ADATA USB OTG Flash drive

And it's a must-have if you use Linux or a Chromebook

The ADATA UD320 USB OTG flash drive may have a mouthfull for a name, but this small gadget turned out to be awfully handy. It's basically a micro-sized USB flash drive, with a compact USB to microUSB USB OTG adapter, and it all fits together into a tiny package that slips easily into your pocket or attaches to your keyring. The idea isn't exactly new, but the ADATA unit is affordable, well-executed, and essential if you use Linux or a ChromeOS device.

Read on, and see why I think this is something you should think about picking up.

A good thing in a small package

ADATA USB OTG flash drive

The unit itself is tiny. It's about an inch long, and consists of three pieces — the flash drive itself, the USB to microUSB adapter, and a cap to cover the end. You'll want to keep track of the cap, especially if you carry this in your pocket, because that's what keeps lint and crud from working its way into the USB port on your phone.

To use it with your phone — we'll get into support further down the page — you uncap the unit and plug it in. Your phone will tell you that it's getting the USB storage media ready, and in a few seconds you have an extra 32GB of storage attached to your phone or tablet. Open your file manager (they all seemed to work fine) and you'll see it listed as a USB drive. You can put anything there, or take anything off. You can also play video or music right from the drive. It really is that simple.

While the lure of 32GB of extra storage for media (apps won't install to USB storage, and you shouldn't wnat them to) like movies and music is attractive to a lot of folks, the real draw here is moving files from one place to another. Let's say you have worked all weekend on a presentation for work. Plug the ADATA USB OTG flash drive into your computer at home, and copy it over. On the train to the office Monday morning, you can plug the flash drive into your tablet and take one last look, or toss it over to a co-worker to plug into their phone so they can take a peek. And you have a physical media backup of the document you worked on all weekend in case the copy you sent to the office gets fouled up.

Chromebooks love this thing

On a Chromebook

Use a Chromebook or Linux? Then you know how bad copying files from your phone to your computer sucks. If you don't use either, take it from me — it really sucks. No more booting your Chromebook into Linux, or trying to compile MTP libraries, or using ADB to push and pull files in the terminal. Just plug this little gadget into your phone, copy your stuff to the USB drive folder, then swap it over to your Chromebook or Linux machine and copy them off. You'll almost cry the first time you do it, because it's so easy.

Phone support

The Galaxy S4 loves it, too

ADATA says the UD320 works with every Android phone running Android 4.1 or higher. But it really doesn't. Some phones — looking at you Nexus 4 — do not support USB OTG without external power. Others, like Nexus devices, the Moto X and Google Play editions, support the mounting of the storage but writing to it is not available without a helper program or root access. You can read from the device, but you can't add anything to the flash drive with just a file manager. Most phones work just fine, though.

If your phone says Samsung on the back, you're good. Plug this sucker in and use it. The HTC One also has full support — at least the developer edition on Android 4.4.2 does. The LG G Flex and G2 work without a hitch. You'll need to see how to unmount the USB storage on your particular device, which is usually just a tap on an entry in the status bar. other than that, it acts just like the internal storage or miscoSD card does.

Who should get one?

Plug me in

For starters, anyone using a Samsung or LG phone (I'm 99% sure all the new models will work just fine) with a Chromebook or a Linux computer need one of these. Using wireless to transfer small files is fine, but sometimes you're moving a bunch of files or even one great big one, and this is simply a better solution. It's also great for Mac users who have issues with using Samsung phones and Android File Transfer — which is almost all of us, I think. Computer support is universal, regardless of operating system.

For everybody else, you need to have a look at forums about your device to make sure USB OTG is fully supported, or what you need to do to make it fully supported. If you can get it to work, this little gadget is a real time saver, as well as a great way to carry 32GB of extra stuff with you.

Buy the ADATA UD320 from Amazon for $25.99

 

Reader comments

ADATA's UD320 USB OTG Flash Drive is an easy way to store and move files across all your devices

54 Comments

I'm definitely buying this considering I have less than 1GB of storage left on my Nexus 5 yay! 16GB of storage (sarcasm)

Posted via Android Central App

Now might be a good time to ask, but why is it Stock (Nexus, Moto, GPe) don't support full OTG? Others have been doing it for quite some time, and Google does add features to the AOSP based from other company's features.

