Connecting to a thumbdrive?

I'm with the OP on this one. They SHOULD implement this. C'mon Mr. Open Source Google, open up your Android to all of us! :)

Here's my perfect scenario for usb host.. keeping my keypass file on my usb watch which I will never lose and any time I need to open the keypass file, just plug it right into the phone and badaboom! That way if I happen to leave my phone or it gets ripped, at least my kepass file is still with me.
 
What is the use case for this? Outside transfering files with someone who has a flash drive, I don't see the point. Really, how often do you need to do that where there isn't a PC around? Calling this one tiny thing tragic is a bit much...

Really........

So when I'm out in the woods taking photos with my DSR, and I want to upload a few to the web, you think that's worthless? I ended up doing that almost daily with my Treo.

And yes, of course you can plug it into a Netbook. But one of the ideas behind the Droid is that it *is* your netbook solution, just scaled down. I shouldn't have to carry another piece of hardware just to plug in a card reader. Especially when the Droid is so close to doing this out of the box from a hardware standpoint.

Assuming drivers would be written, things that you'd be able to connect to your Droid if it could act as a USB host -

keyboard
external harddrives
flash drives
printers
scanners
monitors
web cams
USB hubs
cameras
Arduino devices
headphones
music players
serial adapters
projectors
etc.....

So yes, I'm calling it tragic and I'll stand by that. The cool thing about the Droid is that I have a scaled down netbook that fits in my pocket. Adding USB on-the-go would be wildly better than forcing me to carry around *another* netbook just to get this functionality.


This is a phone, NOT a netbook. Adding drivers and support for all those devices has a very good potential of making the device utterly unstable and unsupportable. As a result, you would end up with a Windows Mobile phone that does not appeal to the non-technical mass audience.

We may be technical, but we desperately want this phone to success not with us, but with the average Joe, because they spend money on apps and that brings developers to the platform and that makes the platform thrive, not just succeed.

And before anyone jumps down my throat, I am not saying Android should be an iPhone and be completely closed, but there has to be some limits. For those that don't want to be limited, you can just root your phone.


No offense, but your reasoning is totally off. First off, as you can see this phone may not be a netbook, but it does indeed replace one for a large percentage of users. not you? Well that's fine, but that doesn't apply to everyone. I was planning on getting a netbook on Black Friday, and now that I have my droid, I find I won't need one. I spend all of my desk time on my quad core, with 8 gigs of memory, a 7 Mbt line and two 24' Dells (not saying any of that to sound pompous of course. These days that is not that impressive at all.. especially with what some of the ubergeeks on here probably run :) So yeah, I do most of my computing on an actual computer. But do I need to spend another 300 bucks on a tiny netbook with a tiny screen that strains my eyes on long useage that is only powerful enough to let me check my email, do some light web browsing and watch some movies/music? When I can do all that plus GPS, apps, games, sms calls video photos and a high speed signal whereever I go already? .. I just don't see the need. In my personal opinion. A normal laptop? sure, I can totally see that.

And as far as the drivers for peripherals "making the device utterly unstable and unsupportable". That's just silly. this device already incorporates code waay more intense than drivers, and if well written the Android OS could run them just fine. Plus, drivers are meant to be used by those who need them, so the only people who would actually install them, are those who want to run said peripherals.

There are already hundreds of crappily coded apps in the Market that are way worse for your Droid than installing a driver. it wouldn't be a problem at all.

And before the iphone and Android (and even blackberry in some sense) Windows Mobile phones were the exact definition of mainstream. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "Microsoft" the absolute first thing that comes to mind is "appeal to the non-technical mass audience". That's pretty much the definition of Microsoft. Now yes, the iphone and now Android are dominating the smartphone market and have made things even more simpler and more marketable to the mainstream, but the whole Windows Mobile thing is actually the exact opposite of what you said.

So anyways, not trying to "jump down your throat", everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I totally agree with the OP in my humble one.
 
No offense, but your reasoning is totally off. First off, as you can see this phone may not be a netbook, but it does indeed replace one for a large percentage of users. not you? Well that's fine, but that doesn't apply to everyone. I was planning on getting a netbook on Black Friday, and now that I have my droid, I find I won't need one. I spend all of my desk time on my quad core, with 8 gigs of memory, a 7 Mbt line and two 24' Dells (not saying any of that to sound pompous of course. These days that is not that impressive at all.. especially with what some of the ubergeeks on here probably run :) So yeah, I do most of my computing on an actual computer. But do I need to spend another 300 bucks on a tiny netbook with a tiny screen that strains my eyes on long useage that is only powerful enough to let me check my email, do some light web browsing and watch some movies/music? When I can do all that plus GPS, apps, games, sms calls video photos and a high speed signal whereever I go already? .. I just don't see the need. In my personal opinion. A normal laptop? sure, I can totally see that.

And as far as the drivers for peripherals "making the device utterly unstable and unsupportable". That's just silly. this device already incorporates code waay more intense than drivers, and if well written the Android OS could run them just fine. Plus, drivers are meant to be used by those who need them, so the only people who would actually install them, are those who want to run said peripherals.

There are already hundreds of crappily coded apps in the Market that are way worse for your Droid than installing a driver. it wouldn't be a problem at all.

And before the iphone and Android (and even blackberry in some sense) Windows Mobile phones were the exact definition of mainstream. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "Microsoft" the absolute first thing that comes to mind is "appeal to the non-technical mass audience". That's pretty much the definition of Microsoft. Now yes, the iphone and now Android are dominating the smartphone market and have made things even more simpler and more marketable to the mainstream, but the whole Windows Mobile thing is actually the exact opposite of what you said.

