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Topic: Connect Arduino to Android with USB Host library (open source; no root needed) (Read 23978 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi there! -- Longtime lurker and arduino hacker, first time poster.

Wanted to let fellow arduino folks know about a small open source project of mine, http://code.google.com/p/usb-serial-for-android/.

usb-serial-for-android is a library that you include in your Android app in order to talk serial devices.  It works, without root, on most Android 3.1+ devices that have USB Host support.  Just connect your arduino to your android with a USB OTG cable, and away you go.  There is software support for FTDI and CDC serial drivers, meaning you can use it to talk to most Arduinos.

If you're considering adding a display, bluetooth, ethernet, or other capabilities to your arduino project, usb-serial-for-android might open up some new opportunities (just connect your arduino to spare/cheap android device instead).  I know it's given me all sorts of new ideas..

Please feel free to give it a spin; there's a discussion list linked on the project page.


Franklin Dattein

Has anyone tried this with a cheap Android tablet (under $100) like the ones sold on Ebay and DX?


Has anyone tried this with a cheap Android tablet (under $100) like the ones sold on Ebay and DX?

Hi There,

In theory it should work fine on a cheap tablet, so long as the tablet properly supports Android 3.1+.  The feature is, after all, part of mainstream Android.

In practice, and from some limited experience, these cheapo tablets tend to be a crapshoot with respect to software support in general, let alone support for a more "exotic" feature like USB host.  You really need to try it first, and I wouldn't count on it.

In the ~$150-$200 range, Nexus 7 works well, as do many other tablets; one user recently reported a refurbished Acer A200 working well, for example.  We maintain a wiki of supported devices here, but generally newer name-brand devices are more likely to work without any fuss.


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