One of Android’s greatest strengths is that it was designed to be a standalone computer, built over a LINUX base. Because of this, it means a large number of peripherals may be connected and attached to the system. Now because of the way Android also relies on an Internet connection and because most devices have a wireless radio of one or more descriptions, it is less common to see an Android device used with a physical wired connection to a device. Many recent devices support a technology called “USB OTG,” which stands for “universal serial bus on the go.” In other words, this is a means of converting the MicroUSB port on most Android devices into a full USB port. Many USB devices may then be connected to this USB port, such as USB memory sticks, keyboards, mice, external drives and similar.
One potential issue with this is that not all USB standards are quite the same. The Android device needs to be aware of the peripheral device. Sometimes, trying to connect an older USB device to a newer Android tablet simply results in the device not being recognized. I have a 2009 vintage Sony bridge camera that refuses to connect to my 2013 Nexus 7. One of the solutions to this issue is to try using a OTG hub; if the hub is recognized, there’s a good chance that the ultimate device will be. Inateck have released a OTG HUB that includes three USB 2.0 ports, a USB-power adapter (because your smartphone or tablet may not be able to provide enough power to run some accessories) and memory card slots for SD, MicroSD plus Sony’s MemoryStick and M2 cards. The supplied USB cable can also charge your tablet or ‘phone, depending on the design of the tablet and the load placed on it.
What does this mean? It means that there’s a much easier way to transfer data to and from your Android device from a memory card, which is perfect for using a digital camera and transferring the pictures into the cloud (for example), or sharing these with friends and loved ones. Or it means if you have a tablet and a USB keyboard, you can happily connect the keyboard to the tablet via the USB lead. If you have an external hard drive that you use to store photographs or music on, this gives you a simpler way to transfer data to and from the card.
You can pick one of these Inateck OTG USB HUBs up at Amazon for just a few dollars. With vacation time right around the corner, this gadget is a great way of making the most of your tablet or smartphone’s Internet connection for backing up pictures from your digital camera.