Compared to Apple's products like the iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets are very flexible devices. For instance, you can set a new home screen, replace the lock screen, or even beam files using NFC — but that's just the software side of things, and the flexibility goes well beyond that.
Because of a technology called USB On-The-Go (USB OTG), your Android device might even be more powerful than you thought. This allows you to connect other devices to your smartphone or tablet using a $5 adapter that plugs into your charging port, and the possibilities are almost endless. But not all phones support USB OTG, and there's a bit more to learn about the tech, so we'll cover it all below.
What Is USB OTG?
USB OTG is a hardware and software standard that allows you to connect a device to your smartphone or tablet through the USB Type-C or micro USB port. Almost anything that uses a USB connector can be plugged into your Android device with USB OTG, at which point you would be able to control the second device using your smartphone, or vice versa.
Some good example uses for USB OTG include plugging a flash drive into your phone for extra storage, connecting your phone to a DSLR camera to serve as a viewfinder or shutter button, or simply plugging a mouse or keyboard into your tablet to get a desktop-like experience.
To accomplish this, you'll need a special type of adapter called a USB OTG cable. These are available for less than 10 bucks, and they basically have one 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 off and buy a USB OTG adapter, I'll 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, start by installing a free app called USB OTG Checker.
Step 2: See if Your Device Supports USB OTG
Next up, simply launch the app and you'll get an instant readout on your USB OTG status. What you're hoping for here is a message saying "Android compatible USB OTG." Either way, you can learn more about your result by tapping the "Details" button.
Step 3: Purchase an OTG Adapter to Connect Other Devices
Now that you're sure 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 one is not. Most uses will not require an externally-powered USB OTG cable, so a regular OTG cable should fill all of your needs.
OTG Cables (Devices with micro USB Ports)
Here are some regular OTG cables with good reviews on Amazon for devices that have a micro USB port.
Powered OTG Cables (Devices with micro USB Ports)
If you'd like to be able to charge your phone while another device is connected to it, you'll 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're connecting a device that needs power to function (for instance, a Teensy programmable circuit board), externally-powered is the way to go.
OTG Cables (Devices with USB Type-C Ports)
If you own a newer Android device that uses the USB Type-C port, you should make sure to get 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 using USB OTG? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Micro USB On-The-Go Adaptor
CONNECT USB DEVICES TO YOUR SAMSUNG SMARTPHONE OR TABLET
Perfect for connecting USB devices such as flash drives, keyboards and mice to your Samsung smartphones or tablets. On-the-Go technology allows your smartphone or tablet to act as a host. This means when you plug a flash drive into the USB OTG adapter, then plug into your Samsung device, it can read its contents to perform actions such as downloading music, movies or photos.
With the Belkin USB On-the-Go Adapter, you can connect:
- An external mouse
- Flash drive
- And other USB peripherals
*Works with all devices with both USB On-the-Go Technology and a standard Micro-USB port.
