The background:

I recently learned about OTG USB cables that can be used to connect peripherals to Android devices. I had this idea of using an android device with a usb barcode reader connected (which basically acts like a keyboard) and an in-house developed app, for stock management in a warehouse.

The first step was to buy the OTG cable. The second was to start testing peripherals connected our existing Android devices.

The problem:

When I connect any USB device to a Huawei Y201 Pro (4.0), there is no feedback from the device. No error, no response from the input, nothing.

When I connect mouse to a Galaxy S II, it recognizes the usb cable, then a cursor appears on screen and all works great. However, when I connect a keyboard (I tried around 5 so far), a notification says that the cable was connected but right after that it says that no devices are connected.

My question:

Is there something I'm missing to make this work?

If not, some secondary follow up questions: What are the things I should look for in making this idea work? Is this connectivity more dependent on the Android device? OS version? Peripheral?

  • 2
    Try plugging a powered USB hub in and then plug the keyboard into that. It may be that the phone does not supply enough power to the keyboard.
    – znewman
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


Maybe your mobile doesn't support OTG. It may also need to be connected via a powered USB hub in order to provide enough power.


You can try to make your (perhaps incompatible) keyboard work using Externel Keyboard Helper.

If this works here is the fully functional Pro version.

I bought this app to completely reconfigure the keyboard layout of my bluetooth keyboard and to get an automatic dialog on keyboard connection to adjust the input method and the app is imho pretty useful once you get it how to deal with the configuration interface. ;-)

Maybe it works for you as well and detects the input from your keyboard. You can just give it a try as its free anyway.

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