OTG stands for the full form- USB On-The-Go. It is the specification that makes a mobile device compatible with a USB device. It allows the transfer of data as well as connectivity to peripherals. The concept was first developed in 2001 but took a few more years to be used practically all over. Nowadays every smartphone comes with a micro- USB port through which the device is charged. But in OTG supported devices, the same port can be used to plug in a thumb drive, digital camera or input devices (Mouse and keyboard). The OTG cable generally comes along with a device when it is purchased or also be purchased separately from lots of major retailers.
An OTG or OTG adapter or an OTG cable, or OTG connector is used to connect a full-sized USB flash drive or USB A cable to a cell phone or a table through the Micro USB or USB-C charging port.
Working of USB OTG
USB has two different types of endpoint, like a client-server interface. Host mode is a name for when a device is acting as a server/host. Every USB connection contains a single device in host mode. Hosts have the rectangular A connector, and peripherals/clients have either the square B connector or a mini- or micro- version.
USB devices like tablets or smartphones or PCs act as a host and USB devices like digital camera, mouse or keyboard act as peripherals so that it could be connected to the host.
A device is OTG enabled when it can be both the Server and the client. If connected to a computer, it takes the role of a client/peripheral. But when plugged in a USB device such as a thumb drive, the mobile phone becomes the host or server. Since a host’s USB socket is different from a peripheral’s, hence the role of USB-on-the-go (OTG) comes in to make the process work by adding an extra pin to the micro-USB socket. If a normal A-to-B USB cable is plugged in, the device acts in peripheral mode. If connected to a special USB-OTG cable, it has the pin connected at one end, and the device at that end acts in host mode. OTG enabled device can be controlled with mice, keyboards and it can be connected to musical instruments as well.
Phone, for example, can be used as a peripheral by plugging it into a PC, so the PC can access the phone’s storage. Sometimes it can be used as a host: for example, to connect a physical keyboard or mouse to it.
Uses – On-The-Go (full form of OTG) cable can be used in different activities, such as:
- Access and move data from USB sticks and External Hard Drives.
- Transfer photos directly from a compatible camera on to the phone.
- Copy information from one device to another with the Smart switch app.
- Charging a smartphone with another smartphone using USB OTG.
- Connecting it as a Game Controller for playing games on the smartphone.
- Connecting a portable external Hard Drive to the smartphone.
- Connecting LAN Cable and accessing the Internet on a smartphone.
- Connecting USB Light or USB FAN to the smartphone.
- OTG has gained popularity among mobile users as it allows people to use their mobile phones as a portable computer by connecting it to a printer or a scanner, a keyboard or a mouse.
- It is one of the best inventions that make life easier to get more memory without installing a MicroSD card on a smartphone.
- The USB OTG is generally used to extend the functionality of a device. It enables easy to exchange the data from a smartphone to pen drive and vice versa.