be an inferior solution to locally-stored data & media.
      For me 8GB is not even an option since I have about 12GB of music that I store on my device. When you add in pictures, apps, and other files, 32GB becomes my minimum requirement. IMO, 8GB shouldn't even be an option in this day and age.

  • pepcok

    Good article, thanks.. but here a few thoughts.

    I'm sure I'm not the only user who still considers the 16GB limit as a no-go, though. Example - the hiking mapping app I'm using (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.smartmaps) is 7GB with the full data (raster maps) - and sorry, I won't play the game of deleting/loading/deleting/loading map portions every weekend when I'm out. Navigon loads additional 1GB for the maps I need every week for my travels. Then I'll load 3GB of Bard's Tale and that's almost it.. How much of the 16GB is available to the user anyway?

    To be honest, I'd be thrilled to buy a Nexus 4 with 32GB storage. But with 8/16GB options, it's a no-go for me. As much as I love the whole Nexus idea, there should be an option to have 32 or even 64GB storage in the phone. In the end, I'm the person paying the difference, right? ;)

    • http://twitter.com/nastybutler77 Jameson Ahern

      "How much of the 16GB is available to the user anyway?"

      If it follows how my Nexus 7's 16GB hard drive is configured, it'll leave you about 12GB for your apps/media files.

      • pepcok

        thank you.. that's kind of what I was expecting

  • nukeblitz

    The whole article basically says.

    "If you want to go mainstream, you have to idiot proof your device. We did just that. Get over it."

  • nukeblitz

    Still, a 32GB model for $399 would have been nice...

  • mgamerz

    I'm sure the next nexus will come in 4GB and 8GB versions, followed by 2 and 4.

  • nukeblitz

    IMO, not having an SD card is not bad in itself. Its just that the available options just don't provide enough space for a significant section of users. And this is a huge deal breaker for a large number of people. IMO, it should be like this

    $299,$349,$399 for 8,16,32 GB

    $199,$249,$299 for 16,32,64 GB with 32 and 64 versions available for $50 extra for 3G

    $399,$449,$499 for 16,32,64 GB with 32 and 64 versions available with 3G for $50 extra.

    I suppose this is possible if the current devices sell well...

  • http://twitter.com/wordsmanifest WordsManifest

    I'd actually be okay with 16GB if it weren't for the fact that, in my part of the world, the option to access content from the cloud doesn't yet exist. Music, movies, books and magazines from the Play Store? not an option in Malaysia, and in many other countries where Android adoption is rising fast. No one I know here owns a Kindle Fire for exactly the same reason. Pandora? Rdio? Nope. I constantly have to ration out space on my N7, swapping out Fringe episodes so I can watch Adventure Time on the commute to work instead.

    So Google, please. Either work out the international agreements to open up cloud content for users in emerging markets, or bump up the storage for international iterations of your phones and tablets. Devices that are optimized with gorgeous HD displays and progressively longer battery life aren't going to mean as much to consumers in my country when we can't store enough of our content locally.

  • Paul

    Probably Apple’s reasoning as well huh. Sure, let’s not focus on
    setting ourselves apart by offering microsd expansion, mechanical
    keyboards, a D-Pad, interchangeable batteries, etc. let’s follow their

    I love Android but can’t stand it becoming more and more like a
    certain other phone. I loved what set them apart, having options and
    choices. MicroSD gave me the option of choosing my memory size, 4gb,
    8gb, 16gb, 32gb or 64gb in addition to whatever’s built into the phone.
    Having a D-Pad, mechanical keyboard, etc. all stuff I could get that
    Apple users couldn’t. But I guess that’s all changing now and Google’s
    realizing Apple’s original approach of consistency and lack of options
    is the simplest and “best” way to do things? No thank you. At least some
    companies are still innovating with Android, like the Note II. It may
    not be for everyone but at least the stylus is an attempt to change the
    ‘norm’, even if it is old school. My wife still has a Captivate Glide
    because she can’t give up her physical keyboard, I don’t blame her, I
    can type 3x faster on her phone than I can on my Galaxy S II, no matter
    which software keyboard I try. She can’t wait for the Galaxy SIII with
    mechanical keyboard they’re supposedly making.