So anyways, not trying to "jump down your throat", everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I totally agree with the OP in my humble one.

I'm not saying that the Droid is not a good Netbook replacement for a lot of people, it is. I find myself taking it out to look something up quickly when I'm at home and have access to both my laptop and my desktop. All I'm saying is that you can't call the lack of support for peripherals tragic if the device was never meant to provide support for those things.

I have over 13 years experience in support and engineering and I'm telling you that adding official support for peripherals will make the device unsupportable by Motorola, Google and Verizon. Can you imagine the number of calls Verizon tech support would get from people who have connected the thousands of different printers, mice, keyboards, scanners, etc. etc. etc that exist? And what about peripherals that don't have drivers? Do they publish a list of supported manufacturers for each of the possible peripherals? Then there would be someone on this forum calling it a tragedy that their 4 year old HP printer isn't supported.

For the Microsoft argument, yes Microsoft does appeal to the mainstream. But there are technical and economic reasons why they are dominant and it's way more complicated than just the products they make. The point I was making with Microsoft is that with all of their operating systems, they try to alway be backward compatible and support everything under the sun. As an example, the main reason Vista was such crap and Windows 7 is such a success is Microsoft recognizing that they need to start stripping out the legacy code. Yes, it will mean less functionality for SOME people, but it also means a much better experience for the other 95 percent of users.

For those that want to have everything under the sun with their Droid, they can root. But that can't be something Moto, Google or Verizon officially support.

Can someone who has had to develop a hardware or software solution and then deal with supporting that solution chime in? If I am way off base, let me know.
 
Here's my perfect scenario for usb host.. keeping my keypass file on my usb watch .....

Please tell me your kidding with that?
 
And as far as the drivers for peripherals "making the device utterly unstable and unsupportable". That's just silly. this device already incorporates code waay more intense than drivers, and if well written the Android OS could run them just fine. Plus, drivers are meant to be used by those who need them, so the only people who would actually install them, are those who want to run said peripherals.

The Android platform runs on a Linux kernel. To add driver support for certain types of hardware to a Linux-based OS, one must actually recompile the entire kernel. I don't think the average Droid user would be comfortable recompiling the entire kernel to add support for a USB peripheral. For one thing, if I understand it correctly, the device would have to be rooted to even allow a custom kernel to be installed.

In Linux, it's not necessarily the simply "download a driver, plug device in, and it works" affair that it is in Windows.
 
And as far as the drivers for peripherals "making the device utterly unstable and unsupportable". That's just silly. this device already incorporates code waay more intense than drivers, and if well written the Android OS could run them just fine. Plus, drivers are meant to be used by those who need them, so the only people who would actually install them, are those who want to run said peripherals.

...

In Linux, it's not necessarily the simply "download a driver, plug device in, and it works" affair that it is in Windows.

Debian based Linux distros are just about there now. It might be easier than we think for the app store to have drivers available. And yes, there's always going to be a cutoff point for supporting older devices, so Google will have to define how old is too old.
 
Have to admit that when I started reading this thread I could not imagine why on earth one would want to connect a thumb drive to a Droid. Then I read the OP's followup and thought, "Well, yeah...I see his point."

Then I read further and thought a bit more and more or less returned to my original view. At least imho a Droid ain't a netbook. And I don't really want it to be, especially if it means complicating support for what was supposed to be a PHONE o/s.

All in all it seems to me that this is another example of the fluid nature of what is expected from computing/communication devices these days. iTouch is an iPhone without a phone. iPad is an iTouch with a big screen or a Kindle with thousands of native apps. Netbooks are laptops one can fit onto a dropdown table in a coach airline seat. And with Skype and a camera they're videophones. And the list goes on...and on... Giant phones, tiny netbooks, etc. etc.

All very interesting to observe as manufacturers try to figure out which categories make sense to consumers and which are dead ends.
 
I have to agree, I would love a way to plug my camera into my Droid while I'm on the go, it would certainly be easier than carrying my laptop in my backpack. Guess I have to keep carrying it :(.
 
Have to admit that when I started reading this thread I could not imagine why on earth one would want to connect a thumb drive to a Droid. Then I read the OP's followup and thought, "Well, yeah...I see his point."

Then I read further and thought a bit more and more or less returned to my original view. At least imho a Droid ain't a netbook. And I don't really want it to be, especially if it means complicating support for what was supposed to be a PHONE o/s.

All in all it seems to me that this is another example of the fluid nature of what is expected from computing/communication devices these days. iTouch is an iPhone without a phone. iPad is an iTouch with a big screen or a Kindle with thousands of native apps. Netbooks are laptops one can fit onto a dropdown table in a coach airline seat. And with Skype and a camera they're videophones. And the list goes on...and on... Giant phones, tiny netbooks, etc. etc.

All very interesting to observe as manufacturers try to figure out which categories make sense to consumers and which are dead ends.

I think the part of this that finally made it click for me is when you said "supposed to be a PHONE o/s." I mean, technically, a phone doesn't NEED an o/s. My first two cell phones didn't really have o/s's, just firmware and maybe an embedded menu. What we have now, as you pointed out, are much more than just a phone. The Droid is a very small computer which happens to have a phone built in. And that's how I use mine. If I were to categorize my total use percentages, talking on the phone is probably less than 10%. Texting, web-based stuff, tool apps, GPS, music streaming, games... that's what I use it for. It seems like each day, I find a new use for it.

In light of that, I don't think it's unreasonable at all to hope for eventual thumb drive (and even other USB) functionality. Even if the implementation has to be in the form of an app. With the Droid's hardware and the Android o/s's versatility, I tend to see things more in terms of "how do we do it?" rather than "we don't need that."
 
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