Have Keyboard, Will Travel: Android Phones Capable of Using USB Keyboard.

Image Credit: Andrew de Quincey

In an article over at jkontherun.com, it seems that some enterprising Android enthusiasts have found that some Android powered devices have the ability to support USB keyboards built into their stock firmware.

As the author of the article points out, it is not as simple as plugging in that extra keyboard you have laying around, indeed it takes some splicing and some soldering to make it work. You also have to enable USB on the go host mode on the phone.

Credit for this discovery goes to Chris Paget, who lists the steps out on his blog. Chris used three different components to get a keyboard working on his Verizon Droid: a micro USB cable, a car charging cable and a USB extender cable. It seems Chris may be the McGuyver of the Android platform as he outlines how he spliced different things together to make the hack work.

For those of you who have been looking to use your Android handset with a keyboard, and posses the necessary savvy to splice cables together, make sure to check out Chris Paget’s blog. It is a very cool read on how he did it. You can also look here at Andrew De Quincey’s livejournal as  he was able to achieve USB Host mode on his HTC Hero, using a simliar method.

The exciting thing about this kind of development is the possibilities of using USB Host mode for may other applications, USB devices, webcams and other things that you can interact with remotely. Here’s to looking forward to what comes next!


  1. Because entering anything more than a few sentences with the build in keyboards is a slow, excruciating exercise in frustration. I can type up to 70 words per minute on a full sized keyboard while on my Milestone I'm lucky to hit 20. I plan on using the Milestone for more than Tweeting and SMSing.

  2. Just in off the farm: my hands and fingers are swollen and I can’t respond to text msgs. on that itty bitty onscreen keyboard. … I will pay US$100 bucks for a practical keyboard adapter for my several Android phones. Mini-USB to USB host adapters would work, but there also should be an App to activate the “host mode” on the Andi-Phones … I will also buy these adapter/app(s) wholesale for resale on my web site(s). Seriously = [email protected]

  3. Since I’m not handy enough to do this, I was wondering if using an adapter could circumvent the need for soldering? I was able to purchase one that converts a USB to Micro USB.