    • Paul

      You know who had an 8gb model phone with no MicroSD? Apple, 5 years
      ago. Yes the cloud is better now and the Nexus 4 is crazy cheap off
      contract which is awesome, but it’s still a slap in the face to Android.
      Offering people a 16gb model for $15 more and a 32gb model for $30 more
      and a 64gb model for $50 more (than the $300 base price) would have
      been better. I’d only consider giving up my 64gb Class 10 MicroSD card
      if the phone had the equivalent storage. But the Note II I’m getting has
      32gb on board and add in my 64gb MicroSD and I’m set. Fill up my
      MicroSD card while on vacation taking videos and pictures? No sweat,
      switch to a backup 16gb I have in my laptop bag.

      • http://twitter.com/nastybutler77 Jameson Ahern

        You bring up a great point that I hadn't thought about. These phones tout their HD video recording capabilities, but how much video can you shoot before you run out of room on the puny memory they give you? Another reason these capacities are jokes.

    • Paul

      While I’ll admit this is kind of frustrating on Samsung devices,
      /sdcard /sdcard/exteran_sd/ on stock ROM’s and /emmc and /sdcard on AOSP
      ROM’s, it’s something I’m willing to live with if it means more
      storage. Samsung’s approach is built in memory and no MicroSD card in
      the box. Most users will go with this configuration. But power users,
      like me, will choose to add a MicroSD card and then users like me will
      know how to make use of it.

      That’s like saying “We’re going to sell laptops with no memory slots,
      all on board, because adding memory is confusing to most users”.
      “We’re going to solder the hard drive onto the motherboard because most
      users won’t want to upgrade the hard drive or find it too confusing”.

      • GraveUypo

        yeah i was not too happy with samsung's implementation of sd storage, but since i found directory bind, it became tolerable.

    • marcusmaximus04

      "I loved what set them apart, having options and choices."

      You still do. This is only 3 devices in a sea of android devices. You want an SD-card slot? No problem, there's tons of phones and tablets with them. Want a D-Pad? There's a few of those as well. Mechanical keyboard? Yep.

      That doesn't mean every single device out there has to have all of these. You said you want choices, but from what you're arguing about, you don't. You want every single device to be exactly the same but in the way *you* want them.

      The only limit to your choices is in what manufacturers are willing to make, which is driven first and foremost by sales. If something you want doesn't exist, then it's probably because there aren't enough people like you for that to be viable

    • Nevi_me

      When I read the article, it came to me that Apple might be reasoning that way. So I agree with you there.

      Just one thing though: Google is setting a 'base standard' with the Nexus devices. Just because that their view is that the microSD affects the user experience, it doesn't mean that every manufacturer out there will forego the microSD.
      Unlike with Apple, we still have a choice of flagships like S3 and Note 2, should we want expandable memory.
      Yes the Nexus have little memory, but the limitation also comes with the benefit of a cheaper device.

      Don't know about your other devices, but I have a portable wifi modem the size of a credit card in width and height, it also uses a microSD, which can be accessed by any connected device. So for some people there is the benefit, cos for example; my modem is with me wherever I am, and it has expandable/expansive memory, and internet. Just my view

  • Tatsuya

    Yeah yeah, that's also why they disabled the usb Host on the Nexus 7; for transparency, usability and modernity.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    C'mon! Even teenage girls know how to use memory cards on their little cameras....

  • Dreamcasting

    So question - do you know how long support for the older Nexii will last? Any comments there?

    • Bleakvision

      If the Nexus S gets updated again, it will be the first to make the 2 year finish line. I am not holding my breath though. Lock screen widgets and quick settings will waste more RAM... there they have their excuse.

  • Bruinsfan18

    I agree with the SD Card comments. I know a lot about computers but sometimes I spend a little bit just cleaning up my SD card and deleting useless stuff stored on it from some apps. I have to use file managers and sometimes items are duplicated on the internal memory and the SD card. It's a pain. Don't make an 8GB version because some people don't want to use the cloud. 32 or 64 would be best for everyone.

  • 27yearold

    all I see is how they want to be more like iphone instead of giving options like they used to.

  • Tim Kermode

    When I first got into android 2.5 years ago it was sold as an open system with the sort of freedom you get from a computer.

    Now it seems like Google are saying "well you can do that but if you want the best experience you need a locked down system so you don't get too confused"

    Apple already has that market covered thanks.

    And forget pushing cloud use. It isn't even integrated into android properly and uk networks just aren't up to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    Still hate the wasted space, too much of it. As for SD I am fine on the phone because I dont load it up with as much content now that I have a tablet but no SD on a tablet is moronic unless they are going to be throwing in some serious storage options cheap. Tablet optimized games take up huge amounts of space and HD content to take advantage of that screen does as well.

