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MSM8660(S3) offers USB On-The-Go

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by TheSystem, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. TheSystem

    TheSystem Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Yesterday, Qualcomm announced their changes to simplify the naming scheme of their line of SoCs, but other than the new naming scheme. I've found something that has caught my interest, S3(8xx60 SoCs) appears to show "USB 2.0 High Speed OTG (480Mbps)".

    Interesting, huh?

    Snapdragon SoC specs
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    NeoteriX likes this.
  2. NeoteriX

    NeoteriX Android Expert

    Nice find. So how do we take advantage of this new-found information?
     
  3. TheSystem

    TheSystem Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I've just received conformation by Qualcomm that this information is accurate.

    Here are our options(My opinion)

    -HTC could implement their own API to take advantage of USB OTG/Embedded host.
    -Android 3.1 supports USB host, Ice Cream Sandwich should too.
    -Someone from the developer community could create a hack.
     
  4. dzar

    dzar Well-Known Member

    While I'm glad Qualcomm is making this more public, the fact is that every major (if not every) smartphone chip set for the past 5+ years has supported USB OTG. Heck, my old Palm Treo did (and I used it). The problem is that the handset manufacturers do not properly implement it so even with built-in OS support, it's not terribly useful. We need to beat on the HTCs, Samsungs, etc. (you can forget Apple) to get this right.

    The biggest problem is not the OS support but the lack of a power supply. If you expect to be able to plug in your USB keyboard, mouse, flash drive, etc. you need a power supply on the phone that can power that device. That's what's missing on so many of these devices. There are plenty of hacks out there (Google is your friend) to turn on the USB host mode, but you need an externally powered USB hub or other method of powering your connected USB device.

    If you really want this feature, let your wallet do the talking and go get a Samsung Galaxy II s (i9100). It has proper support... I can attach my USB flash drive and it gets scanned for media like an SD card would (and can be accessed as a drive with file managers). Very nice. It's the only Android phone I know of that has what I call "full support" as the power supply is there. (Most tablets running 3.0+ have USB ports so I suspect they also can do this, although I don't have any of them to test.)

    There are no HTC phones that do this right. HTC knows how to do it as they had a device several years ago that did (it was their large netbook-killer - didn't work), but no phones.

    Bottom line; don't get too excited as even if there is a hack to turn on the functionality, you will not be able to directly connect your keyboard/mouse/flash drive to the phone due to the lack of a power supply.
     
  5. TheSystem

    TheSystem Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for your analogy, but of course!

    I happen to be optimistic, but no one should get too excited(By the information that i have provided and i plan to offer more information). I have not seen anything to suggest that new or upcoming HTC, Windows Phone 7, WebOS and other devices will not take advantage of this feature.

    Can you tell me how USB host is implemented within the Galaxy S II? Which i have no interest in this device, for good reason.
     
  6. dzar

    dzar Well-Known Member

    I hope you're right, but I've been saying this for almost three years, now. Ever since the first couple of devices (like my Palm Treo and another that I cannot remember, now) came out with it, I have developed hardware that leverages the USB port on cell phones and cannot believe how so few actually support it. I have heard stories that it's the US carriers that, essentially, brow-beat the manufacturers to not include USB host. I can believe it for the only phones I know of with USB host support are not for sale in the US. In short, I have lost faith in the "system" and will not hold my breath for USB host phones to be mainstream any time soon... tablets are another story, however.

    If anyone is keeping track, the USB-OTG standard has been around since late 2001 so why are we still talking about it "coming soon" in 2011?

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. I presume that in addition to the hardware support (which is modest), there is at least disk support added to the standard drivers as I've tested that. I've heard rumors that keyboard/mouse support is also there. This is something that Samsung must have done as it's not standard in Android 2.3.3 as far as I know. I'm also trying to get an SDK from Samsung to develop with the features of this phone so might know more in a bit.
     
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