Have you wished using your USB mouse or keyboard to operate your android device? Well it’s quite easy as long as your device supports USB-On-The-Go and you have the right cables.

connecting a game controller to a samsung phone
Image: PhoneArena.com

There’s no doubt you can connect a bluetooth keyboard or mouse to your android smartphone/tablet, but in this post, I’ll be taking you down the magical lane of OTG (On The Go) cables, teaching you how to connect the above mentioned devices using USB on your android devices.


According to Wikipedia, it is a technology that allows USB devices such as digital audio players or mobile phones to act as a host, allowing other USB devices like a USB flash drive, digital camera, mouse, or keyboard to be attached to them.

All you need is purchase the OTG cable (I got one from a computer store down here in Abuja for around $7 – N1000). Below is an image of what the OTG cable looks like.


Things You Can Do With the OTG Cable

1. Connect a Flashdrive and read/write data into it using any File Explorer app on your android phone

2. You can connect a mouse to operate your android device instead of using the normal touch taps.

3. You can connect a USB keyboard and use a realistic hardware to punch in your letters instead of the native touch screen keyboard.

4. You can connect Game controllers and use them in playing any supported game.

Connecting a FlashDrive

The steps are pretty straight forward. Follow the below laid down guide to access a flashdrive using your android phone.

  • Connect the OTG cable to your android smartphone or tablet.
  • Plug in your thumb drive (flash drive) to the other end of the cable. You do not have to do anything as your device would recognize the drive. You would be able to read/write files using any explorer such as ES File Explorer or XPlore.


Operating Your Android Device Using a Mouse

Still same principle applies here.

  • Connect your mouse to the OTG cable, which you must have connected to your android device.
  • Once you move your mouse, a pointer would appear on the screen which you can use to scroll through pages, click on applications and do all basic things a mouse would normally do on windows. The scroll wheel also works on androids.

Connecting a Keyboard

If you are like me, you would prefer the keyboard hardware to type faster and that’s one reason I love using the standard PC keyboard connected to my tablets. It sounds weird but offers me more convenience while making use of my android devices.

To make use of a keyboard, simply connect a USB keyboard to the OTG Cable. There are options available to change the keyboard format.

Using a Game Controller

This is probably the part you’ve been waiting for. You can play games using your game controllers, although not all games are mapped correctly, but games such as Dead Trigger and Grand Theft Auto work perfectly with it. You could try out other games and let us know which was cool on your android using a game controller.

Here is a video from XDA Dev TV that guides you through easily achieving this on your android devices.

One downside to this is the fact that these devices would rely on your smartphone to power them and definitely drain your battery while making use of any of the above peripherals. Anyway, you might want to try it out for the fun. I hope you love this post. Cheers!


  1. Hello Oscar,

    The USB On The Go option is certainly a great option. However, I personally feel it negates the very tenants of the concept of ‘on the go’. Essentially, it’s like using an external keyboard on the laptop: what’s the inbuilt one for?

    Great write up anyway!


    • Hi Terungwa,
      It’s been a while. I don’t think it negates the OTG concept, my opinion though. The connection of a typing hardware gives the user more convenience. All the same, I guess we have different takes on this. 🙂 . Thanks for finding time to drop by.

  2. the on-the-go cable is something I have been looking forward to having it for a long time now… I can’t fine it in calabar… thanks for the info…

    • Hi Kabir,
      It should work on any recent android device. Though the last time I tried it on a Tecno device, it was an M5, and it never worked. Why not check it out yourself? Goodluck.


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