- Galaxy S7 edge
- Galaxy S7
- Galaxy S6 edge
- Galaxy S6
- Galaxy S5
- Galaxy S4
- Galaxy S4 Mini
- Galaxy S4 Active
- Galaxy S3
- Galaxy S3 Mini
- Galaxy S II - AT&T
- Galaxy S II - T-Mobile
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- Galaxy S II
- Galaxy S Vibrant
- Galaxy Tab 4
- Galaxy Tab 3
- Galaxy Tab 3 - 8.0"
- Galaxy Tab 3 - 7.0"
- Galaxy Tab 3 - 10.1"
Guaranteed brand new OEM Product Brand New Original OEM Item which provides highest quality to you How to use OTG: 1. Turn on the OTG function: ①Funtouch OS 9.2/iQOO Monster UI and above: enter the phone settings-other networks and connections-OTG, and turn on the OTG function; ②Funtouch OS 9.2 or less: enter the settings-more settings-OTG, turn on the OTG function; 2. Connect one end of the OTG cable to the Micro USB (charging port) of the mobile phone, and connect the other end to a mouse, U disk or other external devices to use. If you are currently using a vivo mobile phone, a mobile phone that supports OTG function can be connected to external devices such as the camera, mobile phone U disk, gamepad, wireless mouse, wired mouse, keyboard, etc. through the OTG cable. Compatible with all micro USB connector mobiles and tablets with OTG function,such as Samsung Galaxy or Note series phones and tablets, Google Nexus series, Dell, Motorala, Sony, Nokia, Lenovo yoga/ThinkPad, Acer tab, HTC The most practical&necessary on the go micro usb cable: Enabled android or windows micro usb phones or tablets work as PC host by connect female usb connector devices such as keyboard, game controller, flash drives, SD/TF card reader, wireless mice,external hard drives with an external power and more Provides a convenient and simple smart phones or tablets host replacement of PC to view picture, listen to music, data transfer from flash drivers, edit files with keyboard or mice Ensure your device is OTG available before purchasing;Do not support OTG and charging simultaneously About IAC After Sales Service --- Top Service, Top Quality Product. ---Support Wholesale Purchase, U Can Get More Mobile Phone Models And Get More Discount. --- If There Is A Quality Problem With The Product Received, Please Contact Us In Time.
What Is USB OTG? 10 Cool Ways to Use It on Android
USB drives are convenient, but you can't use one with your phone. Well, unless you have an Android phone and know what USB OTG means.
USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a standardized specification that allows a device to read data from a USB device without requiring a PC. The device basically becomes a USB host, which isn't an ability every gadget has. You will need an OTG cable or OTG connector.
You can do a lot with this, For example, you might connect a USB flash drive to your phone, or use a video game controller with an Android device.
USB OTG is not an Android-specific feature. But since that's its most popular use, we'll focus on using it with Android.
Check If Your Android Supports USB OTG
The easiest way to check if your phone or tablet supports USB OTG is to look at the box it came in, or the manufacturer's website. You'll see a logo like the one above, or USB OTG listed in the specifications.
Another easy method is to use a USB OTG checker app. There are plenty of such free apps on the Google Play Store, but some are loaded with ads. USB OTG Checker is a reliable app for this. Download and run it, and you'll know if your phone supports USB OTG.
Not every Android device supports USB OTG; it's something the manufacturer has to enable. If you find out your phone isn't compatible when you use USB OTG Checker, this unfortunately won't work for you.
Samsung and other smartphones have OTG enabled out of the box. However, other manufacturers may require you to enable it manually from Settings > Additional Settings > OTG.
What You Need to Use USB OTG
Your Android device has a standard micro-USB or USB-C port (see our guide to USB cables). However, many USB devices require a full-size USB port. You can resolve that with a converter/adapter.
Specifically, look for a micro-USB or USB-C (depending on what your phone uses) male to full-size USB female adapter---those male and female designations are essential. Amazon carries many such adapters, like the popular Anker USB-C to USB adapter.
It's also possible to buy flash drives with both micro-USB and standard USB ports, like the super useful Kingston Micro Duo. It doesn't cost much more than a regular USB drive either, so it's a pretty sound purchase.
Once you're ready with USB OTG for your Android device, a world of opportunities opens up. Here are some of the most popular uses.
1. Connect Flash Drives and External Hard Drives
Unsurprisingly, external storage is at the top of this list. Just plug a drive in, and you'll be ready to go. You can then transfer all kinds of files.
Flash drives are the easiest to connect; external hard drives may or may not work. Portable hard drives that draw power from the phone won't always work, but external drives with their own power source should work just fine. You'll need these drives to be in FAT32 format, as NTFS doesn't work properly with Android.
Additionally, if you don't want to get into the hassle of transferring the media, then you can directly play music or videos from your OTG storage drive connected to your Android device.
