A new Kickstarter campaign describes a “mini MicroSD reader for Android smartphones and tablets” that could be used with devices that don’t have microSD support including the Nexus 7, but also with devices that support “USB host or USB-OTG (On-The-Go).”

Hating the Nexus 7’s lack of MicroSD storage expansion, brothers Andy and Rich developed the prototype and now are looking to raise $5,000 to start production for the tiny gadget – at the time this article was written, 344 backers had already pledged $3,789, with 28 days to go.


The mini MicroSD reader/writer is about the size of a quarter and will let users “read/write MicroSD cards, copy files between your phone/tablet and a MicroSD card.” The device will support MicroSDHC cards of up to 32GB and MicroSDXC cards of up to 64GB and it will be compatible with a variety of Android smartphones and tablets. On the Kickstarter page, the following devices are mentioned:

  • Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, Note, Note 2; Class 1 support.
  • Motorola RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD; Class 1 support.
  • HTC One X+, Evo 4G LTE (Sprint), DROID DNA; Class 1 support.
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7 & Nexus 10; Class 2 support.
  • Nook Color, Kindle Fire; Class 3 support.
  • Tablets using RockChip & AllWinner chips; Sonicview N710; Class 1 support.

Here’s what those Classes mean:

Class 1: it is supported by the phone/tablet out of box, no rooting or other privileged software needed. Class 2: supported using 3rd party software such Media Importer from Play Store, with some limitations; root device and install 3rd party software such as StickMount to remove such limitations. Class 3: a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod is needed.

Once received (estimated delivery is July 2013), you’ll be able to attached the device on a keychain, so you don’t lose it – even the cap can be attached to the snap hook to avoid losing it while the device is connected to your handset or tablet. Moreover, the mini MicroSD reader will work with cases of up to 2mm thick.


In case you want to back up the project, you have four payment tiers available:

  • a “$1 or more” tier that will get you a “heart-felt Thank You,” (three lucky backers will also get a mini MicroSD reader);
  • a “$8 or more” tier that gets you a card reader shipped anywhere in the world (unfortunately all available spots for this one have been taken);
  • a “$12 or more” tier that will also get you a card reader anywhere in the world;
  • the ultimate “$2048 or more” tier that will get you a card reader, one of the hand-made prototypes and the chance to get lunch with Andy in Mountain View and a guided tour with Rich of the Shenzhen factory that will build the dongle (although you’ll have to pay extra cash for travel and lodging in both cases.)

Is this Kickstarter product something you’d be interested in buying for your Android device?

  • Kickstarter Source link?

    • Phil Nolan

      Look at the Source link under the article.

      • Thanks, it’s there now. Appreciate the response.

  • Phil Nolan

    Unfortunately I’ve had 3 Android devices and none of them supposed USB-OTG for flash drives, only one of them would support it for a game controller and that was just barely.

  • There is similar Micro USB card reader available online. I purchased on

    Isn’t it the same???

    • 640k

      no. this device has the ‘host mode’ enabler built into the reader, which pretty much none of the current USB readers have. currently, in order to use a reader on an android mobile device, you need to have an OTG cable, which enables host mode in the system, allowing for game controllers, card readers, mice, keyboards… basically anything with a USB cable (that doesnt require an additional driver).

      • dextersgenius

        That device *does* have host mode enabled – in fact, I own it, and have been using it with my S2 for a long time now. I can confirm it works with an S3 as well as the Nexus 7.

        • It works with Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus and S3. I have these devices and it works awesome! I even connect mouse to my Nexus 4. It works!

          • Ranjith Thiru

            Are you sure? This little gadget works with Nexus4 to connect external USB devices? Thumb Drive, MicroSD cards & USB mouse etc? I’m amazed… Please confirm it

          • It worked with my Nexus 4 when i used it for the first time, but after trying tonight it didn’t. I swear it worked when i connected! Here is the video from Galaxy Nexus:

          • Ranjith Thiru

            First time in the sense, before updating to 4.2.2?

          • yeah, after updating to 4.2.2 it doesnt work with Nexus 4 but it works with Galaxy Nexus even though the device runs Android 4.2.2 same Nexus 4!

          • Ranjith Thiru

            So you are not able to connect a mouse with Nexus4, Did you try with adding a mem card, whether its getting detected or not?

          • David Kinder

            To work with the nexus 4 did you require root? If I understand correctly, the Nexus 4 doesn’t allow OTG, but if it would work then I would definitely be interested in one of these. Thanks.

