What is USB OTG and How to Use It

What is USB OTG and How to Use It
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Some Android devices like the Nexus 5 support a very useful feature that manufacturers do not make a lot of noise. USB OTG, USB On-the-go, micro USB OTG adapter, or OTG. This means that you can use your Android device as a USB host. For example, You can use a USB stick (pen drive) directly in the smartphone. What is USB OTG and How to Use It, we will explain below.

What is USB OTG?

As stated above, OTG means “On the go”. With two devices that are compatible USB OTG can be used to communicate with each other and perform certain common functions. The USB drive can be used on a mobile device in the same way as we use in a PC. It acts as a host, and connect a USB flash drive with the supported mobile devices.

The photos can be sent directly from your camera to a printer. A keyboard can be connected directly to a mobile device. A USB stick can be connected to a smartphone.

How can you use USB OTG on your Smartphone or Tablet?

The USB OTG applications are varied and based on hardware compatibility. On smartphones and tablets, the technology can be used to connect keyboards, mice, hard drives, and USB sticks. However, not all smartphones and tablets are USB OTG compatible. So if you are not sure if the device has the ability to act as an OTG host, you can easily find out by downloading a free app in the Play Store called USB Host Diagnostics.

Just having a USB OTG compatible device is not enough though you’ll also need a OTG cable suitable for your device. In addition, for connecting storage devices such as a USB flash drive or hard drive, you may also need an application such as ES File Explorer or Total Commander.


What can You do with USB OTG?

USB OTG makes it possible to pair your smartphone or tablet, along with the peripheral devices that can be able to control it, like mice or keyboard.

Even the connection of storage devices such as USB thumb drives or external hard drives can be achieved with OTG USB. By using a file manager on your device, you can directly access the data on an external storage device and play movies or music without having to store them on your device storage. Alternatively, you can use it as a back-up storage with external devices to store your photos, music and other files from your smartphone.

Which devices support USB OTG?

Many current smartphones offer USB OTG compatibility, I am including the following:-

  • Sony Xperia Z, ZL, Z Ultra, Z1
  • Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note 1, Note 2, Note 3
  • LG Optimus G, G2
  • HTC X, A, A mini, One max
  • Google Nexus 5
  • Motorola Moto G, Moto X


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