What is USB OTG and how to use it

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What is USB OTG and how is it used? What is USB OTG and how to use this technology on Android? The USB port of our mobile has many uses. We know the basics: we use it to charge the device, but it can offer us much more if we have the right cable or adapter. From file transfer to connected devices

, this connector can help us through difficult times.

What is USB on-the-go and how to use it with the Android smartphone? In many Android devices, the USB connector (regardless of whether it is micro USB A or USB type PC) supports its acronym in English "on the go" or OTG. This means we can use it to connect other devices and do the job in the same way that we connect them to a USB port on a computer. These are functions that are very useful and make our smartphone more independent of a PC and turn it into a more versatile tool.

From Wikipedia: What is USB OTG and how is it used? USB OTG is a specification that allows any device capable of acting as a host to communicate with USB devices such as external HDDs, flash drives or Pendrive, keyboards, mice or joypads via a USB interface cable.

How do I know if my Android has USB OTG support?

When you read the technical specifications of your terminal in the typical product sheet you can find the details of the processor, the camera, how much RAM it has, the version of the operating system... but it is normal not to find specified if the USB port is OTG or not. At first sight, it is not something that can be identified, because physically a port with OTG support does not differ in anything from the one that does not have it.

Doing a specific search with the name of your Android phone and the term USB OTG could help you, but if we don't want to complicate our lives, the simplest thing is to install this application that will tell us as soon as we open it if the phone we are using is compatible or less. If it says yes, and most likely it will be, we can use our connector for everything we will see later. If there is no OTG support there is nothing you can do.

What can I connect to my phone via the USB OTG port?

At the beginning of the article, we talked about what USB OTG is and how to use it, in

summary, we use this USB port just like we use it on a computer. Yes, but there is one important difference: a PC has complete USB connectors (large) and a cell phone generally has a micro USB of type A or the new type USB C. In our case, we need a cable or an adapter that is male at the end. It will connect with our mobile and the female in which we will insert new devices.

How to use USB OTG on Android

Connect a USB flash drive or hard drive

The simplest and fastest way to use the USB OTG connector of a mobile phone is to use the Pendrive. Any USB drive will be detected as an external storage drive and we can interact with it from any file search application. We don't have to install anything special. In my case, I use Solid Explorer and it is perfectly compatible with reading any USB drive.

Once connected, we can do everything: copy and paste the files, open documents directly... For example, if you have little memory and go on a journey, you can take the videos on a Pendrive and play them back later from your phone without compromising the memory interior that we have available. It's also very useful if you work in a group and can't share documents in a virtual cloud, with an adapter and a Pendrive we can copy or insert files on the USB drive in a few moments.

Connect a USB keyboard and mouse

If you have a USB keyboard or mouse, you can connect them to use them in the same way you would use them on your PC. Connecting the first one is very useful if we don't have a Bluetooth option and we need to write long texts without depending on the virtual keyboard, which is not always accurate on the phone. He thinks that everything we are explaining also applies to any tablet, so if we use it to work or study, it can be very useful.

Use a controller to play

Other accessories like game controllers also work well. If they are consoles, we have the ability to sync them wirelessly since they are all Bluetooth, but if we have one with a USB cable, we just need to connect it to the adapter and it will work right away. Android already has all the drivers ready so we can use it without having to configure anything.

Internet connection via Ethernet cable

A very curious option, and for which we will need to have at least one Android with Marshmallow 6.0 or a higher version, is to connect our mobile via Ethernet cable. Yes, it is possible and in this case, we will need a specific adapter that converts the USB of our mobile into a female connector for this network cable.

Print documents

If you have a printer with USB port, you can also use this adapter to print documents via cable, a good alternative if you are unable to connect with this device via WiFi, Bluetooth or simply if you do not have these two options available. What you will most likely need is to install the printer manufacturer's app as you usually need to transfer documents.

Send photos from the camera or use it to check manual settings

For photography there are several possible uses : from the transfer of images directly from the camera (when we connect it to our Android it will recognize it as if it were a USB memory) in order to use the mobile phone as a tool to check the manual settings of the camera and make changes of exposure, aperture, ISO and other values.

Use a microphone or audio recorder

If you use audio recording systems, from recorders to microphones, you can use them as peripherals without major problems. In my case, I use sporadically a Blue Yeti and to be able to make recordings from the mobile phone, although it must be modified later on a PC, it is very convenient and useful when the microphone supplied with the mobile phone does not offer sufficient quality.

We hope to have been clear about what USB OTG is and how to use it. If you have problems write to us on our Facebook page.

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