A common staple across Android Nexus devices is the lack of a SD card slot. Nexus users are forced to use the device’s internal storage and Google’s cloud services to store the content they want to access. In some cases, the 8-16GB of storage that’s equipped on Nexus devices aren’t enough. A simple solution to this would be to add a SD card reader. So why doesn’t Google go this route? Apparently, it’s all about customer confusion.
Matias Duarte, who is the Android User Experience Director for Google, explained why Nexus devices don’t have SD cards on his Google+ page.
“Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.
If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.
We take a different approach. Your Nexus has a fixed amount of space and your apps just seamlessly use it for you without you ever having to worry about files or volumes or any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing.
With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for users.”
In my opinion, I don’t think SD card usage is as complicated as Duarte makes it out to be. It’s not like SD cards are anything new. Devices such as digital cameras have been using SD cards for years. As far as I can tell, this has not created mass customer confusion. Also, with a large enough SD card, most people will never need to replace it. The common person won’t care where their content is being stored. All they care about is how easy it is to access.
I think there are two main reasons why Google sticks to internal storage. 1) It makes devices slightly cheaper to produce and sell. 2) It forces users to use its cloud services.
I’m not one of those people who inherently hate smartphones and tablets without SD card slots. I have a 8GB Nexus 7 and I make that small storage work for me everyday. What I don’t like is Google’s explanation for skipping out on SD cards slots. Confusion over SD cards? I mean, who are they kidding?