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Android 4.0 ICS Will Support USB Controllers

By - Source: Phandroid | B 29 comments

As with Android 3.x, the newer version AKA "Ice Cream Sandwich" will feature USB hosting for connecting USB-based devices like external hard drives and game controllers.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY won't be the only Android-based hardcore gaming smartphone for long, as Google's latest build of Android, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich," will fully support USB-based gamepads when it begins to roll out in the next few months. The news arrives by way of Android engineer Romain Guy via Twitter who said that "with Android 4.0, you can use USB gamepads and HDMI to turn your Galaxy Nexus into a video games console!"

USB hosting support actually arrived with Android 3.x "Honeycomb," but this will be the feature's first appearance on a smartphone. Tablet owners can actually connect with USB-based devices like an external hard drive, keyboard, mouse or an Xbox 360 controller to use with games and emulators. And until now, smartphone users had to rely on Bluetooth devices (Wiimote) and 3rd-party apps to incorporate any kind of external controller.

Given that Google has created a "one size fits all" OS with Android 4.0, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the feature will also be included on smartphones. And with native support, users seemingly carry a miniature PC in their pocket -- or in this case a miniature gaming console -- right out of the box... if the device sports an HDMI-out jack, that is.

Last week Google revealed a huge list of changes and improvements to Android with the upcoming release of Ice Cream Sandwich including native stylus support, resizable widgets, better multitasking, a revamped camera with tools, Android Beam for sharing content across two NFC-enabled devices, Wi-Fi Direct and more.

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  • 3 Hide
    husker , October 25, 2011 4:24 PM
    What about printing???
  • 0 Hide
    tical2399 , October 25, 2011 4:28 PM
    IDK if they have this or not but i'd like to see some built in sixaxis/DS3 drivers in there so i can connect my ps3 controller via blu tooth.

    I know the controller may connect now but they might not register as game controllers. I need to try this out when i get home to see how it works now if at all.
  • 0 Hide
    iceman1992 , October 25, 2011 4:46 PM
    so does that mean i can plug a USB flashdisk right into my phone?
  • -3 Hide
    Zingam , October 25, 2011 4:50 PM
    I'd like to see Android turning into a complete OS that is able to kick Microsoft completely out of the mobile space (at least). ARM + Android FTW!!! It's about time that the decades lasting Wintel monopoly ends!
  • -4 Hide
    razorblaze42 , October 25, 2011 5:06 PM
    Am I the only one that thinks ICS 4.0 user interface is "butt ugly" compared to Sense 3.0?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 25, 2011 5:06 PM
    "It's about time that the decades lasting Wintel monopoly ends!"

    replacing a monopoly with another. dumb.
  • -2 Hide
    MarioJP , October 25, 2011 5:13 PM
    razorblaze42Am I the only one that thinks ICS 4.0 user interface is "butt ugly" compared to Sense 3.0?


    Only one problem with that statement. Windows 8 runs on Arm. Don't think Intel is going anywhere anytime soon either. Their profit earnings is through the roof.
  • 1 Hide
    Netherscourge , October 25, 2011 5:33 PM
    Non-PC USB support is nice for stuff like printers and external drives.

    But let's not forget the whole purpose of these smartphones is to have an all-in-1 device.

    You start adding accessories and you start losing the whole point.
  • 4 Hide
    igot1forya , October 25, 2011 5:48 PM
    huskerWhat about printing???

    Printing is already supported if you have a Ethernet-based printer. Simply install PrintBot or similar printing client and you can send the jobs to your printer (as long as you enable Wifi on your device and it is on the same subnet as your printer). I've never had any problems printing with my Xoom or my phone, even when I visit other locations (as long as I know the IP address of the printer, it works).
  • 0 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , October 25, 2011 5:49 PM
    iceman1992so does that mean i can plug a USB flashdisk right into my phone?

    Quote:
    USB hosting for connecting USB-based devices like external hard drives

    ...so yeah.
  • 0 Hide
    MarioJP , October 25, 2011 6:18 PM
    This is getting crazy dual core processor phones now competing with gaming consoles?
  • -1 Hide
    MarioJP , October 25, 2011 6:25 PM
    ZingamI'd like to see Android turning into a complete OS that is able to kick Microsoft completely out of the mobile space (at least). ARM + Android FTW!!! It's about time that the decades lasting Wintel monopoly ends!


    Only one problem with that statement. Windows 8 runs on Arm. Don't think Intel is going anywhere anytime soon either. Their profit earnings is through the roof.

    Disregard razorblaze42
  • -1 Hide
    shanky887614 , October 25, 2011 7:09 PM
    you may say windows is on arm but!!!


    linux is free or at least most is to the public

    microsoft will never do one for free
  • 1 Hide
    MarioJP , October 25, 2011 7:26 PM
    Yet look how well Linux dominated on the desktop Just saying. Droid isn't free either so your point being??
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , October 25, 2011 7:28 PM
    Here's hoping I can connect my xbox wireless PC receiver to it... I've been waiting to upgrade for a LONG time... and playing cheap but fun android games on TV's wherever I go would be AWESOME.
  • 0 Hide
    MarioJP , October 25, 2011 7:35 PM
    We sure live in a interesting time.
  • -1 Hide
    Zingam , October 25, 2011 8:41 PM
    mariojpOnly one problem with that statement. Windows 8 runs on Arm. Don't think Intel is going anywhere anytime soon either. Their profit earnings is through the roof.Disregard razorblaze42



    And this is a good thing that we have an unchallenged monopoly for decades?

    And Windows 8 isn't running on ARM yet. It's not running anywhere yet. It's still at least a year away. And also it is a big fat OS. And even if they optimize it for ARM and runs fine on tablets. Your dream applications like Photoshop, the full Office Suite, etc. won't be optimized for touch interfaces and they won't run properly on tablets at all.

  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 25, 2011 8:57 PM
    Igot1foryaPrinting is already supported if you have a Ethernet-based printer. Simply install PrintBot or similar printing client and you can send the jobs to your printer (as long as you enable Wifi on your device and it is on the same subnet as your printer). I've never had any problems printing with my Xoom or my phone, even when I visit other locations (as long as I know the IP address of the printer, it works).

    What about the millions of people who don't have ethernet printers and want to use the USB support that is now being offered by ICS.
    I think the questioner was alluding to the hope that printer manufacturers will start to offer Android drivers alongside the current standard offerings of Windows, Mac and Linux.
    Now THAT would be cool.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 25, 2011 8:59 PM
    ZingamYour dream applications like Photoshop, the full Office Suite, etc. won't be optimized for touch interfaces and they won't run properly on tablets at all.

    Those applications know that Windows 8 with touch optimization is coming soon, you seriously believe that they don't already have a team of boffins working with Windows 8 already to knock out a new version just for that purpose?
  • 0 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , October 25, 2011 9:12 PM
    back_by_demandThose applications know that Windows 8 with touch optimization is coming soon, you seriously believe that they don't already have a team of boffins working with Windows 8 already to knock out a new version just for that purpose?

    i always like that word , 'boffins' :p 
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