How to use USB On-the-Go on BlackBerry 10

By DJ Reyes on 4 Mar 2014 02:32 pm EST
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The ability to access a USB drive on your BlackBerry 10 device was actually introduced when the BlackBerry Z30 was released. We haven’t yet taken a deeper look at it here on CrackBerry, so now that BlackBerry 10.2.1 is available with plenty more carriers pushing it out, it’s about time we had a look at using it.

USB on-the-go allows you to access a USB drive from your BlackBerry 10 device. It is only available for the BlackBerry Z30. You can also use USB peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse. We have seen videos of the BlackBerry Z30 being used to true mobile computing style and it really is a great feature.

You will need a USB OTG to Micro USB adapter, which can be picked up reasonably priced online. When searching online be sure to choose the one with the USB OTG function. There are ordinary adapters around that just act as an adapter and don't function as OTG. You may also want a USB hub if you want to plug in more peripherals. Once you have those you on your way.

How to use USB On-the-Go

  • Connect the USB OTG to Micro USB adapter into your Z30
  • Insert your USB drive
  • A pop-up notification should appear saying USB device inserted
  • Open up File Manager, tap the menu on the bottom left and you should see USB device as an added drive option
  • Tap USB device to access files on your USB drive

If you want to use USB peripherals, you'll need a USB hub, it doesn't have to be powered. Just connect the USB hub to the USB adapter and then start connecting your peripherals. To then then get a desktop experience with your BlackBerry Z30, plug in a HDMI cable and you're away. We've seen a BlackBerry made video on this before, when the BlackBerry Z30 was first released.

USB On-the-Go is a pretty neat feature and is just shame it's limited one device. If you have a Z30, get an adapter and have a go.

Reader comments

How to use USB On-the-Go on BlackBerry 10

111 Comments

Seriously bro. The z30 keeps making the z10 look like a disposable, sorry excuse for a phone.

Seems like it's only purpose was to get people to upgrade from legacy with a few extra features and call it a day.

 We have apks cuz we need 'em not cuz we want 'em 

Lol. It still does the job. These extra features will be nice for those looking for it but a disposable phone? I know where you're going with it but a bit excessive

Surely this must be a software thing and should be made available on other BB10 devices?

Posted via CB10

It is a hardware thing, and the blog title should be changed to reflect that this is ONLY available for Z30 devices, not BlackBerry 10's.

(for now -maybe in the future new devices will have the ability, but for now ONLY a Z30 can do this)

CDN BB

Or not! LOL

Something is getting mangled between the link text and the browser.

If you manually edit the URL after removing any extra characters after the final / it works.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.2141 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

I've been successful using a Western Digital My Passport 1tb hard drive with USB OTG, although I did have to format the drive and remove the bloatware.

One problem I have with OTG is that no other apps beside File Manager seem to be able to access the drive. No video players can access OTG. Which means I can't use the "Play On" feature.

It also seems to lag when playing videos of various formats. Maybe something to do with the cache.

Zed30

TheStoryUp - did you format the drive as FAT32? And what size partition did you use? I have the 500Gb version of the WD Essentials and I can not get the Z30 to see if at all. The Z30 is perfectly happy with flash drives so I am stuck. Any suggestions would be appreciated..please.

Posted via CB10

How cool is that?

I've had mine for a month and learn something new daily. The processor is so fast that I've ditched my Samsung tablet altogether.

Another reason to get the oh so awesome Z30.

My bitchin' Z30 BlackBerry

Why doesn't it work on the Q10? I guess I'm missing something because the specs are similar (besides the obvious screen size) .

I used my Q10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

Works perfectly on my Z30 with everything from terabytes drive, wireless mouse and keyboard etc. Absolutely stunning. Not sure what that OTG adapter is supposed to be. I use a $2 micro USB adapter.

Hmmm, I had a generic one to begin with but it wouldn't work, so got the one OTG and that worked. Perhaps I just had a dodgy adapter in the first place, lol

Using an adapter for less than $1 and it works perfectly :)

Q10 SQN100-3 | Z30 STA100-2 |10.2.1.2141

OK they (or a third party) need to capitalize on this. I have 2 ideas, BB laptop shell and BB all-in-one shell. The BB laptop shell is a laptop that's been gutted of its main and graphics processor, and hard drive, but still has the display, casing, keyboard, DVD/BR drives and USB ports. It has a port where you plug in your BB10 device connected via microusb and microhdmi and your phone becomes the processor, hard drive, and graphics processor. They can sell adapters that fit the different BB10 phones.

The BB All-in-one shell is the same thing, but a gutted All-in-one PC for those who want a desktop with bigger monitor. Both would be great for businesses, and when you think about it, the only thing that would need to be upgraded when new tech comes out would be the phone!

Posted via CB10

Great concept and mock-up. I'd buy that TODAY if it were available.

Your idea is what I envision when BlackBerry execs talk about next level mobile computing. Let's see where they go with this movement.

