Towards the end of November, when more and more consumers were finally receiving their Nexus 4 orders, reports began to circulate that USB host features features weren’t working at all with the LG device. However, there was a bit of confusion, because Google’s support and product information pages made it sound like the Nexus 4 would have USB OTG features. Some chalked up this discrepancy to a software problem, an issue on LG’s part, or simply a mistake on the Google support pages.
It appears that the last option is what actually happened, as Google has just updated its Nexus 4 support page, saying, “USB is not supported for connecting such devices” in reference to keyboards and other USB devices. Before the change, the line read “You can connect a keyboard, mouse, or even a joystick or other input device to your phone via USB or Bluetooth and use it just as you would with a PC.”
This is quite disappointing for many users, who were hoping that the inability to use USB devices was a fluke, and would be addressed with a future software update by Google. With this change, it now seems clear that Google is abandoning USB host as an interface method with Android devices, which is quite disappointing because it worked very well.
Of course, most people will tell you that this isn’t really too big of a deal, because there will always be custom software to enable USB host capabilities. However, according to some discussion on the XDA forums, LG made the Nexus 4 in such a way that USB host won’t work even with custom software. I don’t know all the details, but I’m hoping these people are wrong, as I’d quite like to use my Nexus 4 with different USB devices.