2. Play With Video Game Controllers
Android P and newer natively support the Xbox One controller. But the older Xbox 360 controller also works with Android devices via USB OTG. It's as simple as plug-and-play to start gaming with a controller. Of course, you need to play games that are compatible with a controller.
If you have rooted your Android device, you can also connect PlayStation controllers. With this, you could connect a PS2 controller and turn your Android device into a retro gaming hub!
3. Control Android With Keyboard and Mouse
Android's open nature makes it easy to connect just about anything. If you want to use your tablet as a laptop, a keyboard and mouse is integral to the experience. You'll be happy to know that Android works well with most wireless and wired keyboards and mice.
We recommend getting a wireless keyboard and mouse set with a unified receiver, since you only have one available USB connection. I haven't seen a functional USB hub working over USB OTG.
You should buy a standard plug-and-play wireless set that is compatible with all platforms. However, make sure you don't buy something that requires accompanying software, like some Logitech devices that require the SetPoint software.
As noted in our detailed guide to connecting a USB keyboard to Android devices, the OS defaults to QWERTY. You'll need a special keyboard app for other layouts, like Colemak or DVORAK.
4. Print Directly From a Printer
Much like keyboards, printers with a standard plug-and-play USB work well with Android devices. These let you start printing without requiring a wireless connection or having to transfer anything to a PC first.
Android hasn't supported USB Mass Storage mode for some time. Thus, if you want to print photos and documents, you'll need to use the PTP or MTP modes for your USB connection.
Of course, it's easier if your printer has Wi-Fi support. If it doesn't, it might be time to upgrade to one of the best printers for homes and small offices.
5. Control Your DSLR Camera
Photographers will love this one. You can wire your Android device up to your DSLR camera and turn it into a giant live screen, complete with the ability to capture, focus, control shutter speed, and much more.
You will need the DSLR Controller app, and ideally a Canon camera. It works with some Nikon and Sony cameras, but they aren't officially supported. It's a hefty $8 for the app, but quite useful for enthusiastic DSLR owners.
6. Directly Transfer Photos From DSLR to Android Phone
If you want to move photos from your digital camera to your Android, you can do it without using your laptop or SD card reader via OTG. You will need a USB cable that connects to your camera and then to the OTG adapter.
Once connected, you can import all the photos from your camera to your Android phone. It is a handy feature if you edit photos on your phone or want to share uncompressed images via email.
7. Connect and Play Music Instruments
USB OTG enables you to connect MIDI-compatible music instruments such as keyboards to your Android device. Combine the two with a decent music app, and you can create music on your handheld device on the go.
While smaller MIDI keyboards can be powered by an Android phone, some may require an external power source. Also, check the type of connection supported by your keyboard and if it requires an additional adapter to work with your OTG adapter.
8. Record Audio Directly to Your Phone
Apart from the musical instruments, you can record audio from a USB mic to your Android phone via OTG. Whether you use your phone as a workstation or just a hobbyist, USB microphones such as the useful CAD Audio 37 offer better recording capabilities than the built-in or external mics connected via a 3.5mm audio jack.
Your Android phone comes with a built-in voice recorder, but it is pretty basic. For a dedicated mic, apps like USB Audio Recorder Pro offer more customization options, including stereo playback, custom sample rate and buffer size selection and even recording format options.
9. Connect and Access the Internet via Ethernet Cable
A lesser-known OTG function is its ability to connect your Ethernet connection to an Android phone for internet access. This can come in handy if you want to reduce ping during online gameplay or get better internet speed than your Wi-Fi.
Apart from an OTG adapter, you would also need an Ethernet to USB adapter such as the QGeeM USB-C to Ethernet adapter to make this work.
Note: Ethernet connection via OTG feature may not be available on all smartphones. Make sure your phone supports this feature before attempting.
10. Reverse Charge Your Phone Android Phone
Many modern smartphones support reverse wireless charging, where you can charge a QI-compatible smartphone by placing it on the glass back of a supported smartphone. However, if your phone doesn't support this feature, you can use an OTG adapter to reverse-charge your device instead.
