Compared to Apple’s products such as the iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets are very flexible devices. For instance, you can set up a new home screen, replace the lock screen, or even transfer files using NFC – but that’s just the software side of things, and the flexibility goes a lot further.
Thanks to a technology called USB On-The-Go (USB OTG), your Android device may be even more powerful than you thought. It lets you connect other devices to your smartphone or tablet with a $ 5 adapter that plugs into your charging port, and the possibilities are nearly endless. But not all phones support USB OTG, and there is still a bit more to learn about the technology, so we̵
What is USB OTG?
USB OTG is a hardware and software standard that allows you to connect a device to your smartphone or tablet via the USB Type-C or micro USB port. Almost anything that uses a USB connector can be connected to your Android device with USB OTG, after which you can control the second device with your smartphone, or vice versa.
Some good examples of uses for USB OTG include connecting a flash drive to your phone for additional storage, connecting your phone to a DSLR camera to act as a viewfinder or shutter release, or simply connecting a mouse or keyboard on your tablet to get a desktop. like experience.
To achieve this, you need a special type of adapter, a USB OTG cable. These are available for less than $ 10, and they basically have a smaller end that plugs into your phone, with a larger end that you plug the second device into.
However, not all Android devices are compatible with USB OTG. So before you run out and buy a USB OTG adapter, let me show you how to make sure your phone or tablet supports the standard.
Step 1 Install USB OTG Checker
To find out if your Android device supports USB OTG, first install a free app called USB OTG Checker.
Step 2: See if your device supports USB OTG
Then just start the app and you will immediately get a readout of your USB OTG status. Here’s hoping for a message that says “Android Compatible USB OTG.” Either way, you can find out more about your result by tapping the “Details” button.
Step 3: Buy an OTG adapter to connect other devices
Now that you are sure that your phone or tablet can take advantage of USB OTG technology, it’s a safe bet to go ahead and buy a USB OTG adapter. There are two main types of OTG cables: one is powered and the other is not. Most applications don’t require an externally powered USB OTG cable, so a regular OTG cable should meet all your needs.
OTG cables (devices with micro USB ports)
Here are some regular OTG cables with good reviews on Amazon for devices with a micro USB port.
Powered OTG cables (devices with micro USB ports)
If you want to be able to charge your phone while another device is connected to it, you need an externally powered USB OTG cable. This is basically a splitter that connects to three things at the same time: your Android device, the external device, and a power cable. If you are connecting a device that requires power to function (e.g. a Teensy programmable circuit board), external power is the way to go.
OTG cables (devices with USB Type-C ports)
If you have a newer Android device that uses the USB Type-C port, make sure to purchase an OTG adapter that will fit your phone or tablet. Here are some of the best options on Amazon.
What devices have you connected to your Android phone or tablet via USB OTG? Let us know in the comment section below.
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