Slug, have you seen the Play Store? Books app? Gmail app? they are already doing the flat card-based pastel garbage on all of their apps, and even encouraging developers to make their apps comply (Yahoo! Mail already does, as does the latest Dolphin Browser). the trend is perfectly clear. they are going with a more card-based flat UI for their latest Android. they are just hinting at it with their apps. it truly sucks. i hate pastels. i'm trying everything i can via rooting to do away with it and even try using older versions but find that the older Play Music and older Play Books refuse to work. i'm forced to either use Kindle or some other app in place of Play. if they do this to Android i am not sure what i'll do. maybe never upgrade.
The Nexus line hasn't always lacked external storage. the Galaxy Nexus sported a SD slot. and early devices had removable batteries. Google has already convinced other manufacturers to do away with external storage and removable batteries, not just the Nexus line. the Droids already seem to be releasing without SD slots.
the USB OTG trend scares me. who really prefers a clunky dongle over built-in slots? it's truly disturbing. i was truly hoping that the modern tech would sport 3-D, or transparent, flexible display tech. instead we see almost everyone copying Windows 8. instead of moving away from stylii, we see more and more devices sporting the pens. (what's next? return to resistive touch screens?) then we see dongles, once a nightmare with laptops who's only expandable options were dongles that plugged into the now-defunct PC Card slot, coming back. slots for removable microSD cards seems to be going away in favor of a more modern variant of PC Cards, only using microUSB instead of the PC card slot.
it's like tech has gotten so advanced, that the only path is backwards. GUIs lately are copying the CGA look of ancient 1980s-era computers, with oversized, high-contrast rectangles or tiles, and the UI is going from dazzling to boring, flat, bland colors. then we see dongles returning. Stylus coming back to mass-use. cellular phones once again returning to their 1980s brick roots.
"If you treat your system like a kiln, don't be surprised when a brick comes out the other side."