After a bit of confusion about whether or not you can transfer files (such as your photos, home videos and pdf files etc.) from other storage (eg. a HDD connected to a Windows PC) to the Nexus 7 without having to send the files via 'the cloud', the *final* word appears to be that yes, you can transfer files from USB HDD to the Nexus 7, but you have to have the HDD connected to use a computer (eg. Windows PC or laptop) to handle to file transfers ie. you can't just plug the USB HDD directly into the Nexus 7. The official response from 'The Google Play Team' I received last night was:
"Thank you for contacting me today about the ability to transfer
information from the computer to the Nexus 7. I guess that I misunderstood
your underlying question.
It is true that the Nexus 7 can be connected to a computer and files can
be transferred via the USB cable using MTP. So you are correct in what you
have quoted directly from the guidebook.
However, direct transfer to or from an OTG USB device is not possible
since the Nexus 7 uses the MTP that is native in the computing device.
The only peripheral devices that will work with the mini USB port are
joysticks, keyboards and a mouse.
With that said, if your Nexus 7 and your USB device were both connected to
a computer, you could transfer files to and from those two devices, but
the computer would be completing the transfer process, not the Nexus 7
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