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 5 (4.4.2)

Google supports USB OTG, but the default device mounting security makes it read-only. An app can write it's own folder on a USB drive and write to it, but no app is allowed full access of the USB storage.

It's the secure way to do things, but the problem is that very few apps will bother to write their own directory on the USB drive. Google Music does, and any app can, but developers just seem not to care about it.

This is how most secure distributions of Linux handle USB storage, where only root can mount or unmount, and "owns" the directory by default. On a computer, gaining root permissions and changing this behavior is easy enough, but it's more difficult on a mobile device. 

It's an issue of convenience versus security. Some OEM vendors opt for convenience, others opt for security.

You are right about convenience over security but I would add consumer friendly and convenience over security. Nexus was/is never consumer orientated

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Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

So this is or isn't using MTP to communicate with the flash drive? If it is, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing - using Root Explorer and copying over wifi. I've found MTP to be painfully slow and infuriatingly unreliable - often stalling after one or two files, or just corrupting everything that looks to have transferred successfully.

This is one area Google totally sacrificed user friendliness, usefulness and performance in favor of whatever motives they may have had. It's also one that basically compelled me to simply stop using my phone for a task that I had often relied on, simply because it became so frustrating.

As long as android has been around, not having full Linux/Unix support irritates me, and the fact that chrome doesn't, should be embarrassing to google

Posted via my outdated Droid RAZR Maxx HD using the Android Central App

I understand why there's no native Linux support — using a FUSE file system and MTP is far more secure than UMS — but I don't understand why there's no Android File Transfer for Linux. 

They should just open source AFT for Mac and let us port it over (as well as improve it on OSX).

I can accept it as an oversight miss by android developers, early on, but since chrome OS release, should have been fixed

Posted via my outdated Droid RAZR Maxx HD using the Android Central App

<rant>MTP support still sucks under Linux, and so I obviously hate MTP (plus it is limiting, and slow). Nothing has been more irritating than the removal of USB Mass Storage support under Android [on many handsets]. AirDroid is *great* until you have to transfer lots of stuff. OTG helps too, except Google made that irritating on the Nexus devices.

Intended or not, there is a certain amount of hypocrisy about using Linux to create Android and then leaving Linux as a second class citizen when it comes to interacting with Android devices. </rant>

Is it bothering you that much that you miss the point of the article?

My bad, you've probably never made a typo before.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Nevar wiht SWiftkey

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Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

I have something like this but it uses regular sized sd cards. So I'm not limited to one flash drive. I can use multiple sd Cards of all capacities.

Perhaps you missed it, but the picture clearly shows that it is a regular USB drive with a separate USB OTG adaptor.

A person could easily use any USB flash drive with the adaptor.

Personally I would have been interested if it were just an mUSB flash drive in the smallest possible form factor. As it is, the thing pokes out too much. As such my right-angle USB OTG cable with USB drive attached is less cumbersome in real use.

-Suntan

Supply and demand. The 16GB version was cheaper, so people bought it over the 32GB version. So, to compensate for the lack of 16GB versions and to move the 32GB versions, they temporarily price the 16GB version higher.

That's my opinion, anyway.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Fedora 20 has full MTP support out of the box. I imagine the latest Ubuntu has it too. As for my Chromebook, I prefer using AirDroid.

Hmm, just installed Fedora 20 on a new Lenovo at work, on Wednesday. Guess I will check it out and see how it works with MTP (Dolphin?)

Anyway, it won't really sink in for at least another year and still doesn't "fix" older systems. And even when it works, MTP is still MUCH slower than usb mass storage copying (at least it has been when I was testing), it does nothing for permissions, it doesn't expose the filesystem (I know, that can be a good thing too), and it doesn't handle multi-operation or threading (not the implementation I tried, anyway).

Perhaps they could have just come up with a USB mass storage mode in Android that was "emulated" so as to hide what they didn't want to expose... and even used safe syncing methods to reduce any nasties with improper unmounting. At least this could have been used as a bridge while the changes occurred.

