Nexus 7 Does Not Support USB Flash Sticks

Google Nexus 7 is a budget tablet welcomed with great enthusiasm by the Android community, appreciated for its very attractive features package, offered at reasonable prices.

Aside from the good quality of the screen, the powerful processor, the latest operating system and the battery with satisfying autonomy, Nexus 7 suffers from rather annoying limitations imposed more or less artificial. The first one – the absence of a microSD slot for extended storage capacity – has come to light even before the official presentation. It’s true, the problem is not so pressing if we buy the Nexus 7 version with 16GB storage capacity, but the edition with 8GB may make it hard for media eaters.


For the latter, a possible compromise seemed to be to use the USB 2.0 port for attaching USB Flash devices, where to be stored a large collection of mp3s, videos or feature films. For reasons known only by them, the people at Google have decided to exclude this possibility, delivering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean without the USB functionality On-The-Go (OTG), required for using the USB Flash devices.

The list of omitted facilities for the Nexus 7 also include the protocol Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), which would be allowed the micro USB connector to double as an HDMI output, providing high definition video content using a special adapter cable.

Currently, in addition to PC data connection, the USB 2.0 connector can be used with USB Ethernet adapters or used to connect a keyboard and mouse set.

Also in terms of omissions, we also have the lack of support for Adobe Flash technology, but the limitation is specific to the operating system and will affect all models of tablets using Android Jelly Bean, not only the Nexus 7. This decision seems to be taken even by Adobe, the company announcing that would withdraw the Adobe Flash plug-in from Google Play as of August 15. Instead, Adobe promotes HTML5 technologies for delivery of media content on tablets and smartphones.

12 Replies to “Nexus 7 Does Not Support USB Flash Sticks”

  1. Well, they can’t bill you until it ships. You could call your credit card company and tell them you lost your card. They’ll close your account and send you a new card with a new number. Google won’t have the new number and won’t be able to bill you.

  2. I think they use NFS in Android.
    I can confirm that this does indeed work! I just mounted my ntfs external hard drive and played a movie from it. The only thing that confused me at first was where to find the information from the drive, but when you mount the drive, it asks you what you want it mounted as. By default it was /usbOTG. After realizing this, I was able to find my files no problem! Thanks for the find!

  3. Thank you, I actually tried to cancel N7 from Google as well. However, they said No. They said I have to let it arrive and then refuse from UPS, eat the shipping, and wait 2 weeks for them to repay me. I don’t can to deal with Google as a merchant.

  4. There seems to be a trend away from providing SD slots (or, in this case, USB mass storage) in the Android world. (Neither my Galaxy Nexus phone nor Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet provide SD slots.)

    I think this is almost certainly related to the need for FAT32 support to make SD cards and USB mass storage practical for users, and how Microsoft demands (and gets) royalties from Android devices that provide this support. Weening users off FAT32 means not having to pay this particular Microsoft royalty.

  5. gatorproof,

    In all fairness to the above article. This information is being reported on several other websites as well and I cancelled my Nexus 7 order upon reading this information before seeing it on this website. Please correct me if I am wrong, since I am not familiar with this technology but, it is my understanding that I cannot watch movies or listen to music from a connected USB Flash drive using a microSD to USB dongle. Thanks.

  6. Dear Sir,
    Before your article drives off any more potential Nexus 7 buyers, you should read the user manual. Section 8 page 67.
    Google clearly states in writing that with an adapter, you can use a keyboard, mouse, even a game controller if no drivers or software are required. It goes on to say other devices. It even says that if you are connecting more then one device, that you should use a powered 5v USB Hub. So with the Juiced brand micro USB host/card/snyc, which I own, you can, have a Full sized USB Port, a Full SD slot, a micro SD slot, and an addition power in port for $19.99.
    You are correct, Google says no MHL support.
    I don’t wish to appear rude. Your readers are trusting your information, you have by an above comment driven at least one person away from the N 7, and who knows how many more.

  7. I guess that’s easy if you’ve done it before. I’ve never owned a smart phone or a tablet and have zero experience with that kind of thing but I have read if you screw it up the device is ruined. I’ll pass but thanks for the suggestion.

  8. Root. It’s a Nexus, so it’s basically baby-steps to root it.

    Then install StickMount, via Google Play Store and you’re good to go.

    It does support OTG and also, you can gel MHL support as well if you root.

    It’s a small hiccup that you need to carry around a USB stick or a microSD to USB dongle, but hey its not that bad, because you’re getting a HUGE BANG-FOR-YOUR-BUCK.

    I’d re-order the Nexus 7 if I were you.

    Just my two cents.

  9. “For reasons known only by them, the people at Google have decided to exclude this possibility, delivering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean without the USB functionality On-The-Go (OTG), required for using the USB Flash devices.”

    I cancelled my pre-order for the Nexus 7 yesterday when I first read about this. With only limited storage this tablet isn’t a viable option for me especially outside of WiFi range.

Comments are closed.