A USB On The Go (OTG) cable is a very useful tool that enables devices to communicate with each other. You can use it to do so many cool things to extend your device’s functionality. It’s also cheap; you can get one for $3 or less.
I’m going to highlight a few uses for a USB OTG cable on Android devices in the paragraphs below; feel free to add some more in the comments section.
1. Use a game controller
Playing games with a touchscreen is, in most cases, not as intuitive as using a dedicated gamepad, so it is often necessary to find a way around this especially when playing racing, shooter or sports games.
Many Android games support the use of an external gamepad, and one such way to take advantage of this is to connect an external game controller to your device using an OTG cable. Some devices support game controllers out of the box, but others may require your phone to be rooted.
2. Charge one device with another
One of the most common uses of a USB OTG cable is for charging one device with another one. The process is very simple; all you need to do is plug the OTG cable into the host device and then use a regular USB cord to connect the other device with the OTG cable.
For this to work, though, the host device needs to have a higher battery capacity compared to the secondary device.
3. Connect a USB Flash Drive (or Hard Drive) to your device
You can easily connect a USB flash drive to your Android phone using an OTG cable. All you need to do is plug the flash drive into the secondary port of the cable, and use any of the many file manager apps for Android to access your files and folders.
4. Connect a USB Mouse or Keyboard
Writing on an Android device is really tedious, as on-screen keyboards can barely achieve the same level of speed and accuracy that people have been accustomed to on their computers. But, with an OTG cable, you can easily connect a keyboard to your device and configure it using Android’s built-in settings for external controllers. Connecting a USB mouse is also possible which could be handy if you have calibration issues with your device.
5. Using a Modem
If you think your WiFi-only device is useless for browsing the Internet without a WiFi connection, think again. With a USB OTG cable, there’s a decent chance that your modem may just work with your device.
6. Record audio on your smartphone with an external microphone
While your phone’s built-in mic is sufficient in most cases, a real microphone is essential if you want to deliver a high quality recording. There are many microphone models which have a USB cord, and with an OTG cable coupled with a dedicated app (such as USB Audio Recorder PRO), you can easily make your external mic work with your Android device.
A USB OTG cable can greatly extend your Android device’s functionality to a large extent. There is much more you can do with it apart from those uses highlighted above, but those six are a good place to start.
If you know any other things you can achieve with a USB OTG cable on Android, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below.
Image credit: N800 Packet Injector
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox