OTG (USB Host Function) on the Nexus 7

NOTE: This function should work on any device for which a custom ROM with Android 4.1.1 has been installed. However, some older devices may not have the hardware to support it or the ROM developer may not have included the necessary firmware. It should not hurt to try it though.

OTG USB CableOTG (On The Go) is the term describing how some devices (including the Nexus 7) can support the USB Host function via the micro USB connector. The Nexus 7 has this capability but that capability has not yet been fully allowed. Here is a video that demonstrates using a USB mouse and a USB keyboard connected to the Nexus via a cheap USB hub.

This cable and the connection demonstrated should work on similar devices.

The Roo case for the N7 is available on Amazon for $9.98 + $4.98 shipping.

The OTG cable is available on Amazon for $0.68 + Free Shipping. The problem is that it ships from China and takes several weeks to arrive.

To get a mass storage device (USB Thumbdrive, etc) to work you have to install the StickMount app (from the PlayStore). The app sends a popup when you connect a USB storage device. You can read its contents at this location:   SDCARD/usb storage/sda1

Use the notifications “pull down” to unmount the drive before disconnecting it!

Media that I know works: MP3 audio files work with GooglePlay; Photos display in the Gallery; M4V Video plays in the Gallery; DV, MPEG, MTS, and other video formats play with the BS Player or the VPlayer.

Leave a comment to tell us about other devices that you have (or have NOT) gotten to work with the OTG connection. We want to hear your story.

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2 Responses to OTG (USB Host Function) on the Nexus 7

  1. vkop says:

    I know this is not related to this post but would OTG on nook let you do video chatting?. BTW this is a great site!! simple elegant look with easy to follow instructions. 🙂

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Thanks for the compliment on the site. I do work hard to make it worth stopping by to read.
      Each implementation of OTG seems to be unique. It is not implemented in very many ROMS. It appears most commonly in JellyBean but it is related to the kernel so, with a NEW 3.0 kernel it could be in any compatible rom.
      However, even if OTG is implemented, any specific function might or might not work.
      The answer to your question is that “theoretically” almost any USB function is possible. However, the kernel must have support for the function before it will actually work. Think about Windows’ drivers. Without the correct USB drivers, you cannot connect to that hardware. The Linux (or Android) kernel must have the “drivers” compiled in it for the hardware to work.

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