To reverse-charge, connect the OTG cable to the phone that will act as a power source. Then connect your phone you want to charge to the OTG port via USB cable. While the charging is slow, it should help if your primary device runs out of juice and you don't have access to a power source.
The Other Big Android USB
Learning about USB OTG and its many uses opens up a host of new tricks for Android devices. In fact, if you have an old Android tablet or phone lying around, one of the USB OTG applications above can give it a new lease of life.
Apart from OTG, there's another USB feature on Android that you should know about. If you aren't aware about it already, read up on Android USB debugging and why it's awesome.
What is USB Debugging in Android? Learn what this important feature does and how to enable it on your device.
Read NextAbout The Author
Mihir Patkar has been writing on technology and productivity for over 14 years at some of the top media publications across the world. He has an academic background in journalism.
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Go on android the adapter
How to make the most of USB-on-the-go
Long ago, the best tool for slapping two pieces of technology together was the mighty Roll of Duct Tape. It brought us such wonders as Flashlight Taped to Gun, Cardboard Taped to Broken Car Window, and even the ever-popular Command Module Carbon Dioxide Filter Taped to Lunar Module Receptor.
In these more enlightened days, the USB drive has risen as the primary mode of integrating two forms of disparate hardware. Unfortunately, Android devices come equipped with the far less-ubiquitous micro USB drive, so all that USB-ready technology lies just outside of reach. Except it’s not, really.
Even though it’s not being marketed or sold by any major phone manufacturers, a tiny little cable called the USB On-The-Go adapter can let you have a lot of USB-related fun with your Android device.
USB On-The-Go is really just a micro USB cable that runs out to a female USB port. You plug it into your Android device, and it effectively gives your device a USB port. Now you can use a slew of different gadgets that weren’t necessarily designed with Android interface in mind.
No, unfortunately. Compatibility is actually extremely hit-and-miss, because not a lot of Android device designers were really working with USB functionality in mind. Figuring out whether devices work with USB OTG has been a matter of trial and error, with some devices only having partial functionality and others taking to it like ducks to water. It seems like Samsung has the most USB capability overall so far.
Although Android devices have been USB-host-mode ready since Android 3.1, the problem is that hardware manufacturers have to enable that feature. If they don’t, then your device will just be mystified if you try to plug a USB drive into it.
Time to break out the hyperactive, tinkering little kid inside you, because there aren’t really any established instructions or best practices for USB OTG. You might as well just grab one and see what works with your device, but so far we’ve discovered some pretty awesome uses.
Move pictures and video from your professional camera over to your tablet or phone with ease. If you’re someone who uses Adobe Lightroom on a regular basis or are an avid photographer, this might be a killer setup for you. No longer will you have to go through your computer as an intermediary; you can zip those photos right over to your phone for on-site review or retouching.
If you’re someone who does a lot of writing, this is certainly an attractive capability. I’ve done some lengthy writing on my phone in a pinch situation before, and I can tell you it wasn’t the best time. Having the ability to write as freely and quickly on a phone as you can on a PC or laptop is a pretty awesome feature.
With a USB OTG, you can attach your Android device to your digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. This can let you use apps like DSLR Controller to give you full command over the camera from your Android.
It’s a little bit odd that even the most compatible devices would have this functionality, but it seems like you can connect a mouse on most of them and have a pointer materialize on your screen. Use it just like you would on your computer. Doesn’t seem terribly practical, but it’s definitely interesting. Maybe you could use it to play old-school first-person shooters like Wolfenstein 3D or DOOM.
Speaking of games…
With emulators and roms becoming increasingly popular, one of the only downsides to playing them on your phone has been the inherent clumsiness of using a touch screen to mimick something as complex and alien as the N64 controller. I mean, who designed that thing?
15 best emulators for Android to play old favorites
Since retro gaming has gotten so popular, you can now buy USB retro controllers relatively inexpensively. Plug one of those guys into your USB OTG, and suddenly you’ve got nostalgia in your pocket whenever you need it.
