Tips to Connect USB Accessories to Your Android Device

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Android’s latest range of Smartphones and tablets has very powerful processors powering them; this has opened up the possibilities of playing PS3, Gameboy, and Wii games right on your Android device. And with the thousands of games now available for mobile devices, it’s not at all surprising that people want more and different ways to play these games; like connecting joysticks and stuff.

After iPad launched the Camera connection Kit that allowed its users to connect USB devices like a MIDI keyboard, Android users, clamored for something similar.

That is when game control support for Android picked up. Some are connected through USB and some wirelessly, using Bluetooth.
Support for using some of the USB controllers is built in to the Operating System, but for some others you would need third party drivers. In any case, getting such software is more advisable as you get the complete functionality with it.

Joystick on Android

Your best bet might be the USB/BT Joystick Center; it has solutions for almost all types of game controllers. These are some of the compatible controllers:

• Wired X360 Controller
• The N64 Moonlight Controller from Hyperkin
• The F310, F710 and Rumble from Logitech
• Sidewinder 2 Precision from Microsoft
• Playstation X USB Gamepad Converter Dualshock with support for 2 Players
• PS3: Wired Sixaxis controller, (using USB Bluetooth dongle connected thru USB).

You may need root access for some of these controllers, so it’s not a plug and play thing.

Then there is an adapter, the USB-on-the-go, which can be plugged into the phone’s USB port. Now you can connect any device that uses a regular USB 2.0 or 3.0. The adapter enables your Android device to be the host which is able to communicate with and power the connected device.

You can also try connecting more than one USB device with a powered USB hub. This will ensure that your phone or tablet does not drain out its battery very soon.

At this moment, not many Android devices support this OTG adapter. Samsung’s Galaxy S II and II, Galaxy Nexus 7, Acer Iconia tab, Motorola Xoom, Toshiba Excite 10, Sony tablet s, Droid Razr, and a couple of other devices are the only ones compatible as of now.
Plugging the OTG adapter into your device will open a notification informing you that your device has accepted the adapter and will now be the USB host.

The next step is connecting your USB joystick. The Samsung GS III and the PS3 controller work very well together. You can start navigating the moment you connect it, and it’s also compatible with many Android games.

Of course, other than joysticks, you can also connect stuff like keyboards, mice, powered hard drives, card readers, USB drives, DSLR cameras, and USB to Ethernet adapters.

The keyboard and mouse connections will, of course, help if you suddenly need to do some serious typing or other work. When a flash drive is connected, its contents are displayed and you can listen to songs or watch movies and look at documents, just like on a regular computer. A powered hard drive, will of course, let you store your files and stuff; the card reader will enable you to upload your photos as you click them.

About the Author: Travis Ramsy likes writing articles related to Technology News, Gadget Reviews and How To. He also does guest posting for – a site that offers savings and current information on charter tv, as well as services.

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About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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