How To: Connect A USB Keyboard to Android Phones

By · Monday, December 10th, 2012

How To: Connect A USB Keyboards to Android PhonesHaving a keyboard on a smartphone sure beats the traditional telephone keypad; instead of taking a considerable amount of time and effort to press a key up to four times to generate one letter, all you have to do on a smartphone keyboard is tap the letter key.

However, although the touchscreen keyboards that you find on smartphones are great for writing messages, USB keyboards attest to the fact that bigger is better when it comes to typing.  Giving more room for your fingers to type, USB OTG keyboards are excellent when you want to type more content at a faster rate. Let’s look at how to connect one!

There are a few ways that you can connect a USB keyboard to your Android smartphone so that you can get your work done with your handy smartphone while leaving your much bigger laptop at home. Besides the USB keyboard itself, the essential piece of hardware that you need to enjoy computer-like typing for your smartphone is a USB OTG (On-The-Go) cable.  One end of the USB OTG cable has a micro-USB plug that goes into your Android, and the other end has a USB jack which fits into the USB keyboard.  Although it’s not one of the more common cables that can be found in a typical computer store, it’s easily available online and for at an inexpensive price.

Once you have the USB OTG cable connecting your Android smartphone to the USB keyboard, all you need to do is make a few minor adjustments and you’ll be good to go.  You may find that tapping the text box to enter text will prompt your smartphone’s keyboard to show up on the screen as it usually does without the USB keyboard; all you need to do is tap your phone’s “Back” button to make the redundant keyboard disappear and free up your screen.

Finally, if you’re using a non-QWERTY keyboard layout which reverts to QWERTY when you connect the USB keyboard, a simple $2.50 app called “External Keyboard Helper” lets you apply your preferred layout as well as make your screen’s keyboard disappear without having to tap the “Back” button.

Have you tried connecting a USB keyboard to your Android phone? How was it? Don’t forget to share you experience here!

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