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USB host? Droid sure does

Not as crazy as it sounds. It looks there's now a way to enable USB Host mode on the Motorola Droid.  In a nutshell, this is the first step towards using a USB memory stick or printer right from the miniUSB port on your Droid. It's not the first phone to do this, but it's a welcome step on an Android device.

Right now, it’s still in the “hack” phase, and it’s an ugly union of a few different parts (as the picture above illustrates). The software needs some work as well, as up until now there was no reason to add drivers for USB devices to the Android kernel. I can think of a handful of things that I’d like to attach to my phone, and I’m sure many of you guys can as well.  USB headset?  USB memory stick?  USB printing?  Or go all the way and use a USB joystick to play those SNES emulators … Why not? The Droid’s hardware tops the old consoles of the 1980s anyway. [Chis Padget's blog via Android Community]

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • This is cool. I'd like to use my phone to upload pictures from my DSLR while on the road without having to lug around a laptop. Right now I'm just using a combination of microSD cards and adapters, but a direct connection would be ideal.
  • that is the most resonable use of this hack, i cannot even use your conbination of microSD card and adapters, simply because i have CF card in my DSLR
  • But why USB print? Almost every single consumer model printer on the market today is WIFI enabled, and that is how I print from my phone.
  • I second this printer share works great
  • Many people have already invested in nice printers that they don't have to dispose of every 6 months and would like to be able to share them with WIFI. Further, this would allow you to network other things at the same time like usb hard drives and webcams. This is very significant when you factor in the current average cost of a wifi to usb print-server.
  • It would be great if this could somehow be included in the kernal without having to root the phone. Regardless, it's a great hack and would be most welcome. What about a keyboard to allow for touch-typing, and mounting a digicam or DSLR for uploading photos...
  • did you even read the how-to article? You don't need root access! Moreover, the how-to does exactly what you are asking and connects a USB keyboard!!!!
  • I hope that this is maybe a good way that I could connect my USB to my car stereo, cause I don't have an AUX input in my car!!! Love my DROID just a couple small fixex would be nice.... including a 2.1 update :0)
  • Is there anything special about the droid USB hardware that enables this? Or could it work with any android phone?
  • No, most Android phones will support it, but have a slightly different interface (miniUSB instead of micro). All those made by HTC certainly do.
  • I hope this is also available for the Nexus One, I've already soldered together the necessary cord because I tried this on my Touch Pro a couple months ago.
  • could you use this to run a usb monitor or projector? or even to push video from usb to component cables?
  • My guess is it's likely, but you will be restricted by your phones power, and therefore would probably only want to try it on an verizon droid, or nexus one. As a side note, the n900 (also based on linux) might be a better phone for you as it has TV out capabilities built into it. I found it nicer than the verizon droid, but had to return it because it didn't support exchange 2003 (and therefore no syncing google, or zimbra contacts).
  • What is this? I have a Micro USB to Standard USB cable that works to my laptop. What is different?
  • The gender of the plug opposite the phone end. This makes your phone the host rather than a client.
  • That's not exactly it, you can have a 2-sided usb cable, but that doesn't mean you will have USB host. The hardware and software both need to support it. For the parent of this tread; the example uses are good ones, you can print directly from your phone to a printer via usb, or use a usb keyboard.
  • The OpenMoko Freerunner did usb host mode out of the box. I used it all the time to connect a keyboard to my phone and program linux without needing a computer. It will be a great thing to have in Android.
  • in fact, the freerunner is able to do host mode with android.
  • Can someone try this on the new HTC Evo?!? Also, any entrepreneur willing to make the cables and sell 'em? I'd buy one.
  • i would also gladly pay someone to make me one. i will try making one myself next week if i don't hear back from someone willing to make one for me. does anyone know if the car charger needs to be purchased from Verizon or can i just buy the cheap ones found on Amazon, etc?