6510, 7520, 7100i, Storm 9500, Storm 2, Torch 9850, PlayBook 64gb, Z10...

Thanks DJ I wanted to use this feature since I first heard about it. Any luck crackberry could put the right equipment needed for sale online in the near future?

Posted via CB10

This feature alone was why I upgraded to my Z30 from a Z10. Love the flexibility it provides while traveling. I wish BlackBerry had a USB otg adapter for sale. They are difficult at times to find in store.

Posted via My rocking Droidberry Z30 on CB Forums

A great accessory for this would be a USB OTG dock. Set the Z30 on it and multiple USB ports on rear. That way could set the dock on desk and leave keyboard / mouse plugged into back of dock.

Could make one with HDMI as well. That way could have monitor for computer and one for Z30.

Posted via CB10

I'm telling you, they are making it very hard for me to resist buying a Z30!

I love my Z10 but all the extra Z30 goodies sure are tempting!

I'll buy the Z30 then two weeks later the Z40 will be released....first world problems kids, first world problems!

Posted via CB10

Pissing me off how blackberry just can't make up their mind and keeps having all these great features that limit people who put faith in them..the early adopters keep getting screwed over

Posted via CB10

Your comment makes no sense at all. Is technology supposed to stand still so not to offend anyone?

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

So.... you're upset that your z10 doesnt have the same features as the z30? I think more ppl would be complaining if the z30 had nothing new to offer over the z10 besides screen size... *shrug* thats tech for ya, the minute you buy it, something better comes out.

Another reason to upgrade to a Z30. Oh, Wait I can't because of exclusivity clauses. AT&T users can't get one unless they buy one unlocked and then no LTE. So I lose because I can't get one. BlackBerry and AT&T lose because I am not spending my money with them. Blackberry seriously needs a to stop doing carrier exclusives it hurts them in the long run. Very few people will leave a provider just to get a certain phone and many can't due to contracts.

Posted via CB10

So for those who have tried using a mouse with your Z30: how does that work exactly?

Do you see a pointer appear on your screen (in place of your finger hovering over the screen) and then a left-click acts as a touch?

What does a right-click do (if anything): long-press?

Posted via CB10

Mouse works and looks just like on a PC. Right click and even the wheel work for certain apps. Left click works like tapping with your finger. I like it. The HDMI on a 22" wide screen takes a little getting used to, because the font becomes enormous when the Phone is flipped in landscape mode (sideways).

I also use remote desktop app to directly access and control my laptop at the office.
Very cool, but could use some tweaking....

Hope that helps.

Too bad it doesn't work on my Z10. I wanted to use it to transfer photos from my camera in the field to my phone for posting/editing etc.

As for periferals, I've got a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and those work with the Z10 just fine.

Is it true that the usb device has to be FAT(32) formatted? No NTFS? Can someone please try it out? Thanks

Posted via CB10

Would I be able to plug in an external disk drive as well? Or is that going to require more juice?

My next device has to have this feature !
Or I might just buy a Z30!
Wish it was available on my Q10

Posted via CB10

Blackberry should make a charging dock similar to the one for the PlayBook except it has two or three USB ports and a HDMI port. This way you could dock, charge, and use the Z in multiple configurations
What do you think?

Posted via CB10

I agree that BB needs to stop shooting itself in the foot with their loyal customers. This is like the Playbook all over again. Look how we all waited for OTG and never got it. Now many of us are locked in to a 2 yr (or more) contract and cannot just switch carriers like we are switching ball caps. Crackberry is a large site and you would think some one would be talking direct to Chen and his associates about the situation in the USA and the lack of carrier support for the Z30 and the zero marketing. With each passing day BB is seeing more and more customers leaving for other products. I love my Z10 but I will never buy another phone under contract especially a BB phone unless some major turn around happens with the carriers.

This is not the first time. BlackBerry has always done this to the early adopters. USB OTG was purposely left out on the Z10. Didn't they hear PB users screaming for more than 2 years for this promised feature?

Bought a cheap USB to go off ebay (under 2 quid) works really well for reading a USB stick. Haven't tried anything else really yet.

Posted via CB10

I know some Android devices not officially supporting otg,can someway support it ;-) Is that possible also on Q devices? :)

Posted via CB10

Think I just got sold on a z30 thanks to this article. Pretty much already was, but... yup. too bad I'm on AT&T.

Posted via CB10

Hey T- Mobile! I need that Z30! What's the hold up? Can you guys at least give a tentative date if it's coming to T- Mobile at all and if not so I can get an unlocked one!

Posted via CB10

Does USB 3.0 work? I have several 2.0 drives that work but my 3.0 does lot. I know I won't have the speed benefit bit I do when I use my computer and as such it has become my main flash drive

Posted via CB10

It is possible if the USB connector is connected to the OTG port of the CPU.
May be other problem are:
- Can Z10 detect that if must be a host of a client. It can detect that by the ID pin. But is must be connected to the CPU.
- The USB connector is the wrong type. Z10 has a micro type A not micro type AB.
- Z10 can't supply the power.

