As my contract on my current android phone is soon ending, I am considering purchasing the LG Nexus 4 (if it ever becomes available again on the Google Play Store) as my next phone, as it supposedly is in the top league but "without the price tag" so i'm informed.

I am aware that many people are disappointed that a microSD card slot is unavailable on these devices (I believe the same to be true of the Nexus 7 & 10, if I am not mistaken), and this may detract them from buying such a device.

From what I understand Google's reason for not including microSD support (unlike other manufacturers) is that they want people to know exactly what is on the internal memory of the phone, as many people "get confused" between what is on the internal memory and the microSD card, and therefore people can choose the required storage space ie 8 or 16GB (and therefore they know exactly what they have beforehand and accommodate their apps etc accordingly). Another reason is that Google want people to move away from internal storage & use Cloud storage more and more (and integrate with its other "services" eg Google Music) - a clever ploy on Google's part

This put me off from buying the device until a few weeks ago when I heard about USB OTG (On The Go) Cables, which are essentially USB Cables having a micro usb connector at one end which fits into the Nexus 4 and a USB connector at othe other (which opens up a whole world of opportunities - more so for tablets rather than smartphones I think).

This being the case I thought joy, storage is no longer a "problem". However I have heard reports that USB OTG connectivity despite apparently being supported cannot be enabled on the device.

Is this the case, have people therefore found a solution like rooting the device and flashing with a Custom ROM ie CyanogenMOD Jellybean 4.1 to achieve USB OTG Connectivity ?

Have people been unable to get hold of the phone in the first instance to comment or have Nexus 7 or 10 owners experienced USB OTG connectivity issues ?

If this is unachieveable i'm sure it is premature as Google are bound to provide an update at a future date (that is of course if they can supply the phone, or was the LG Nexus 4 simply a one time purchase wonder, when it hit the Play Store a few weeks ago)

Excuse the long(ish) post, but I believe the relevance of it

  • "a one time purchase wonder" - with the battery too being irreplaceable I do wonder this myself. (I have just replaced the battery on my old phone, which no longer held its charge and had expanded to a size that looked ready to explode!)
    – MrWhite
    Nov 29, 2012 at 23:13
  • What model is your old phone w3d ?
    – Simon
    Nov 30, 2012 at 12:39
  • A not quite so smart Nokia E65
    – MrWhite
    Nov 30, 2012 at 13:06
  • I just wondered if it was a previous generation nexus phone
    – Simon
    Nov 30, 2012 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


USB OTG compatibility is more dependent on the kernel than the actual operating system.

If the stock kernel doesn't support it, then it will (most likely) only be a matter of time until a custom kernel is released that has this functionality.

If you were to purchase it, remember that the tablet can only give 5V of power to the device - this stops you from using things such as portable hard drives with the device, which require a large power input.

You would be best asking on a dedicated ROM'ing forum such as XDA-Developers to find out if the stock kernel supports USB OTG, and if not, a custom kernel can be made to support it.

Please be aware, that you will need an app that allows you to use the USB OTG support.

  • From what i've been told the Nexus 4's Manual states USB OTG Connectivity is supported, however in practice to achieve this, is easier said than done
    – Simon
    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:49
  • You will need to find an app to use it, I suggest you use Google.
    – Liam W
    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:53
  • Yes I have heard of people using an App called "Nexus Media Importer" available on the play store: play.google.com/store/apps/…
    – Simon
    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:58
  • Whether that solves the "problem" or not, I dont know
    – Simon
    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:59
  • To clarify I have heard people using the above named app with the Nexus 7. Nexus 4 & 10 havent heard any confirmed reports
    – Simon
    Nov 29, 2012 at 13:02

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