USB On-The-Go (OTG) and the BlackBerry Z30

When BlackBerry released the BlackBerry Z30, they introduced USB On-The-Go (OTG) to BlackBerry 10. USB OTG is a specification that redefines the way we use our mobile  devices with USB. In most cases when you plug a USB cable into your phone it is usually to copy pictures, music, video or other files to and from your phone. This is the normal “slave” configuration we use USB with. OTG takes this further and allows you to use your phone to control the communication to act as the “host”.

USB OTG CertifiedOTG allows you to access USB peripherals from your BlackBerry Z30 device. You can use USB peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, flash drive, pen drive and a whole lot more.

You will need a USB OTG to Micro USB adapter and this has to be one with the USB OTG function. Ordinary adapters simply act as an adapter and don’t function as OTG. These aren’t expensive and you can pick one up from around £2.50.

USB OTG Adaptor

The most common use of USB OTG is to connect a USB Drive or Pen Drive or similar. The beauty of USB OTG is its simplicity.

Using USB On-The-Go

  • Connect your USB OTG to Micro USB adaptor to your BlackBerry Z30. This goes in your normal mini-USB socket.
  • Connect your USB drive, pen drive etc to your OTG adaptor
  • A “USB device inserted” notification will appear.
  • Select File Manager; tap the menu available on left side bottom. An option to add drive will be shown for the USB device.
  • To access all the fields of the USB drive, tap USB device.

Any application will now have access to your USB drive.

Using Multiple USB Devices

Once you have your USB OTG Adaptor, you may find it a bit limiting only being able to attach one peripheral. However, you can easily add more by using a standard USB Hub.


There are many different types of these costing from a couple of quid to more expensive ones. That choice is yours.

When connecting a USB Hub, you NEED to connect your USB OTG Adaptor to your Z30 and then connect your USB Hub to the OTG Adaptor.

You will now be able to connect several USB peripherals to your BlackBerry Z30 and use them simultaneously.

The USB OTG Desktop Experience

Using USB OTG can give you a fantastic desktop experience. While there are multiple ways to do this using your BlackBerry Z30, one way is using HDMI.


Unlike a lot of mobile phones, the BlackBerry Z30 comes with a separate HDMI port. This allows you to connect your BlackBerry to any HDMI television or similar HDMI device.

I connected my 60-inch TV to my BlackBerry phone via HDMI. Using my USB OTG Adaptor and USB hub, I connected a USB keyboard and USB mouse. I also connected a charger just to keep the lights on, although it technically isn’t necessary.


I can also do the same thing using Miscast instead of HDMI, which reduces the physical connections and let’s me use my Z30 further from the television set as I’m not restricted to the length of my HDMI cable.

I can use either of these setups in my home but I can also use them in hotel rooms, giving presentations etc.

This essentially allows me to use my BlackBerry Z30 as a computer and leave my laptop at home.

USB OTG Is one of the most powerful and least used features of your BlackBerry Z30. Give it a try and if you find a really nice way of using it, let us know.[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”icon-users”][/signoff]

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