    Any good HD show like Top Gear takes a full 1.5GB. Even the big Nexus 10 runs out of storage for a good road trip in no time. Yea, I could carry flash drives and such but those are bulky when I could get a good SDXC card in there and have mountains of space. A 32gb tablet with a 64gb card(s), a great idea.

  • mesmorino

    "If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card?"

    Stupid question: Media, by default should go on the card- Thus, it's as portable as the card. System material, system apps, or even all apps- Go on the phone. This should have been obvious.

  • Andoider

    I believe lack of the Micro SD card might be because of royalty issues with Microsoft for ExFat file system, which is coming as default file system in most of all micro sd cards. Google does not want to pay for it :P

    • raindog469

      They're still shipping Android with exfat support, even if the only time you use it is with USB OTG, so either they already are paying for it or they're willing to chance it regardless.

  • Dennis Sinclair Sr.

    I'm sorry, but the answer about SD cards is insulting. We are always talking about how smart Android users are, but then we get an iPhone response about confusing people when they are asked to store something? How about this: give us the option for an SD card, and if it's too confusing, we just won't put one in? See, that answer makes sense.

    I'm with the others though, if they are going to insist on not putting and SD card slot in, give us more options on storage. 16GB can fill up quick, and if you like to take pictures and want to keep music on your phone, it will fill even quicker.

  • Mike C.

    The stuff about microSD card is just company talk for wanting us to keep everything in
    their cloud. Let’s examine what he says:

    “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.”

    It seems to me that PC users are doing just fine with USB sticks. They understand the concept of removable storage just fine. Same thing with camera users. They seem to be doing just fine with SD cards.

    “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.”

    Except that Google and apps will continuously eat your space. That happened to my Nexus One. The only reason it got replaced was lack of memory – even though it seemed okay when I bought it. Secondly, very few people know up from how much space they need. This is just crazy talk.

    Google should put in a microSD slot. Then people who needed additional space cut put in a card and those who didn’t need it could leave it empty. No users would complain about that.

  • Stewart Higgins

    Yeah, the sizing is a complete joke, in much the same way the price differences between sizes are a complete joke with Apple. NAND isn't exactly the most expensive part of ANY device. Opting for HSPA+42 instead of LTE makes sense from a monetary standpoint, having 16GB as the largest offering does not, especially if it suffers similar 'low-space' slowdown to the N7.

    Android users are slowly coming to be treated like iOS users. 'Oh, they'll buy it, it's new, has no bloat and a pretty screen, yeah, they'll accept that.' I won't accept that. I've been sitting on an upgrade for quite some time, and I just won't use it because I cannot give up my storage. I am not worried about where my files go, my mSD is 32GB and ~27GB of that is music, the rest is reserved for Titanium Backup. My emmc is for apps, games, photos/videos, etc.. I also keep a 4GB for Nandroids, ROMs, fixes. It's simple, the only mixups come from me being lazy and downloading ROMs directly to the device and making backups on my UHS-I card. I could accept a 32GB model, and I would pay $400 off-contract from the PlayStore, it'd be a drop in storage, but it is a usable amount of storage. 16GB isn't, that's what I got in Q2 2011, we're in Q4 2012, c'mon. I want a Nexus, I want bloat free, I want regular updates, but I need space.

  • Troy Leonard

    My problem is that I use linux and the lack of a mass storage mode makes the sd card the easiest way to transfer files from pc to my tablet.

  • xx00xx

    how can we user confuse on a simple prompt when we put our sd card?

    "you ever having to worry about files or volumes or any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing."--i laughed hard what a joke

  • selba

    " Like it or not, Google simply doesn't want to confuse users"

    OMG! Are we a little bit overprotective here? This is so presumptuous. I want choice. Anyone limiting my choices is not likely to see my money.

