For a while I’ve been wondering about using bluetooth and USB devices such as a keyboard, mouse, webcam etc with my Nexus 7 tablet.
I especially became curious when I noticed cheap broken Nexus 7 tablets on ebay, where people had broken / cracked their screen and the digitiser no-longer or partially worked. It made me wonder if the owners of these broken devices could still gain some benefit from a broken Nexus 7, as long as it was safe to use the tablets.
Well I don’t have a broken Nexus 7, and neither do I intend on buying one, but I decided to hook up two different types of mouses and a keyboard to see what can be achieved via bluetooth and USB.
So on ebay I brought a cheap ‘Nexus 7 OTG cable’, which allows me to connected standard sized USB cabled devices to the Nexus 7. Then I did the following….
Full sized Logitech bluetooth keyboard and mouse
Rather than playing around with Nexus 7’s own bluetooth hardware, I connected a Logitech bluetooth dongle to the Nexus 7, and et voilà the keyboard and mouse worked straight away.
A mouse pointer appeared on the screen, and I was able to easily use the Nexus 7 with both devices.
Next I decided to connect a USB mouse, but it didn’t work when I plugged it in.
So I powered down the Nexus 7, and then switched back on with the USB mouse already connected to the OTG cable. Upon a fresh boot the USB mouse worked without a problem.
I found both the bluetooth and USB connections responsive and easy to use via the OTG cable. Though I found ‘looking down’ on the Nexus 7 tiresome and if I had the intention of doing this regularly, I would invest in a stand for the tablet.
I know you can buy bluetooth and usb keyboards specifically for the Nexus 7, as well as stands for the tablet, but I don’t currently have the requirement for these devices.
I intend on testing other devices via the OTG cable, so please expect more blog posts on the topic in the future.