Hudl2 OTG on Lollipop: What to Expect
Until I started to investigate using the Hudl2 as a headless Kodi media center (article coming soon), I hadn’t personally had any issues using OTG on Lollipop, but it transpires it only works on some Hudl2’s and not others. It appears that there was some sort of hardware revision for the Hudl2 during the manufacturing process. This is likely to have occurred when Tesco sold out of the original run of Hudl2’s and had to retool and make more. While OTG worked fine on all hardware revisions of the Hudl2 on Kitkat, it only works with one of the hardware revisions once it’s upgraded to Lollipop. At the present time I’m not sure if it’s the earlier hardware revision, or the later one that works with OTG on Lollipop. However, I’m going try and figure this out as the hardware revision numbers are stamped on the motherboard. If I can get to the bottom of this I’ll write an article about it for the site.
So, if your Hudl2 is running the latest Lollipop firmware and you want to use OTG, it will either work or it won’t. If it does you need to be aware of what it can and can’t do. It didn’t work when I tried to connect a USB optical mouse directly to an OTG port. It did work when I connected a wireless mouse. I suspect this is because the OTG doesn’t deliver enough power via OTG to drive the wired optical mouse and power the lasers. In contrast the wireless mouse just has a small dongle that plugs into the OTG cable. The mouse itself is powered by AAA batteries, so the OTG cable doesn’t have any excessive power demands on it.
Once you connect a mouse to an Android device, the standard behavior is for a mouse pointer to appear on the screen. You can then click around and click drag to simulate touch. It takes a little getting used to, but you’ll soon be navigating around your Hudl2 with a mouse with ease. The only down side to this is that you can’t access the on screen keyboard when you click on text entry boxes. This seems to be because when Android detects a mouse, it also expects a keyboard to be attached. You can do this by connecting a USB hub to the Hudl2 and connecting a mouse and keyboard at the same time. This can provide a method of using the Hudl2 more like a desktop computer if the screen is broken.