Latest in Android

Image credit:

Ice Cream Sandwich supports USB mass storage after all, Galaxy Nexus does not

Brad Molen
November 21, 2011
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

When we gave our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, we were a bit taken aback by the fact that USB mass storage wasn't supported on the device, leading us to believe that it was a flaw in Android 4.0. Android engineer Dan Morrill took to the 'net to sort out the confusion, explaining that Ice Cream Sandwich does indeed support the feature, but only on devices that offer removable storage cards -- which explains why we weren't able to use it on the Nexus. Here's why, according to Dan:

It isn't physically possible to support UMS on devices that don't have a dedicated partition for storage (like a removable SD card, or a separate partition like Nexus S.) This is because UMS is a block-level protocol that gives the host PC direct access to the physical blocks on the storage, so that Android cannot have it mounted at the same time.

With the unified storage model we introduced in Honeycomb, we share your full 32GB (or 16GB or whatever) between app data and media data. That is, no more staring sadly at your 5GB free on Nexus S when your internal app data partition has filled up -- it's all one big happy volume.

However the cost is that Android can no longer ever yield up the storage for the host PC to molest directly over USB. Instead we use MTP. On Windows (which the majority of users use), it has built-in MTP support in Explorer that makes it look exactly like a disk. On Linux and Mac it's sadly not as easy, but I have confidence that we'll see some work to make this better.

Mystery solved. To check out the full transcript of his comments, you can head over to the More Coverage link, where Android Police has done a nifty job of putting it together into an easy-to-read format.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Samsung's newest watches can now take ECG readings in the US

Samsung's newest watches can now take ECG readings in the US

View
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite leaks ahead of tomorrow's hardware event

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite leaks ahead of tomorrow's hardware event

View
'Among Us' developers cancel sequel plans, focus on their new/old smash hit

'Among Us' developers cancel sequel plans, focus on their new/old smash hit

View
The Morning After: Tesla's $25,000 EV, and its 200 MPH-capable Model S

The Morning After: Tesla's $25,000 EV, and its 200 MPH-capable Model S

View
Samsung's Galaxy S20 FE is a flagship for people who can't afford flagships

Samsung's Galaxy S20 FE is a flagship for people who can't afford flagships

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr