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All about USB OTG: What is it? How is it used?

Posted In HOW TO DO!, News - By DailyAndroidNews on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 With No Comments »


One of the features I would love to bring Android factory is precisely the OTG. But then, What is OTG? How do I use it? Can my little droid giving me this functionality? In the following article I hope shelling all these questions as possible. And of course, with the fewest possible technical terms, so that we can all understand and enjoy as well, such a productive feature.

What is OTG?

The OTG or USB OTG (On-The-Go), is an extension of USB 2.0 that allows devices with USB ports more flexibility in managing the connection . Or what is the same (and talking fast and bad), you can connect any USB device to your smartphone or tablet . Whether a digital camera, a flash drive, a USB modem, keyboard, mouse, etc.. This is based on our terminal goes from being a mere slave, to be host . What enables us to master log to other devices . The most graphic example would connect a USB flash drive. We can access the information it contains by simply connecting to your smartphone. usb-otg-2[1]

Imagine the possibilities open to us. Being able to connect your smartphone to a hard drive and have all the movies and music you want instantly. The connection to our DSLR and use our terminal as intervalometer or storage device and instant editing. There is a very wide range of options we can explore by ourselves.

How do I use it?

But of course, everything is light and pink. Our androids carry implanted one microUSB connector , and most computers that access will require a USB . That is why we need a cable like the image below. A cable AB USB OTG which allows us to connect the port  A (microUSB male) with port B(female USB). These cables are not expensive . In fact, if you dig a little for the network, we can find a very large variety in prices and lengths . Major stores selling electronics usually have a large catalog at a good price, but I always recommend Amazon or ebay .


The USB On The Go is facile to use , since it is simply plug and play . But, as I said before, not all light and color. Because almost all devices need power to operate . And of course, if your terminal does not support OTG brings factory (like my GalaxyS), it is normal to connect, and still having flashed the kernel, we do not work. This happens because the microUSB port terminal emits electricity , since it is a slave. Almost all electronics work getting 5V (volts), which is what usually give a powered USB port. If you do not have USB OTG factory, our port will not give us the necessary voltage to operate the USB flash drive or hard disk.


But we do not give up. For everything there is solution. And is that connecting an external power supply , and through a USB HUB (USB cable or Y), we can use the OTG “a pleasure.” In the picture above we can see a diagram that explains all this quite well.

Can my little droid giving me this functionality?


Perhaps this is the most bitter part of the article, because not all androids support this extensionAnd unfortunately there is no “official list” we can give for all to see if your device is in it. There are more Android colors, so it is very difficult to establish that list. The best way to know if your terminal supports USB OTG, is entering the specialized forums (XDA, AndroidCentral, HTCMania, etc..) and look in the appropriate section if a developer has a kernel we can flash to enable this feature or if phone supports factory, see how to activate it to take advantage. Sometimes it serves, it sometimes takes root, sometimes you need to flash a kernel … is a lottery .

The only thing that occurred to me to alleviate some of those who do not search the forums, isdeveloping a list as a guide . Some of the smartphones and tablets that support OTG (one way or another) are:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Samsung Galaxy S ( kernel must be installed )
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0 (P3100)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
  • Nexus One ( kernel must be installed )
  • Nexus S ( kernel must be installed )
  • Galaxy Nexus (with root and  StickMount )
  • LG Nexus 4 ( kernel must be installed )
  • Nexus 7
  • Nexus 10 (writing requires root)
  • HTC Desire ( patch )
  • HTC One X (from 4.1.1)
  • HTC One S (from 4.1.1)
  • Sony Xperia S
  • Sony Xperia P
  • Sony Xperia U
  • Sony Xperia Miro
  • Sony Xperia Acro S
  • Sony Xperia Go
  • Sony Xperia Pro
  • Sony Xperia Type
  • Sony Xperia Sola
  • Sony Tablet S (need  your own cable )
  • SE Xperia Arc S
  • SE Xperia Arc (from 2.3.4)
  • SE Xperia Neo V
  • SE Xperia Play
  • Acer Iconia Tab A200
  • Acer Iconia Tab A500
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola Atrix
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Motorola Xoom 2 (being root)
  • Todoso models BQ Davinci least, Darwin and Voltaire
  • Several Chinese tablets

List updated on March 13, 2013

Of course, there are a thousand and more devices that support OTG. But I put the ones I know, and is certified to serve. If your device is not listed but you know it works, please leave a comment and we will add it as soon as possible .



The USB OTG opens us another world apart. In our pockets we usually keep a minicomputer , but follow him calling phone (and increasingly less we use to call). That miniPC with five-inch screen (in some cases), coupled with a good car mount, a speaker without power, a USB flash drive and a good movie, can make a night of luxury at the summit .

Think of a function and get even match!

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