October 31, 2014

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!