I guess it will eventually work itself out... but that doesn't make up for *YEARS* of aggravation for *ALL* computer users (most MS-Windows machines had no support either).

Nautilus, I use Gnome. Transfer speed is about 16 MB/sec (that's MegaBytes per second) with the Nexus 7: fast enough for you?

Gnome.... eeeeeew ( :) )
Well, I guess the driver support has improved! Will check it out (but not in Gnome)

Gnome is the default environment in Fedora. However, there's a MTP KIO-slave for KDE, and it has existed for over a year.
Also, after investigating the matter a little, I've determined Fedora has had gvfs-mtp since F19, and Ubuntu since 13.04. In the case of Ubuntu, that package has also been backported to 12.10.
Finally, let me correct another thing you said earlier: ALL versions of MS Windows, from XP (included) onwards, have full support for MTP.
For Linux users, this flash drive is a clunky, expensive, and partial (it works only with devices that support USB OTG) solution to something that has ceased to be a problem a while ago.

Yes, I know Gnome is the default desktop for Fedora.... and it is "eeeeeeeew".

Earlier Linux did have MTP support... what I said is that it sucks. I will define that as non-automatic, unreliable, slow, and frustrating.

XP did not include what was necessary to talk MTP- https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-hardware/ho... It requires installing additional stuff.

What Android devices don't support USB OTG? As far as I am aware, they all do (with addition of Nexus Media Import for Nexus devices).

Additional stuff is automatically installed in XP. When you insert a MTP device, it tells you that it needs to locate drivers. If you instruct it to search the internet for them, it will connect to Microsoft and download the required software.
Several devices don't support USB OTG. To name one: the Oppo Find 5.

Try using the Meenova and your choice of micro SD cards. Works great on Android devices. I assume it will work with Linux and Chromebooks as well. The advantage is you pick the capacity and can swap out cards anytime.

>"I assume it will work with Linux and Chromebooks as well."

All standard USB mass storage devices work with Linux and have for many years. And this is a standard mass storage device.

Does this gadget work from Android to Android? I don't have a computer anymore. I want to transfer music and video from Nexus 5 and stupid Tab 3.

sent from my Nexus5 that was supposed to be 32 but is only 16

WeyesWmn

I don't have a problem whatsoever plugging my HTC One into my Linux Mint laptop & everything is right there in my face but this device does look very handy/convenient

You can plug Micro USB 2.0 into 3.0 ports. The 3.0 is basically the 2.0 port with a smaller port next to it.

My device went through hell to send this message.

I have a 68¢ otg cable from Amazon which allows me access to any flash drive including my new 128gb and I've even connected USB hard drives to the phone before, as well as mice and keyboards. I honestly don't see the point of this device. A otg cable and a 32gb flash drive are around $16.

Why would you need this with a Samsung phone that has an SD card slot.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree with you on this one. Samsung phones have SD cart slots and really no need for this. No ridiculous looking dongles hanging off your phone. Not too long ago, there were some who claimed that the 8gb that came stock on the Nexus 4 was enough and that the "cloud" could handle the rest.

As much as I love my Nexus 5 (daily driver) 32GB, I admit that my Note 2 is still a great phone with its gigantic battery and 64GB SD Card. Google really should put those back into the Nexus design. When Duarte gave his BS excuse for not including them, he got called out on it and stayed far away from that thread.

Some Samsung phones, the Galaxy S4 congress to mind, has the micro SD slot behind the back cover. If you have a case on, it's a bit cumbersome to get back there and remove the card and get it into a card adapter to put into a card slot or another adapter

Posted via Android Central App

The point is that you can easily transfer files from your phone to your pc with just a flash drive directly. No need for data cables or sd card reader.

My device went through hell to send this message.

Quick update for the people- ChromeOS has MTP support on their beta channel, just go into options and switch to the beta channel to finally be able to just plug your android phone into your chromebook to get file access. I have a Sandisk 32gb drive that has both micro usb and usb on each end and it is easier to work with than this item, but since switching to beta channel i have little use for it now except for the occassional windows transfer...