    • xx00xx

      Android's great now but with android initially google almost blew the confusion center of our brain. And now with a simple feature google thinks we would get confused

  • Dante69

    Perhaps for noobs or casual users the No SD card issue is not a problem at all. However, for Android fanatics like myself who loves to get a good collection of Apps, Games, Music and Video footage going, this is most definitely a CON and not a PRO. I need the OPTION at least. I mean, Videos, Photos and Music, i can deal with being on "The cloud" But Apps and Games?? Most of the best Apps and Games takes up TONS of space. I have a 32Gig SD Card in my Evo VIew 4G and its almost full so believe me...i know that this is a problem for me because My New Nexus 7 which i ADORE, is lacking in the SD card option and sadder because of it. Oh and so am i. Hope they remedy this. Even though i have (USB/OTG CABLE) setup....its a pain in the A$$ to look for HOST Control Apps and Support.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    Another reason for the new UI may be to have simpler coding for Android OS since they wouldn't likely likely give out a reason as something for the dev's advantage and NOT for the consumer's advantage. Think about it, the more cross-device unification there is then the simpler the coding eventually gets, thus maybe we get faster more efficient OS's (and apps) in the future. If this is the case then I'd still be all for it...

  • Chris

    All I got to say is Thank You Google & LG for saving me the cost of the new Nexus 4 because I will not buy anything with less than 32GB of storage and at least 2GB of RAM. Got the 2GB RAM right, but 16GB storage, really? 8GB, why bother? Aren't the Nexus devices more for power users anyway? What power user would want less than 32GB of storage and well really we can handle an SD card slot as well... Why is it that every phone that is released something is missing on it that makes it less than desirable to purchase and makes us settle? Can you all get it right at least once and a while?

    And why the push for cloud storage when the carriers are pushing for charging you for every GB you transfer and yet phone & tablet manufactures are pushing for HD video which takes up more and more storage. It just doesn't make sense. I want the storage on my phone to keep what I want to keep on it. And how do you think the user experience is going to be when the phone fails all the time because the storage is full? 8GB phones just shouldn't be made at all and 16/32/64GB storage should be standard options if you aren't going to provide an SD card slot. For me I've found the 32GB is plenty, but I would most likely buy the 64GB model if it were available especially if the camera produced really high quality images.

    So I'll keep my 32GB Galaxy Nexus and my 32GB S3 thank you. You can keep your 16GB Nexus 4.

  • Bleakvision

    Matias is getting everything right. Love that guy!

  • ninjasailas

    I can't own a device without the ability to have at least 32 gigs of storage

  • http://profiles.google.com/mbjelland Matt Bjelland

    I can live with the lack of a uSD-Slot.The real irritation for me is the lack of a default storage location for user media (excluding the DCIM folder) like music, video, ebooks, docs, app-files, etc..

    Every App I install on my phone/tablet has free-reign to write files wherever the hell is feels like in /sdcard. Most of the time the folders and data files the Apps leave behind have obscure, unintelligible filenames so I don't know what App put them there and if It's something I should backup. Also, the files never get cleaned up after uninstallation. They just sit there and add clutter and make it harder for me to backup my files.

    Just because I install an App with sloppy code from a lazy programmer, I shouldn't have to clean up after him, after I remove it!

    • Cheeseball

      Er, your concern actually supports Duarte's argument. Since you're only dealing with the internal storage, you won't be running into the problem you've stated.

  • David Tarling

    I'd like a SD card, not to complicated for me. Really frustrating to hear that cop out of a reason. The fact is if its there as an option then users can use it if it's not to complicated. Sounds like an answer you'd hear from Steve Jobs

  • Lennart

    Last time I checked, Nexus devices were primarily meant as developer devices.
    And developers aren't idiots (or shouldn't be).
    So the excuse regarding ditching the SD-card slot is downright pathetic.
    And if it's because it MIGHT confusing users, then introduce a easy-to-use AND intuitive file manager, instead of taking the easy & lazy but gimping solution.

    And if they use "the cloud" as a response to that, then I'm gonna choke the first PR representative from Google that I meet.

    Just because a group of users are downright morons doesn't mean everyone else should be punished for it, so throw in that SD-card slot already.

    Storage capacity is something you can NEVER have too much of.

  • avgjoemomma

    Whaa only 16GB whaa! Just wait and see how many of the same names will be begging for a free one come giveaway time.

  • col

    He says that managing data on sd cards is confusing.

    for me the could synching and the auto upload photos on G+ is more confusing

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    They should be giving us a decent amount of free gdrive space (50gb at least) for everyone with an Android phone.

  • CJ Vanilla

    I like Matius but i think he talks out of his butt when he says the sd card is confusing. Kind of insulting to me. Go charge me 50 more dollars for 8 more gb and then tell me that im confused about my sd card. Im positive i understand that my 32gb sdcard is so much cheaper then your 8 gb internal.

