These days, it’s become quite hard to function without a smartphone or a tablet. Work and play can be easily done on a mobile device. You can even connect your phones and tablets to other gadgets such as cameras and game controllers with the use of an OTG adapter. But what exactly is an OTG adapter and how does it work with mobile phones and tablets?
In this article, we’ll be giving you a rundown of the basics of the OTG adapter, as well as the ways on how you can use them.
What is an OTG Adapter?
USB On-The-Go or USB OTG is a handy mobile accessory that allows you to connect your phones to other devices such as other phones, tablets, and video game controllers among others. With an OTG adapter, your phone serves as the main device where you can connect and receive data — similar to how you would use a PC as the main device. Some USB OTGs can also serve as external storage where you can easily connect to and from your phone to another device.
USB OTGs come with MicroUSB and USB Type-C versions. Additionally, you can also find OTG adapters and cables that will serve as a connector to your device and another device. With an OTG adapter, you can easily do work and you won’t have to worry about running out of memory or having difficulty in transferring files.
Do All Phones Support OTG?
Most but not all Android phones and devices support USB OTG. The latest models will be able to support but you will have to make sure that your OTG adapter is compatible with the port on your device as adapters come in MicroUSB and USB Type-C variants.
If you’re unsure whether or not your device supports OTG, here are a few things that you can do to verify.
A.) Check Device Settings
This is one of the easiest ways to check if your phone or device supports OTG. It may vary per device but you will usually see the OTG settings where the USB settings are. However, if you don’t see them, you might have to enable Developer Mode on your phone to be able to access OTG settings.
B.) Check the Logos and Labels
Most devices compatible with an OTG adapter will have a USB OTG logo in their packaging. All you have to do is to thoroughly check the box for it. If in case you already got rid of the box, you can also try checking the manual and online resources such as the brand’s official website.
C.) OTG Checker Apps
In case that you can’t find a label or if your phone doesn’t support developer mode, you can download apps such as the USB OTG Checker from the Play Store. Once installed, the app can easily tell you if your device is compatible with OTG or not. This is the easiest method you can do to check if your device has OTG compatibility as all that’s required to do is to install an app. It saves time and effort as you won’t need to adjust your settings or look through your manual.
The Best Uses of an OTG Adapter
If you’re thinking of getting an OTG adapter but don’t know what you can use it for, fret not. Here are some of the best ways that you can use it:
A.) Connects Keyboard
Whether you’re a student or a professional who wants to get work done on your phone or tablet quicker, an external keyboard is usually the best way to do it. With an OTG adapter, you can easily take an external keyboard (provided that it has a USB connector) and use it for your mobile device. Once you’ve attached the keyboard to the adapter, you should be able to use it to type and control your device as desired.
B.) Connects Mouse
Similar to the keyboard, if you intend to use an external mouse to navigate through your tablet or phone, all you will need is a USB mouse and your OTG adapter. Once you’ve connected the two, you should be able to use your mouse on your tablet or smartphone once the connection is successful.
Additionally, if you intend to use a keyboard and a mouse at the same time, you might want to use a Bluetooth set instead. It’s recommended that you get a mouse and a keyboard with just one receiver as you can only usually plug in one adapter at a time.
C.) Connects Flash Drive
You can also use an OTG adapter as a flash drive. This is useful if you’re looking for a way to add some storage to your device but don’t want to shell out money on getting a brand new memory card. This saves effort since you won’t have to transfer all your files into a brand new memory card. Moreover, it also saves time since there’s no need to upload your files to a cloud storage app anymore. All you’ll have to do is connect your OTG adapter to a mobile device and transfer them through your File Manager. Just make sure that you have enough space on your OTG to be able to store files.
D.) Connects Game Controllers
This is a fun way to use your OTG adapter. Many mobile games in the market today are now compatible or can be controlled via an external controller, instead of using in-game controls. While you can use controllers such as the Razer Raiju Mobile, you can also use other game controllers on your phones and tablets.
Just make sure that you have the appropriate connectors and you should be able to use your controllers on a mobile device through an OTG adapter.
E.) Connects Another Phone
If you’re running low on battery and don’t have access to a power bank or a charger, you can always use your OTG adapter to connect your device to another device. Once the two devices are connected via an OTG cable, the phone or tablet with the OTG adapter will become the power source and the one attached to it will go into charging mode.
This is incredibly useful if you’re outside or on a trip and you unexpectedly run out of battery.
F.) Connects to a Camera
If you’re a photographer or aspiring to be one, having an OTG adapter can assist you in taking great shots. Simply wire your camera, may it be digital or a DSLR, to your device and it will turn your phone into an extra screen where you can control your settings from.
USB OTG Adapter: The Best in the Market
If you want to find the best OTG adapters in the market, we have a few suggestions that you might want to consider.
1.) JSAUX Type-C OTG Adapter
The Type-C OTG Adapter from JSAUX allows you to plug devices such as keyboards, mice, and other peripherals into your phone or tablet. It boasts high transfer speed and ensures that you’ll be able to do your tasks with no interruptions. It’s also made from a durable aluminum alloy which means that it won’t break easily.
2.) UGREEN MicroUSB OTG Cable Adapter
The UGREEN MicroUSB OTG Cable Adapter is a multi-functional and versatile product that you can use to connect your game controllers, keyboards, and even your music equipment to your mobile devices. It’s compatible with most Android devices including products from Samsung, Google, Asus, and Nokia. It allows users to easily transfer files and do more with their mobile devices with the use of external drives.
3.) AuviPal 2-in-1 MicroUSB OTG Cable
The AuviPal MicroUSB OTG Cable is made to connect your mobile device to any USB peripherals such as game controllers, keyboards, cameras, and hard drives. Like other OTG adapters, all you have to do is to connect your host device with the external device and you’ll be good to go in minutes. Take note that you will not be able to charge devices with this product, contrary to other OTG adapters. It does, however, come in handy if you want to connect two devices to your host device at the same time.
4.) NIMASO USB-C OTG Adapter
The NIMASO USB-C OTG Adapter allows users to connect their Type-C devices to any USB peripheral. It can transfer data at speeds of up to 5Gbps and even supports fast charging. Additionally, the device is guaranteed to be lightweight and easy-to-carry so you won’t have to worry about it adding weight to your baggage.
Pros and Cons of Using an OTG Adapter
Despite being incredibly useful, OTG adapters are not safe from errors and might not always be the solution to working on-the-go. While using one does save time and effort, it might also have a great effect on productivity when it doesn’t work properly.
That said, here are a few pros and cons that you should remember when using an OTG adapter.
- Variety of products to choose from.
- Prone to breakage when overused.
- Hard to fix when damaged.
- Has the tendency to get misplaced due to size.
- Quality differs from product-to-product
- Might not be compatible with all devices.
Get an OTG Adapter
It’s safe to say that an OTG adapter is a mobile accessory that you won’t regret getting. Not only will it make syncing data easier but it also does a great job of allowing you to use other devices with your phones or tablets. It’s also great to have if you’re looking to get some work done on-the-go. Having an OTG adapter around makes doing things on your phone or tablet easier.