Thanks to USB-OTG technology, it is possible connect USB devices to your mobile, such as a pendrive, and access its content from Android. It is a little known but enormously useful feature, considering that the storage on our phones is never enough.
To connect a pendrive to your Android you only need a USB OTG cable and a mobile compatible with OTG, so we will also see how you can check if your mobile is compatible with OTG. As for the pendrive, there are not many requirements unless it is formatted in FAT32, which is normal.
Check if your mobile is compatible
Before buying any cable, you should check if your mobile is compatible with OTG. It is a data that is usually omitted in the technical specifications of the mobile, so if you want to know it before buying a mobile, you will need to search on Internet forums or the brand itself.
exist applications to check if your mobile is compatible with USB OTG, although the truth is that the checks are a bit superficial and are limited to verifying that the software is in order. Sometimes the check can be negative when the mobile is compatible, if it includes its own support and not the Android standard. Two options you can try are USB OTG Checker and OTG USB HOST Checker.
Unfortunately you cannot take the results of these applications as absolute. The only way to know for sure is to try it (or have the official confirmation), although for that you will need the USB OTG cable.
Regarding the software, USB OTG support was introduced in Android HoneycombSo unless you have an incredibly old phone, you shouldn’t have a problem on this front.
Get a USB-OTG cable
Obviously, you need a special cable to be able to connect a pendrive to your Android mobile or tablet. They are known as USB-OTG cables, which have a connector to the mobile phone at one end and a normal-size female USB connector at the other. You will need one with connector microUSB or USB type C, depending on the connector of your mobile.
It shouldn’t be hard to find this type of cable at an accessory store or places like Amazon. They are relatively cheap, like this USB Type-C OTG cable for 0.54 euros at Amazon or this microUSB OTG cable for 1.60 euros.
Connect it all
Once you have the cable, it doesn’t have much of a mystery anymore. Connect the OTG cable to your mobile and the pendrive to the cable. If the pendrive has some kind of light, it should turn on indicating that it is receiving power.
At that moment, you will most likely receive a notification on your mobile indicating that a USB drive has been inserted. Touch on it to open the file explorer, showing you the contents of the USB. From the explorer you can copy, move and delete the files on the pendrive.
The previous capture corresponds to the Samsung file explorer, although the pendrive is mounted as one more unit in the system, being accessible from any other application such as MiXplorer or Solid Explorer. There are several applications in Google Play with names like “OTG Explorer” and the like, but it really works for you with a normal file explorer.
When finished, disconnect the pendrive
Keep in mind that the USB-OTG connection can consume a lot of battery, so do not keep the pendrive connected longer than necessary. When you’re done, it’s a good idea disassemble the pendrive instead of disconnecting it “roughly”.
You can do it from your own android notification, or by going to Android Settings / storage, where the pendrive drive should appear. After disassembling it, you can disconnect it with the certainty that your data will be safe.
USB OTG is a very powerful function with which you can connect not only pendrive but also USB controllers, keyboards and mouse. For example, you can connect the wireless connector of a keyboard-mouse combo and use your mobile with a mouse and keyboard.