          • It worked with my Nexus 4 when i used it for the first time, but after trying tonight it didn’t. I swear it worked when i connected! Here is the video from Galaxy Nexus:

            You can check it!

  • anthony

    Yes it would

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    i’ll definitely want one for my Nexus 7, and am hoping it will also connect to my Nexus 4; the only short coming i note on both devices. [may go for the $12 contribution.]

    • David

      Nexus 4 disables OTG. Need OTG function to support it.

      • dextersgenius

        You can use OTG on an N4 with a custom kernel, usb powerpack and a USB hub or Y cable.

  • WarGasm

    Damn it…Perfect for the Nexus 4……but Ive read that it doesnt have the voltage to support OTG…..too bad

    • dextersgenius

      You can use OTG on a N4 with a custom kernel, a USB powerpack, and a USB hub or Y cable.

      • WarGasm

        Thanks, i will look into this

      • Colin Kealty

        If this thing were battery powered it’d be a god send

  • lalala

    why would i need this when i have a usb otg cable and a card reader?!

    • Colin Kealty

      for the size? some people don’t want to carry a cable and card reader around with them, but having this on their keychain would be perfect.

      • lalala

        how often normal ppl transfer stuff from their devices?lol

        • mark

          It’s more that people want this as a solution to have extra storage, not simply for transferring from a card. Indeed it looks as if this could just stay on the phone, whilst a dangling cable can’t really stay on.

          I do agree though that the cable-solution is worth pointing out – it’s not like this proposed device is the only solution. The real step forward was applications like Nexus Media Importer allowing this to work without root.

        • Colin Kealty

          I used the otg cable + usb on the plane cause I wanted to watch movies that I couldn’t fit on my Nexus 7, but if it wasn’t such a comfortable area (for example while I was sitting in the lobby waiting) it’d be nice to have something like this

  • vgergo

    You guys should have thought before paying a couple of hundred bucks for a crippled device like the Nexus. Nobody should buy devices withouth expandability, that would let the manufacturers know…

    • Ror

      The rationale is that external non-internal drives are a huge security flaw (the data can simply be removed and read on a PC without unlocking the phone) as well as slowing down system performance due to slower I/O speeds compared to internal memory. It’s hardly a crippled device.

      • mark

        And so people end up using workarounds like this, which are external drives that can even more easily be read… And referring to the ability to access my own hardware as a “security flaw”?!

        (I have a Galaxy Nexus btw, but I do consider this to be the down-point of the device. I agree with the spirit of the OP’s point – my next phone won’t be a Nexus – but unfortunately sometimes there isn’t the choice, e.g., at the time, the Galaxy Nexus seemed to be the only large-screen phone, and there still isn’t a decent alternative to the Nexus 7.)

        • Ror

          It’s a security flaw in multiple ways.
          If you’ve set a security lock on your android device for all intensive purposes nobody can retrieve the data from the internal storage without knowing the security pin or pattern.
          If your sensitive data is on a removable SD card the data is quite easy to access by putting it on a PC.

          • vgergo

            Having a microsd card slot is only a security flaw if one chooses to use it. The security conscious shouldn’t, but I think having the choice must surely be bettern than not.

  • aatifsumar

    Seems like a good idea, even though you could buy a very compact USB OTG from DealExtreme for $1 ( and a microSD reader for another buck. The major issue with this is that USB-OTG gobbles up power like there is no tomorrow. Drained my Galaxy Nexus battery substantially just to play a 20 minute episode off of a thumb drive via USB-OTG

  • Arioch The

    Perhaps there could better be SD-Card reader with minimal possible size ?
    The one that would allow exchanging files with cameras, printers, notebooks, etc.
    T-flash and mini-SD could be read by mechanical adapter, and large-volume SD-cards are remarkably cheaper (64 GB T-flash vs 64 GB SD-card for example) and more universal. Last but not least, SD-cards are just easier to keep and handle with human fingers.
    One more idea: rigid add-ons can easily break the mainboard connectors. Readert integrated into flexible wire (something looking like 10cm OTG to USB female adapter wire, but actually ending with SD reader) could be nice gadget too.

  • Ben Ritchie

    I hope this will be compatible with the new Nexus 7 that is coming in July. It is of course pretty much impossible to know as there is only speculation as to the updates coming to it, but I still hope.