How To Connect A Keyboard, Mouse or USB Flash Drive To Your Android Smartphone Or Tablet
Android devices are so popular nowadays that they slowly tend to replacing laptops. They can do almost everything, and they even support connecting a mouse, keyboard and gamepad. In this article we'll see how you can connect a USB flash drive, keyboard and other peripherals in your Android smartphone or tablet, so as to improving productivity and entertainment when using the device.
- Make sure that your device supports OTG
- Connecting USB peripherals
- Using a USB Hub
- Connecting a wireless keyboard/mouse
- What if my device doesn’t support OTG?
Android devices are known do not have a full-size USB port, thus you cannot connect a common USB cable as you would normally do in the case of a computer or laptop.
Therefore, what you need is a USB On-The-Go cable, also known as OTG. This is actually an adapter that connects to your Android device in one end, and allows you to connect a USB device on the other end.
Many Android devices come with this adapter included but some devices may not even support OTG. Therefore you need to make sure that your device supports OTG before buying the adapter or a USB peripheral for the device.
Once you’re sure that OTG is supported, you may proceed into ordering such an adapter from any website on the internet that provides accessories for Android, and usually it won’t cost you more than $5-6.
Every OTG adapter has a USB port at one end, and one Micro USB port on the other. Once you connect it to your Android device, you are ready to use it without making any additional settings.
Immediately after connecting the keyboard, you can start typing anything within a text field from your device and you will see your actions being executed on the screen.
Almost all keyboard shortcuts, such as copy and paste, will work the same way as on computers. In addition, the "Print Screen" button works as well, which makes it quite easy to take a screenshot of the screen.
If you use a Windows keyboard, by pressing the Windows key, most Android devices will launch Google Now.
The only kind of drawback that might be present when using an external keyboard with an Android device is that on most Android devices it may not be possible to switch between languages with the known keyboard shortcuts.
It’s equally fast and effortless to connect a mouse and start using it. Once it is connected to the Android device, the familiar pointer will appear on the screen.
Obviously, the mouse replaces your finger in this case. All actions are performed exactly the same as in a computer, and if you wish, you may also use your fingers to tap on the screen too, while the mouse is connected.
Even though you can navigate within the Android environment with it, a gamepad is mostly suitable for playing Android games that support controllers. Of course, this will probably make gaming more fun.
It is possible to connect two USB peripherals to your Android device by using a USB Hub. Note however that battery consumption will be far greater than connecting one USB peripheral at a time.
A USB Hub can be extremely useful; depending on the number of available ports, you can connect more than two USB devices to device. For example, you can connect a USB flash drive in one of its port to transfer files to/from the device’s storage, while also having a mouse, keyboard, or even a gamepad, connected.
Of course there are various choices you can make when it comes to a USB Hub. You can, for example, get one that includes one or two SD card slots, in addition to its USB ports.
It is also possible to connect a wireless keyboard and mouse in your Android device via USB, which can be more convenient since you get rid of cables.
All you need to do in this case is connect the corresponding receiver of the keyboard/mouse to the USB port on the smartphone or tablet. This will work exactly the same as if you were using a wired keyboard/mouse.
If your Android device does not support USB OTG, then this does not mean that you should lose hope of connecting external devices to it.
In this case, the solution is provided by using Bluetooth and devices that support it. There is wide range of Bluetooth keyboard and mouse devices available in the market. All you have to do is connect them, as you would do with a set of Bluetooth headphones, through the Android device settings.
If you need to perform many tasks that require plenty of typing and navigation in your Android device, then using an external keyboard and mouse can be a really great choice. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below!