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Add additional micro-SD storage to your Nexus 4 - kind of...

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#1
The Soup Thief

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Came up with this nifty workaround on Sunday but haven't had time to post it til now - will add more in when I get a chance.

I was thinking about getting a Kingston wi-drive or an Airstash when it occurred to me that these devices consist (principally) of memory and a wifi adapter, both things that my old ZTE Blade with its 32gb micro sd has (I'm sure most of you will have a similarly defunct old Android in a drawer somewhere).
I got to thinking, "Why not just charge up the Blade and use it as a wifi storage device?"
It is a simple enough matter to shift data using something like ftp transfer or dropbox over a wifi network or a cell network, but what about those times when you don't have access to a network of either kind (Google's cloud storage idea doesn't hold up well for these cases that come up really frequently in my experience). What is needed is a way to shift data from Blade (and it's SD card) to the Nexus 4 directly without any intermediary, just as you would from a mounted sd card.

So I looked into and figured that Wifi-direct would be the most appropriate way of transferring the data, but of course the Blade can't do this (Wifi direct runs only on ICS and JB, and it seems only on a few devices running these) .
So I looked some more... And I found a really cool app - "Fast File Transfer" - it's available free on the Play Store (I subsequently found a page on XDA developers about it - go there and have a read) and works with older versions of Android
In a nutshell it works by tethering your receiving phone to the sender, then it gives you a url (or a QR code, making things a bit easier) which you access with the recipient phone, then your file downloads really quick!
It needs no external network.
I tried it last night and shifted a 900mb file in about 6 minutes (probably the same amount of time as putting it on a usb stick and transferring it over). I then blutoothed the same file - it took 1 hour 40!

Note, I struggled to get this to work with the first Blade Rom I tried (a CM9 version), so I used JVentura's super stable EcoCM7 and it's worked a charm. Also the initial set up of Fast File Transfer - establishing the wifi tethering the first time - took a couple of goes, but once the link is stored you can re-establish it very easily for further transfers

Maybe others have come up with this or similar solutions already, but I'm really happy with this one, most significantly because it does not require any external network (but also the ease and speed involved rock!) It means now I can shove music, films etc on the Blade and go off to parts unknown safe in the knowledge that I'll be able to get at them with the N4. I reckon it should even work with huge games - I've not tried this, but I reckon if I use Titanium or similar to back up a game with it's data, it should be possible to transfer the backup file over to the blade when I need the storage on the Nexus 4, then switch it back when I need it again and restore it with Titanium.

Please let me know how you get on with this and if you've any ways of making the process more smooth (I'm trying to work out if AutomateIt or Tasker can automatically handle the tethering permission bit - you'll see what I mean when you try it out).

Enjoy!

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#2
everett_psycho

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I always meant to look in to this when the nexus 7 came out but never got around to it. Now I've contemplated doing it again but I'm just going to use my old phone as a media player, might follow your lead on this though as an emergency means to transfer data should the need arise.

If you want to share media you could always set up upnplay on both devices and serve from the blade to the nexus

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#3
The Soup Thief

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True, but then both devices need to remain switched on for the period you're using the media.

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#4
masterpfa

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Very clever that man.
I shall give this a try once I get back my nexus 1 or Desire HD

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LG Nexus 5 (32Gb Black)

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#5
The Soup Thief

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No - it won't happen.
Goggle's official line has been that consumers get confused about where their photos etc are stored (on internal memory or on the card) but there are lots of other ideas about (eg, Google are all about web services so want you accessing online media rather than onboard). Also issues with shonky SD cards causing problems.
It would be such a huge volte face in terms of strategy that noone's expecting them to do this at this point (I think the nexus 1 may have had an sd slot but no others have). Also it saves an ickle bit of battery power.
That's a pretty colourful analogy, btw! Fwiw I love the "piss-soaked gourmet sandwich" that is my n4. Aside from huge games, the 16gb hasn't caused limitations, with all my photos on Flickr and Google taking care of the music. Anything else I shuffle to a 32gb card in an old ZTE blade.
Just need to change your habits a bit (eg deleting all but your latest nandroid)

Edited by The Soup Thief, 02 September 2013 - 12:07 PM.

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#6
comicbookguy

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bet the homeless guy would take a big mac too but it contains an awful lot of unnecessary space filling crap........ ;)

i love my N4, but it doesn't need to carry my entire music collection. (no, i don't have unlimited data, most of my important public photos are on Facebook anyway, and i don't really use "the cloud")

admittedly, the N4 (2013) or whatever it is does at least need 32GB or working OTG, tho

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