What Is OTG Storage?

USB OTG stands for USB On-The-Go. This term refers to a specification that allows an Android device to act as a USB host. You can plug other peripheral accessories like keyboards or printers directly into an Android smartphone or tablet.

What Is OTG Storage?

An OTG storage is a very cool feature that facilitates the sharing of data between devices without the requirement of a PC. You can connect your phone to a video game controller or use it to control a DSLR camera. There are many exciting ways to use OTG storage, and we will look at some of them here.

How to Check if Device Supports OTG Storage

Before we get started, let’s make sure that your Android device supports the use of USB OTG. The fastest way to do this is to refer to the box the phone came in. If you are not one to keep the packaging lying around, then you can also check out the manufacturer’s website. What you will be looking for is any mention of USB OTG. If you find the functionality mentioned, then you are good to go.

Another way to go about it is to use a USB OTG checker app. There are many free versions of these apps on the Google Play Store. A good one that doesn’t have many ads is the USB OTG Checker. Once you download it, you run the app to see if your phone supports OTG storage.

Many of the smartphones available in the market come with OTG functionality. However, some devices will require you to set up the feature manually. This is simple enough to do. Head over to “Settings” on your phone, tap on “Additional Settings,” then toggle on “OTG.”

Requirements for USB OTG

A standard smartphone comes with a micro-USB or USB-C port, which is too small to accommodate most USB devices. You can solve this problem by using a USB adapter. It is essential to get a male-to-female USB adapter for you to connect to peripheral devices.

Once you have your adapter, you are all set. You can now explore the opportunities presented by OTG storage. A word of caution, USB OTG functionality varies from one device to another. For example, you may connect a PS4 controller but not a camera.

How to Use OTG Storage

Now we get to the fun part. USB OTG opens up a world of possibilities. Without the need to connect to a PC, you can control devices like DSLR cameras, printers, and video games directly from your phone. OTG storage functionality does away with the need to have an extra machine as it effectively turns your phone or tablet into a laptop.

When two USB devices are connected, they establish a communication link. The one controlling the communication is the host, while the other gadget is referred to as the peripheral. The great thing about USB OTG is that either device can act as a host. Your phone can read data from a flash drive and then connect to your laptop as a storage device.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can utilize OTG storage.

Connect External Drives

One of the most common ways to use a USB OTG is to connect external drives. Plug your hard drive or flash drive into the phone, and you can begin transferring files from one to the other. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of moving your files, you can view them on your smartphone while they are still stored on the OTG storage. For example, you can play music located on your drive from your tablet.

Not all drives will have the ability to connect to your Android. Flash drives couple much easier than external hard drives. Storage devices with their own power source will be more likely to work than those needing power from the phone.

NTFS format doesn’t function well with Android, so your drive will have to be in FAT32 format.

Connect Gaming Controllers

Wouldn’t it be so much cooler to play games on your phone using a controller? With USB OTG, you can do just that. You can connect compatible controllers to your device and use them to direct the game.

What’s even more appealing about linking controllers is that you won’t have to lug your console around on trips. You only have to carry the controllers. When using a USB OTG to connect game controllers, check to ensure that the games are compatible with Android devices.

Connect Keyboard and Mouse

Android’s open-source platform makes it easy to connect your device to just about anything, including a keyboard and mouse.

As great as smartphones are for conveniently carrying your work around, typing on them can get frustrating. OTG storage makes it possible to link your phone or tablet to a keyboard and mouse. That way, you retain the convenience of the tablet while gaining the functionality of a laptop.

Unfortunately, because your phone only has one port, either the keyboard or mouse will have to be wireless. The other piece of equipment can be linked to the Android device using a USB OTG. Alternatively, you can get a keyboard and mouse set with a unified receiver.

Connect Printer

We get a lot done on our smartphones, which means they store many of our documents. It’s, therefore, quite inconvenient to have to transfer these files to a PC before we can print them out. OTG storage solves this problem by connecting the phone directly to the printer.

Word to the wise, Android doesn’t support USB mass storage mode anymore, so you will have to use PTP or MTP mode for the USB connection.

Connect DSLR Camera

By utilizing OTG storage, you can connect your DSLR camera to your smartphone or tablet. The Android device will work as a bigger screen for your camera, allowing you to manipulate features like shutter speed, focus, and aperture. This makes moving from one camera function to another and controlling your settings is much easier.

To take advantage of USB OTG for your camera, you will have to use the DSLR Controller app. The app works better with Canon cameras as they are supported, but you can still use it with other DSLRs brands like Sony and Nikon.

You can also use the OTG functionality to transfer photos directly from your camera to your phone. This comes in handy if you do most of your editing on your Android device. It also makes sharing photos with others much easier.

Connect Musical Instruments

With OTG storage, you can connect MIDI-compatible instruments to your phone. This allows you to create music on your Android device, especially when you throw in a good music app. Small keyboards can be powered by the phone, but other instruments may require an external power source.

USB OTG also enables you to record audio and store it on your smartphone by connecting a USB port microphone. External mics often provide better sound quality than those built into the phone.

Reverse Charge Your Phone

Phones only seem to die on us when we need them the most. Running out of battery charge can be frustrating, especially if you don’t carry a power bank. With OTG storage, you can use an OTG cable to connect your phone to another phone that will work as a power source. Problem solved.

Unpacking Convenience

USB On-The-Go storage is a very convenient feature that allows you to connect to various devices without needing a PC. It removes the hassle of transferring files twice to get them to where you need them to be. This guide introduces you to OTG storage and shows you some applications. USB OTG has the potential to make it easier for you to store and share files.

Do you use OTG storage? Let us know how you utilize it in the comments below.

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