Apparently this is all related to Google changing the way it deals with usb connection. With the new Android 4.+ (Jellybean) they've gone to MTP which is why I couldn't see the device from nautilus in Ubuntu. When I ran a ROM based on Android 2.7 (Gingerbread) my Ubuntu nautilus could view it.
»askubuntu.com/questions/215528/g ··· tu-12-04
The third sentence in the above link refers to a very good explanation with a comment from a google engineer as to why the switch.