  • http://twitter.com/jimmy2027 Jimmy

    It is funny how the micro sd debate is still hot. The manufacturers are still trying to justify their point that "without micro sd slot cell phone users will get better experience"!! Has it ever gone "better"?? Why are they still, after these several years, still trying so hard to try to convince the audience "We promise! You will get better experience!!" I am sure years later, "We promise about our promise!!" And centuries later, "We promise about the promise according to the promise for the promise of the promise and the promise and....." Why is it so hard to just make a simple slot for microsd?

  • nejai

    "you can decide what’s the right size for you".. well 32GB or more is the right size for me... :/

    • nejai

      lets bitch long and constantly enough about this until they came out with a 32GB version (as happens with nexus 7) then I´ll buy one... dafuq I´ll buy two

  • GiveMeMyFlashMemory

    If I found it confusing to choose where to stick my information (Yes, that's an opening (har)), I'd buy an iDevice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129440224 Christopher Ching

    While I can understand Google's reasoning behind the SD card issue, I feel it's become a matter of throwing power users, the traditional Nexus base, under the bus in favor of a wider, more casual audience. Power users know where their files go, and the convenience of an easily-expandable, easily-removable storage unit is a major draw. Now though the goal seems to be to push for the wider market, something Google has traditionally left to its partners, in an increasingly Apple-esque strategy.

    While there are other phones out there on the market with SD card slots (a shrinking number, unfortunately), there are few that have top-of-the-line specs like the Nexus flagships plus stock Android, limiting options for those in pursuit of both (which has been the traditional Nexus market).

    It's all made worse by the fact that internal storage has also plummeted. With carriers enforcing data caps, relying entirely on the cloud to transfer the tens of gigabytes of data that could be stored internally on an SD card isn't terribly practical. A few HD videos, a couple of new 3D games to take advantage of that computing horsepower, and a decent song library and you've hit the limit. My flash drive has more space than these models and I picked it up for $20 a year ago.

    The second-generation original iPod came with more storage than the current Nexus 4 lineup, and it debuted ten years ago. Who's living in the paleolithic era of computing now?

  • http://twitter.com/lotsofcache masterchef117

    I'm getting the 8gb version no matter what. My Nexus sits at 13gb right now and that's with a bunch of pictures. I don't take videobecause that is a huge time waster for me. I am also around WiFi every where I go and have about 15k songs in Google Music. I understand why Google decided against SD / higher memory specs. I think some comments here are completely overblown. If you don't like it then don't buy it. Its not for you.

  • bos

    Are dishonest corporate excuses for anti-consumer policies "evil"?
    I think so.

  • http://profiles.google.com/talhamid Talha Hamid

    Lack of SD cards in itself is not frustrating - lack of STORAGE SPACE is. I can see many comments here where people find even 8 GB comfortable because they have very specific needs - in fact, that's a result of them not having a desire to use all the features of a device. Most power users are not like that, and with Android phones fast proving a worthy replacement to PCs for browsing, connecting with people and other stuff, extra space is always welcome. For example, the wonderful 360 panorama in 4.2 : how often will you use it if you know you have 6-odd GB of storage space that has to be shared with the humongous game files (many now approaching the 2GB mark), pictures, videos and that DISGUSTING cache of 1 GB or more that Google needs to integrate Google + cloud storage of photos.

    And sorry, no, cloud is not the solution. You can't exactly store Need for Speed: Most Wanted on Drive or Dropbox and stream the game from there. There's a host of privacy concerns. I see no reason why I should be required to upload 4-5 GB of my music/video collection to an unknown server, that I already have on my hard drive, then stream it down, haltingly and with plenty of stutter and blackouts. Then there;s the whole privacy issue, not to mention how much of a battery-hogging nightmare the whole shebang would be.

    So, feel free to skip on the card slot, but at least give us a 32 GB or a 64 GB option. Is that so hard? My Nokia N97, horrible as it was, had 32 GB built in storage 3 years ago. Why are we wallowing painfully in inadequacy of deciding between 8 and 16 GB even now? Doesn't make sense.

  • http://profiles.google.com/talhamid Talha Hamid

    In fact, the only reason I can see of capping the Nexus 4 at 16 GB is so that people still have a reason to buy Optimus G, Galaxy S3 or One X. Trouble is, right now, in this incredible golden age of mobile innovation, you CAN"T have a phone with pure AOSP and its softkeys, as well as a MicroSD slot. It's positively painful

  • faceless128

    Whatever Duarte, just push the button and release the source. I'll stick with whatever 3rd party flagship has good hardware, a removable battery, sd card slot, and gets good 3rd party rom support.