As a plus, the PS3 controller, which has a USB end, is compatible right out of the box with a handful of devices including the Samsung Galaxy S III.
External hard drive
Although your Android device’s power output isn’t stout enough to keep an unpowered hard drive operational, you can use a plug-in-the-wall powered hard drive to move some files around. Great if you’ve maxed out your phone’s hard drive and want to make some more room.
Because your Android powers whatever device it’s connected to, a portable (not powered) hard drive won’t work. However, a powered hard drive will, since it relies on energy from an external source. With the hard drive connected, you can read, write, and transfer any stored files.
Although this won’t work for some devices, you can plug a thumb drive in and most compatible Android devices treat a USB thumbdrive just like your computer does. Check some files on the go or tuck others away for safekeeping.
Connect to the internet through your USB port with an ethernet adapter. This is a great option for someone who struggles with spotty WiFi reception. With this adaptor-on-adaptor setup, you can jack right into the wall for some of that Grade-A, primo internet. Delicious!
Yep. If you want to do more than one of the above at once, like have two video game controllers or a mouse and a keyboard, then grab a USB expander and give them both a whirl. Who knows what you can come up with?
So those are some of the more useful things we found we could do with the USB OTG adapter. Do you have any creative favorites? How do you put USB OTG to work for you?
Specification for USB devices
USB On-The-Go (USB OTG or just OTG) is a specification first used in late 2001 that allows USB devices, such as tablets or smartphones, to act as a host, allowing other USB devices, such as USB flash drives, digital cameras, mouse or keyboards, to be attached to them. Use of USB OTG allows those devices to switch back and forth between the roles of host and device. A mobile phone may read from removable media as the host device, but present itself as a USB Mass Storage Device when connected to a host computer.
USB OTG introduces the concept of a device performing both master and slave roles – whenever two USB devices are connected and one of them is a USB OTG device, they establish a communication link. The device controlling the link is called the master or host, while the other is called the slave or peripheral.
USB OTG defines two roles for devices: OTG A-device and OTG B-device, specifying which side supplies power to the link, and which initially is the host. The OTG A-device is a power supplier, and an OTG B-device is a power consumer. In the default link configuration, the A-device acts as a USB host with the B-device acting as a USB peripheral. The host and peripheral modes may be exchanged later by using Host Negotiation Protocol (HNP).
The initial role of each device was defined by which mini plug a user inserts into its receptacle.
Standard USB uses a master/slave architecture; a host acts as the master device for the entire bus, and a USB device acts as a slave. If implementing standard USB, devices must assume one role or the other, with computers generally set up as hosts, while (for example) printers normally function as slaves. In the absence of USB OTG, cell phones often implemented slave functionality to allow easy transfer of data to and from computers. Such phones, as slaves, could not readily be connected to printers as they also implemented the slave role. USB OTG directly addresses this issue.
When a device is plugged into the USB bus, the master device, or host, sets up communications with the device and handles service provisioning (the host's software enables or does the needed data-handling such as file managing or other desired kind of data communication or function). That allows the devices to be greatly simplified compared to the host; for example, a mouse contains very little logic and relies on the host to do almost all of the work. The host controls all data transfers over the bus, with the devices capable only of signalling (when polled) that they require attention. To transfer data between two devices, for example from a phone to a printer, the host first reads the data from one device, then writes it to the other.
While the master-slave arrangement works for some devices, many devices can act either as master or as slave depending on what else shares the bus. For instance, a computer printer is normally a slave device, but when a USB flash drive containing images is plugged into the printer's USB port with no computer present (or at least turned off), it would be useful for the printer to take on the role of host, allowing it to communicate with the flash drive directly and to print images from it.
