Hey Google, where’s the USB OTG support on the Nexus 4?

November 26, 2012
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    Despite what Google and LG are saying about the Nexus 4 not supporting 4G LTE, we’ve learned that it does ship with a 4G LTE chip inside and one that works on several carriers — though it requires some tinkering. Ironically, one feature that Google does advertise and state on the phone’s official guidebook has turned out to be MIA – its USB OTG prowess.

    After a lengthy discussion, the folks at XDA-developers and other sources have come to the conclusion that USB OTG is a no go on the Nexus 4.

    Nexus 4 – guidebook

    Bear in mind that we’re not only talking about plugging in a USB stick to the Nexus 4 to compensate for its puny storage and lack of microSD slot, but plugging an external mouse or keyboard won’t work either. In short, no USB OTG devices work on the Nexus 4 for now. What gives?

    We’re not sure if it’s intentional, but there’s no reason to believe that the hardware of the Nexus 4 can’t support such seemingly simple function — even if means getting the function to work through unofficial means. The oversight, if we can call it like that, is likely a problem that can be fixed with a future software update. Of course, we’ll have to wait from Google and LG to shed some light on the matter.

    Are you surprised that a powerful, flagship phone like the Nexus 4 doesn’t support USB OTG? Or are you not bothered at all?

    Comments

    • Peter Bognar

      Shocked, actually. This has been a basic function in Android for a while – it simply makes no sense not to enable it…

    • Mark Lincoln

      Another basic function gone is the ability to conect your phone up to your car stereo via usb and use it as mass storage. Why would they get rid of that too?

      • 94wolf

        That hasn’t been there for a while in my nexus s! Dating atleast back to 4.1

      • raindog469

        That dates back to Honeycomb, because they thought it was a poor user experience to lock the whole partition so that it could be written to over USB. But at least they could have left a read-only mount option in there. I look forward to installing Cyanogen on my ICS tablet to give me back that and the ability to move apps to SD (since I won’t buy a tablet without SD).

        Thankfully, my Samsung tablet’s USB OTG works great. If I wanted something as limited as an iPad, I’d have bought Apple. Android gives me choices, and I choose not to buy Nexus products because they’re deliberately crippled in these and other ways.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      Doesn’t bother me. I have a cable.. never used it. I don’t need the extra storage. As for a keyboard and mouse… that’s what Bluetooth is for in my opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ugo.marceau Ugo Marceau

      The Nexus 7 doesn’t support plugging a USB stick through a cable. Why would the Nexus 4 ?

      • Tyrel ting

        Nexus 7 supports OTG u just need root

        • http://www.facebook.com/ugo.marceau Ugo Marceau

          Ah cool ! Thanks for the info !

    • malibu

      Very bothered!.. I figured like my n7 I could add external storage… this is crap$.. cuz I bought a 8g.. coming from a s3 16g with at 32g external sd card… and my n7 is stock 8g bit has a 74g harddrive… woe I’m mad!!!

    • http://www.androidradar.de/ Leif

      Missing a link to the source or xda thread.

    • Yvanho

      I unlocked/root my 16 gb N7 in order to use OTG, now i have a 32gb Sim card N7 but in settings i do not find Developers options to unlock.

      • Győző Zachár

        Go to “About phone” and tap “Build number” seven times.

    • xyz

      It will never get fixed by a software update. It’s a hardware problem. The 5V supply is not made available to connected devices.

      https://android.googlesource.com/device/lge/mako/+show/f608db225c5ead1c255fd84fa7f5431c2e3b3a72%5E2

      Thats the patch where a Google Engineer removes OTG capabilities from Nekus 4 (Mako) as the hardware can’t support it.

    • http://twitter.com/SmoothTequila Turo

      So disappointed that they list it as a spec/feature and it doesn’t work. Had just bought a 32GB card for my previous HTC and got the 8GB N4 figured on using the card with an adapter for listening to music on long trips and to load videos on. Now i’m stuck with only 5GB of space for apps, music and I’ll just forget about the videos.

      • Michael Lee

        They could get sued for that…

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