Android devices are known for their versatility, a quality that’s made possible not just by the sheer variety of applications they support, but also by the many accessories you can use with them. Knowing what these accessories are and how you can connect them will help you get more out of your Android device.

USB keyboards, mice, and gamepads

Android phones and tablets don’t usually have standard, full-size USB ports, so you can’t plug a USB accessory directly into it. To connect such an accessory to the device, you’ll need a USB on-the-go (OTG) cable. This is a micro-USB adapter that you can purchase from any computer store for a couple of dollars.

From there, your accessories should work without needing any further configuration. In fact, USB OTG allows you to use other USB devices, such as a flash drive, with your Android device.

Keep in mind that not every Android device has the port that’s required to support USB OTG. This is the case with some smartphones. To avoid wasting money, be familiar with your device’s specs and ports before you purchase a USB OTG cable.

Bluetooth keyboards, mice, and gamepads

USB OTG cables sure are handy, but they can make your supposedly portable device not so portable anymore. Bluetooth technology effectively remedies the problem. Most Android devices allow you to connect wireless mice, keyboards, and gamepads directly by pairing them through the Bluetooth settings.

Using each accessory

All accessories should work in a plug-and-play manner. Here’s what you can do with some of them:

  • Keyboard – Once connected, you should be able to use this accessory to type on your Android tablet as you would on the onscreen keyboard. Many of the keyboard shortcuts work as they do on computers, too. These include Alt+Tab for switching between apps, and Ctrl+XC, or V for Cut, Copy, and Paste respectively.
  • Mouse – Connecting a mouse will allow you to navigate and click on things using a mouse cursor instead of tapping on the device itself. You can still use the touchscreen while the mouse is connected.
  • Gamepad – While gamepads can be used to navigate through your Android’s home screen interface and launch applications, they’re better used with games that support controllers.

There are so many ways to have fun and extend the functionality of your Android device. If you have any questions about Android or are looking to integrate it into your business, give us a call and we’ll be happy to advise you.