USB OTG recognizes that a device can perform both master and slave roles, and so subtly changes the terminology. With OTG, a device can be either a host when acting as a link master, or a "peripheral" when acting as a link slave. The choice between host and peripheral roles is handled entirely by which end of the cable the device is connected to. The device connected to the "A" end of the cable at start-up, known as the "A-device", acts as the default host, while the "B" end acts as the default peripheral, known as the "B-device".
After initial startup, setup for the bus operates as it does with the normal USB standard, with the A-device setting up the B-device and managing all communications. However, when the same A-device is plugged into another USB system or a dedicated host becomes available, it can become a slave.
USB OTG does not preclude using a USB hub, but it describes host-peripheral role swapping only for the case of a one-to-one connection where two OTG devices are directly connected. Role swapping does not work through a standard hub, as one device will act as a host and the other as a peripheral until they are disconnected.
USB OTG is a part of a supplement to the Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 specification originally agreed upon in late 2001 and later revised. The latest version of the supplement also defines behavior for an Embedded Host which has targeted abilities and the same USB Standard-A port used by PCs.
SuperSpeed OTG devices, Embedded Hosts and peripherals are supported through the USB OTG and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB 3.0 specification.
The USB OTG and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB 2.0 specification introduced three new communication protocols:
- Attach Detection Protocol (ADP)
- Allows an OTG device, embedded host or USB device to determine attachment status in the absence of power on the USB bus, enabling both insertion-based behavior and the capability to display attachment status. It does so by periodically measuring the capacitance on the USB port to determine whether there is another device attached, a dangling cable, or no cable. When a large enough change in capacitance is detected to indicate device attachment, an A-device will provide power to the USB bus and look for device connection. At the same time, a B-device will generate SRP (see below) and wait for the USB bus to become powered.
- Session Request Protocol (SRP)
- Allows both communicating devices to control when the link's power session is active; in standard USB, only the host is capable of doing so. That allows fine control over the power consumption, which is very important for battery-operated devices such as cameras and mobile phones. The OTG or embedded host can leave the USB link unpowered until the peripheral (which can be an OTG or standard USB device) requires power. OTG and embedded hosts typically have little battery power to spare, so leaving the USB link unpowered helps in extending the battery runtime.
- Host Negotiation Protocol (HNP)
- Allows the two devices to exchange their host/peripheral roles, provided both are OTG dual-role devices. By using HNP for reversing host/peripheral roles, the USB OTG device is capable of acquiring control of data-transfer scheduling. Thus, any OTG device is capable of initiating data-transfer over USB OTG bus. The latest version of the supplement also introduced HNP polling, in which the host device periodically polls the peripheral during an active session to determine whether it wishes to become a host.
- The main purpose of HNP is to accommodate users who have connected the A and B devices (see below) in the wrong direction for the task they want to perform. For example, a printer is connected as the A-device (host), but cannot function as the host for a particular camera, since it does not understand the camera's representation of print jobs. When that camera knows how to talk to the printer, the printer will use HNP to switch to the slave role, with the camera becoming the host so pictures stored on the camera can be printed out without reconnecting the cables. The new OTG protocols cannot pass through a standard USB hub since they are based on electrical signaling via a dedicated wire.
The USB OTG and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB 3.0 specification introduces an additional communication protocol:
- Role Swap Protocol (RSP)
- RSP achieves the same purpose as HNP (i.e., role swapping) by extending standard mechanisms provided by the USB 3.0 specification. Products following the USB OTG and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB 3.0 specification are also required to follow the USB 2.0 supplement in order to maintain backwards compatibility. SuperSpeed OTG devices (SS-OTG) are required to support RSP. SuperSpeed Peripheral Capable OTG devices (SSPC-OTG) are not required to support RSP since they can only operate at SuperSpeed as a peripheral; they have no SuperSpeed host and so can only role swap using HNP at USB 2.0 data rates.