  • Elias

    Dear Google,
    I don't give a fuck if you don't like SD cards. But don't force it down on me. I want my fucking goddamned SD cards to work on my phone, and I want it now. For fucks sake, why do you insist to behave like Apple? Respect your customers, please. I don't want to pay a $50 premium for 8gb more of storage when I can get a 64gb microsd for a few dollars more. If you're really on a budget here and want to make things simple for the user, use 4gb internal for the rom and ditch the internal sdcard altogether so everyone is forced to use microsds. That's a much better option than having to deal with mere 8gb of internal storage or paying outrageous prices for a small bump on storage.
    Seriously. I love you, Google. But don't fuck with my freedom to decide what's best to me.

    • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

      There are loads of phones on the market that do support SD cards. Google in their wisdom doesnt create one phone a year and call it a day for Android, there is a huge network of manufacturers catering to every customer. Buy one of those.


  • ThEGr33k

    Fair reasoning on both imo.

    Sounds to me the crux of the issue is more that they didn't allow bigger storage options, which I agree is a slight short sight.

    For me its really a none issue, I use more storage atm but only really because I have it available, not for need of it. I usually only listen to music when I'm in Wifi area's (not because im in a wifi are just that's my usage) so cloud player that is finally coming to UK will serve me there. The rest will be for Apps pics and video I take on the phone, and then I could private upload those to Youtube! So 16Gb will server me there. I will use my N7 for playing games so most of the apps and games I will install on the phone will be smaller ones, not the 2GB+ monsters.

  • Freak4Dell

    Those are fair answers for both issues. It's kind of funny that he says they want complete unity, until they get to small devices like phones, but I can understand the reasoning. Plus, I like the new UI, so whatever.

    His point about the microSD card is also fair. For every person that isn't confused by the extra partition(s), there will be 5 idiots that are. The world is full of idiots, and unfortunately, it's too often that we have to cater to the lowest common denominator. I would still prefer a microSD card slot, though, since I like to see all those files and "techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing." Personally, I think they should set up Android in a way that all apps and app data are stored on the phone's memory, but all media is stored on the SD card. I kind of hated the way it was done on old phones without much internal space, where the SD card gets filled with a bunch of nonsense folders for the apps. With the more modern devices, though, the SD card doesn't get automatically populated with that crap, and it's just a clean area to store media. For the camera, they could just make it default to the SD card if available, or if not, put it on internal memory and set up a hidden task for it to be copied to the SD card the next time one is inserted. Or maybe they should have just gone with the approach that some Windows 7 Phone units went with...a microSD that is placed in a slightly inconvenient location and not intended to be removed. The geeks and nerds could still replace it with a bigger one if they wanted, but the average user would never know the difference.

  • DennisHeffernan

    The idea that SD cards are Evil because they confuse users has to be the single most ludicrous explanation I've ever heard for a misfeature. I'm in the market for a new phone myself and as much as I'd like it to be a Nexus 4 the combination of low memory and no SD slot is a dealbreaker.

  • Tj Hariharan

    A lot of people seem to be forgetting that google is now trying to get the "normal, non techie people" on board for buying their smartphones etc too, you know the kinds of people who don't really use twitter or facebook. Until recently most of those people wouldve likely not had smartphones...

    Like my dad for example, there no reason whatsoever i can EVER see him use more than 4GB on his phone. It's nice to be able to check emails on the go, or have a convinient GPS device with you everywhere, but what r u going to do that requires 16GB? Not everyone listens to music on their phones, a large number of the general populus just use their smartphones for email, maybe a search here and there and a few apps...

  • Hawk

    The problem with that is that we're the ones who buy the devices. It's us the ones that support the os. At least I don't want someone telling me what's nonsense. Not listening to customers is what brings great companies down, just ask Sony. Will we be dictated what we can or can't do with a device that we just paid for? I prefer having the option of what I want to do with my data.

  • Randy

    I think people are thinking of this wrong. First and foremost, Nexus devices are developer devices. Developer's need the cheapest device possible and do not need excess memory.

    Think of it this way. The Nexus 4 8GB is super cheap. The Nexus 4 16GB is closer to retail price.