Al this can be fix by a cradle like the media version. Add a NFC tag in it and we are done!.

Excellent clip DJ; thank goodness that BlackBerry Marketing hasn't been exhaust to lift a finger yet - God forbid that the masses find out about this!

I'm really excited for when Samsung, Apple and everyone else launches this technology and it helps them sell many, many more phones.

So let me get this strait wireless keyboard with a built-in mouse + Z30+ A playbook and a smart tv with wifi or hdmi connection im good
Or a joytick for my games. And im nicely set!!!!!!
Not to forget the fusion of rim and androind technology 2 of everything in one device.

RIP Iphone rip android flawless victory,babality, humiliation, fatality, ultraaaaaa cooooommmmmbboooooooo

Posted via CB10

I think I should be hired as the marketing director at rim the entire marketing dpt should be fired they are the reason for their slow growth so far

Posted via CB10

Crackberry should do a poll....how many Z10 owners wish they had waited for the Z30....me for one, hate 2 year contracts. love my Z10 but feel I would love the Z30 more!

Posted via CB10

I like my Z10 a lot. But the z30 is a step ahead. Then again the next model will have yet more... aren't we lucky?

Posted via CB10

Edders1964.. I'm with you. Love my Z10, best phone I've had. But the Z30... well, by contract end BlackBerry should be at the Z50 :)

Posted via CB10

Guys, don't be so blind, this feature is only usable if you need to access the data on your usb (dongle or hdd) occasionally. It's impossible to use the feature all the time. The plugged device will drain your phone's battery, you risk to brake the connector, ... it's not so pretty as it seems to be.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

This is one of the things I always wanted when the PlayBook came out. I always expected this feature to come on to BlackBerry 10 but sooner.

The more I think about this, and the concept of mobile computing the more angry I get that BlackBerry is not pushing this hard. I mean, is it true that with the right peripherals this on the go stuff turns a Z30 into the best portable computer? Why does BlackBerry not have all these peripherals in the store?

Posted via CB10

Playing games on my z30 on my 42" Hd TV is fun, navigating the web too, with wireless keyboard and mouse.

Oh, they say you do not need a powered hub???? Wtf, non-powered hub means power drain on the phones battery ... you need a powered hub for anything serious.

Also, your $1 cable is OTG, has to be else it will NOT work... OTG is HW tech. You will see the logo somewhere, if there is no logo, be careful...

Posted via CB10

One of these days when my OTG adapter gets here (I <3 ebay) I plan on giving this a try. I have a feeling I will still be using a Cloud more than anything, but this will be handy I guess? I use Playcloud, so I'm kind of interested to see how it works with that (if at all).

Connected it but the message doesn't come up. When I disconnect then the message pops up but then it states USB removed

Posted via CB10

I have the usb otg and trying to connect a poratble HD, says connected then says go to storage as there is a problem... am I missing something?

That's exactly what I get when I connect a 16GB and 64GB flash drive, but the 8GB works fine... seems it's a little fickle.

What are the limitations for the flash drives that can be used. I have a 64GB, 16GB and 8GB drive and the only one that works is the 8GB. Is that because of it's size or how it's formatted or something else? When I connect the same 64 & 16GB drives to my Nexus 7 it works fine.

Here's my 2 cents on this. I got my el cheapo cables from ebay today (LYG I think) and tried using it with my USB flash drives. It seems to work tickety boo with the FAT32 formatted ones (success up to 32GB) but threw the "USB Device Problem, Go to the storage settings for details" error for the NTFS formatted drives. Usual not helpful error form the software kiddies. I tried my Logitech M705 wireless mouse with USB unified receiver and that worked pretty well too. Plugged in a USB lamp and that worked. Pretty cool if you ask me. If anyone can verify the formatting I found I would appreciate it.

I just tried running video files from a USB key and the MP4 played perfectly while the MKV would not play using File Manager nor would the MPG. The AVI file just played the audio. Perhaps another video player could be used?

Here's my 2 cents on this. I got my el cheapo cables from ebay today (LYG I think) and tried using it with my USB flash drives. It seems to work tickety boo with the FAT32 formatted ones (success up to 32GB) but threw the "USB Device Problem, Go to the storage settings for details" error for the NTFS formatted drives. Usual not helpful error form the software kiddies. I tried my Logitech M705 wireless mouse with USB unified receiver and that worked pretty well too. Plugged in a USB lamp and that worked. Pretty cool if you ask me. If anyone can verify the formatting I found I would appreciate it.

I just tried running video files from a USB key and the MP4 played perfectly while the MKV would not play using File Manager nor would the MPG. The AVI file just played the audio. Perhaps another video player could be used?

Hi, Just wanted to know if BB is coming up with a software update or an app to enable USB on-the-go on BB Z3 devices.
thanks
rocky