USB OTG defines two roles for devices: OTG A-device and OTG B-device, specifying which side supplies power to the link, and which initially is the host. The OTG A-device is a power supplier, and an OTG B-device is a power consumer. In the default link configuration, the A-device acts as a USB host with the B-device acting as a USB peripheral. The host and peripheral modes may be exchanged later by using HNP or RSP. Because every OTG controller supports both roles, they are often called "Dual-Role" controllers rather than "OTG controllers".
For integrated circuit (IC) designers, an attractive feature of USB OTG is the ability to achieve more USB capabilities with fewer gates.
A "traditional" approach includes four controllers, resulting in more gates to test and debug:
- USB high speed host controller based on EHCI (a register interface)
- Full/low speed host controller based on OHCI (another register interface)
- USB device controller, supporting both high and full speeds
- Fourth controller to switch the OTG root port between host and device controllers
Also, most gadgets must be either a host or a device. OTG hardware design merges all of the controllers into one dual-role controller that is somewhat more complex than an individual device controller.
Targeted peripheral list (TPL)
A manufacturer's targeted peripheral list (TPL) serves the aim of focusing a host device towards particular products or applications, rather than toward its functioning as a general-purpose host, as is the case for typical PCs. The TPL specifies products supported by the "targeting" host, defining what it needs to support, including the output power, transfer speeds, supported protocols, and device classes. It applies to all targeted hosts, including both OTG devices acting as a host and embedded hosts.
OTG mini plugs
The original USB OTG standard introduced a plug receptacle called mini-AB that was replaced by micro-AB in later revisions (Revision 1.4 onwards). It can accept either a mini-A plug or a mini-B plug, while mini-A adapters allows connection to standard-A USB cables coming from peripherals. The standard OTG cable has a mini-A plug on one end and a mini-B plug on the other end (it can not have two plugs of the same type).
The device with a mini-A plug inserted becomes an OTG A-device, and the device with a mini-B plug inserted becomes a B-device (see above). The type of plug inserted is detected by the state of the ID pin (the mini-A plug's ID pin is grounded, while the mini-B plug's is floating).
Pure mini-A receptacles also exist, used where a compact host port is needed, but OTG is not supported.
OTG micro plugs
With the introduction of the USB micro plug, a new plug receptacle called micro-AB was also introduced. It can accept either a micro-A plug or a micro-B plug. Micro-A adapters allow for connection to standard-A plugs, as used on fixed or standard devices. An OTG product must have a single micro-AB receptacle and no other USB receptacles.
An OTG cable has a micro-A plug on one end, and a micro-B plug on the other end (it cannot have two plugs of the same type). OTG adds a fifth pin to the standard USB connector, called the ID-pin; the micro-A plug has the ID pin grounded, while the ID in the micro-B plug is floating. A device with a micro-A plug inserted becomes an OTG A-device, and a device with a micro-B plug inserted becomes a B-device. The type of plug inserted is detected by the state of the pin ID.
Three additional ID pin states are defined at the nominal resistance values of 124 kΩ, 68 kΩ, and 36.5 kΩ, with respect to the ground pin. These permit the device to work with USB Accessory Charger Adapters that allows the OTG device to be attached to both a charger and another device simultaneously.
These three states are used in the cases of:
- A charger and either no device or an A-device that is not asserting VBUS (not providing power) are attached. The OTG device is allowed to charge and initiate SRP but not connect.
- A charger and an A-device that is asserting VBUS (is providing power) are attached. The OTG device is allowed to charge and connect but not initiate SRP.
- A charger and a B-device are attached. The OTG device is allowed to charge and enter host mode.
USB 3.0 introduced a backwards compatible SuperSpeed extension of the micro-AB receptacle and micro-A and micro-B plugs. They contain all pins of the non-Superspeed micro connectors and use the ID pin to identify the A-device and B-device roles, also adding the SuperSpeed pins.
