OTG Cable, What it is, What it is for and How To Use It


What is the OTG cable, and when it can be useful: the most obvious uses are the connection with the smartphone of external memories, USB sticks, keyboards, and mice.

OTG cables may not be highly popular, but an inexpensive object like the OTG cable allows you to interact with the mobile devices using different modes.

The acronym OTG stands for ‘On-The-Go.’ Using a USB OTG cable, the smartphone turns into a host system that can accommodate the connection of flash drives, external hard drives, keyboards, mouse, joypads, and so on.

The devices connected to the OTG cable can act as both master and slave. In other words, a smartphone can read the contents of the mass memories connected by cable and can also serve as a data storage medium when connected to the PC.

USB OTG cables are abundantly available on Amazon at feasible prices, and having one in your kitty can be savior to many problems.

Let’s see some possibilities of using the OTG cable :

– Connection of external memory for backup and maintenance purposes.

By connecting a USB slot to the Android device via a USB OTG cable, you can save backup archives without affecting the internal storage.

The important thing is that the external memory is formatted with the FAT32 file system (and not, for example, with NTFS).

Larger USB hard drives are also generally supported, but if they are powered externally (they don’t have to use the USB port for power).

– Using the smartphone with a keyboard and mouse

When an OTG cable keyboard is connected to the smartphone, it will be immediately recognized, and the device will ask you to select the preferred layout.

You can choose a USB keyboard that also integrates the touchpad or, in any case, reuse any keyboard that is already used on a PC.

The advice is then to transmit when it appears on the smartphone display on a TV via Miracast or Chromecast.

The article showed how to connect a keyboard and mouse without using any cables and mentioned the Miracast / Chromecast solution.

– Print a document directly

Even the most recent USB printers can be connected to the mobile device via OTG cable. Instead of relying on Google Cloud Print and sending the document to be printed remotely, many printer models can be directly connected with the smartphone.

– Recharging the battery

In case you run out of battery and are away from a wall socket (or in any case, you do not have the charger with you), an OTG cable can help to “tap” some energy from another device that will act as a power bank.

The important thing is to check which device is delivering the energy and which is receiving it.