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I have a Samsung Galaxy S (i9000) with Android 2.1.

I am wondering if it can read a USB flash drive. It will be really useful to copy files across USB drives so you don't have to carry laptops around.

I think if there is a cable/converter to plugin a USB into the phone and there is an app to read the connected USB drive, I don't see why it can't be done.

The problem is do the cable and app exist?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes and Kinda.

You're talking about USB On the Go (OTG) and Android is capable of it but it's not officially supported. I couldn't find any apps in the app market that handle it but here are a couple people that got it working:

http://sven.killig.de/android/N1/2.2/usb_host/ (this guy basically turned his Nexus One into a whole work station)

http://www.tombom.co.uk/blog/?p=124

That second tutorial tells you to hack a cable but you can actually buy an OTG cable so this isn't necessary.

Also, I've seen some phones claim they are going to come out with USB OTG a while ago but I don't recall anything ever materializing.

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I see, it doesn't seem to be a very easy task. Thanks Matt! –  aximili Sep 28 '10 at 2:39
    
Yes, too hard for me. This really is a must have feature that I hope they come out with an easy solution for. –  Matt Sep 28 '10 at 4:07
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The Samsung Galaxy S2 officially supports USB OTG. It seems it has a special adapter.

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