OTG micro cables
When an OTG-enabled device is connected to a PC, it uses its own USB-A or USB Type-C cable (typically ending in micro-B, USB-C or Lightning plugs for modern devices). When an OTG-enabled device is attached to a USB slave device, such as a flash drive, the slave device must either end in the appropriate connection for the device, or the user must supply an appropriate adapter ending in USB-A. The adapter enables any standard USB peripheral to be attached to an OTG device. Attaching two OTG-enabled devices together requires either an adapter in conjunction with the slave device's USB-A cable, or an appropriate dual-sided cable and a software implementation to manage it. This is becoming commonplace with USB Type-C devices.
Smartphone and tablet implementation
BlackBerry 10.2 implements Host Mode (like in the BlackBerry Z30 handset). Nokia has implemented USB OTG in many of their Symbian cellphones such as Nokia N8, C6-01, C7, Oro, E6, E7, X7, 603, 700, 701 and 808 Pureview. Some high-end Android phones produced by HTC, and Sony under Xperia series also have it. SamsungAndroid version 3.1 or newer supports USB OTG, but not on all devices.
Specifications listed on technology web sites (such as GSMArena, PDAdb.net, PhoneScoop, and others) can help determine compatibility. Using GSMArena as an example, one would locate the page for a given device, and examine the verbiage under Specifications → Comms → USB. If "USB Host" is shown, the device should be capable of supporting OTG-type external USB accessories.
In many of the above implementations, the host device has only a micro-B receptacle rather than a micro-AB receptacle. Although non-standard, micro-B to micro-A receptacle adapters are widely available and used in place of the mandated micro-AB receptacle on these devices.
USB OTG devices are backward-compatible with USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 for SuperSpeed OTG devices) and will behave as standard USB hosts or devices when connected to standard (non-OTG) USB devices. The main exception is that OTG hosts are only required to provide enough power for the products listed on the TPL, which may or may not be enough to connect to a peripheral that is not listed. A powered USB hub may sidestep the issue, if supported, since it will then provide its own power according to either the USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 specifications.
Some incompatibilities in both HNP and SRP were introduced between the 1.3 and 2.0 versions of the OTG supplement, which can lead to interoperability issues when using those protocol versions.
Main articles: USB Battery Charging Specification and USB Power Delivery Specification
Some devices can use their USB ports to charge built-in batteries, while other devices can detect a dedicated charger and draw more than 500 mA (0.5 A), allowing them to charge more rapidly. OTG devices are allowed to use either option.
- ^Koeman, Kosta (22 November 2001). "Understanding USB On-The-Go". edn.com. EDN. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- ^"On-The-Go and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB 2.0 Specification, Revision 2.0 plus ECN and errata". USB.org. 14 July 2011. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2005.
- ^Heise, Heinz. "USB-On-the-Go-Specification Settled". Heise.de.[dead link]
- ^"On-The-Go and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB Revision 3.0 Specification, Revision 1.1". USB.org. May 10, 2012.
- ^ ab"Universal Serial Bus Revision 2.0 specification". On-The-Go and Embedded Host Supplement to the USB Revision 2.0 Specification, Revision 2.0 version 1.1a. USB Implementers Forum, Inc. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
- ^"Universal Serial Bus Revision 2.0 specification". Universal Serial Bus Micro-USB Cables and Connectors Specification, Revision 1.01. USB Implementers Forum, Inc. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
- ^ abcde"Battery Charging Specification". USB Implementers Forum, Inc. 15 April 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- ^KB34983-Support for USB Embedded Host mode on BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2
- ^"USB On the Go - HTC Blog". blog.htc.com.
- ^"Samsung Galaxy S II Able To Use Standard USB OTG Cable For USB On-The-Go Access - TalkAndroid.com". www.talkandroid.com.
- ^"Xperia S USB OTG demonstrated [Video] - Xperia Blog". www.xperiablog.net.
- ^"Android Issue 738: I hope Android will implement and support the USB host feature". Google.com. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- ^"USB Host – Android Developers". developer.android.com. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- ^http://www.gsmarena.com/ GSMArena
- ^http://pdadb.net PDAdb.net
- ^"Are Micro A USB plugs actually ever used?". Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
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