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Kindle Fire HD owners: Does USB host mode work?

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 16, 2012 1:16:52 PM PDT
Nathan says:
All information I could find was of the old kindle fire. The HD is an android 4.0 based system, and according to that version will support USB host mode. Of course, its amazon's heavily modified version of android 4. I also don't have a kindle fire HD yet, and I'm not sure if I should buy it or a microsoft surface.

So, to all the new Kindle Fire HD owners out there, has anybody tried using an OTG cable like these?

I'd like to use it with a card reader, for my camera and mp3 player.

I know you can load a newer version of android onto it and use usb host mode, but I would rather not do that if I'm buying a new fire HD.

If anybody has tried this with the stock Fire HD, please let me know! I couldn't find any definitive info online, just speculation. It would be a nice feature to have.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 1:21:22 PM PDT
Bixillarla says:
The Fires do not have Host mode. It is just for transfering data from your computer and for charging.

You can use a WiFi drive with the Fire for external storage, USB drives will not work.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:34:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 12:55:49 PM PST
elf says:
That might not be correct.

According to what I found online the Kindle Fire HD (the android 4.0 based version) does have USB OTG support. There's not much power available so you're going to need a self powered or unpowered device so don't expect to be able to charge your phone off of it. But you should be able to connect a flash drive or a self powered device to it.

I haven't tried this yet, but it seems to be the exact opposite of what the above poster said so I suspect s/he might be talking about the older (android 2.3) based Kindle Fire and not the new Kindle Fire HD that the question was being asked about.


Seeing more reports now: OTG is hardware supported, and the android kernal will support it, but even with appropriate apps and rooting OTG isn't working with Amazon's launcher. You would need to install a custom ROM.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:48:33 PM PST
elf: No, whether or not ICS has host mode, it is not enabled on the new Fire or Fire HD models.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2012 12:53:42 PM PST
D.L.C says:
While you are correct that ICS itself does support USB hosting and therefore OTG, Amazon deliberately removed this from their forked version of ICS. There is NO USB Hosting support whatsoever on any Kindle Fire. Meaning, no wired keyboards, mice, flash drives or external drives on the Forked ICS that Amazon ships.

There IS a way to get the USB hosting back, but it's kind of idiotic because it removes the entire operating system, which means you lose all Amazon integration. At that point, why even bother buying a Kindle Fire at all? If external storage is a big deal to you, get a Toshiba, Nexus 7 or Samsung.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2012 12:57:18 PM PST
D.L.C says:
Sorry Bud. USB hosting doesn't exist on the Kindle Fire. Based on XDA, there aren't even the drivers for it on the Forked ICS. I'm presuming that is why you have to ROM to get the drivers, simply because they simply aren't there on what Amazon ships. I don't see the point in buying a Kindle fire if you are simply going to ROM it. The Nook HD is a better hardware device to ROM if that is what you're after. Plus that actually has an SD care slot in the first place.

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 12:59:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 1:05:47 PM PST
elf says:
Yeah, see my edit. =)

I'll also agree that the Nook HD is worth looking at if you're considering replacing the ROM. Especially nice stats on the 7" Nook HD.

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 8:40:17 PM PDT
A little late, but wrong. The Kindle Fire 2011 and 2012 a well as the Kindle Fire HD have OTG. The HDX does not. IDK about the larger KF models. But I have ran multiple devices on all the prior Kindle Fires. They do not produce enough power so Powered hub is needed. Currently trying to locate a tablet similar to HDX in size that is OTG ready.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 12:06:11 AM PDT
Retired EE says:
The Samsung Tabs and Nexus Tablets support OTG but may require a powered Hub for USB storage devices. My Samsung Tab 2 7.0 will power a mouse or keyboard but not a drive.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 12:43:03 AM PDT
flipoid says:
I have a Kingston WiFi drive that I use for external storage for my Kindle Fire. To use it, I download the WiFi Drive app from the Amazon App Store and I can play videos from it. I haven't tried to use other types of files from it other than videos, but it works for that purpose for me, which is why I wanted it.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 8:42:06 PM PDT
Tomen8r says:
Most kindles will support OTG if you use the correct rom with a supporting kernel. Out of the box they don't. Warranty voided if you flash Rom. What I Don t know is if new fire OS, sangria, supports OTG without modification.

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 2:55:17 PM PDT
I just connected a mouse using an OTG connector and it worked (new 6" Kindle Fire). With a Bluetooth keyboard it is a tiny workstation.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 9:28:08 AM PST
PJC says:
This is an interesting topic. True it is pointless buying an HDX if you intended to ROM it but have Amazon shot them selves here? By disabling the USB host facility you have created a very negative aspect to the device. Enabling it would allow you grab the USB host device market for Kindle. Every kindle owner I have spoken to would love the ability to view the pictures straight of their SD cards form their camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2014 9:30:26 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
It is enabled on the new Fires and maybe the older ones with the OS update. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 7:28:53 PM PST
not enabled on my HDX

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 8:52:09 PM PST
LibbyLA says:
Don't know what to make of this. Plugged a Transcend OTG SD card reader into Fire HD 6 and the Fire reports that it's connected to a USB mass storage device. However, I haven't figured out how to access it using ES File Explorer. Guess some investigation is in order.

Fire HD 7" (second generation Fire) doesn't recognize that the reader is plugged in.

Fire HDX 8.9" from 2013 (third generation) doesn't recognize the reader.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 works and can read SD cards.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2015 9:45:51 PM PST
A. Dietz says:
Your Fire HD7 and your Fire HDX 8.9 (the two earlier models you listed) can't host devices, so you're not going to be able to access an SD card reader through the USB ports on those devices. I've heard mixed results on the new Kindle models.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2015 4:42:57 AM PST
LibbyLA says:
I pretty much knew that. I was just reporting (confirming) it because of earlier posts in the discussion.

Posted on Apr 10, 2015 4:10:34 PM PDT
So why does Amazon sell otg cables for fire if they don't support it? Wasting a lot of time wanting to connect my camera to my hdx!
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (OTG) Micro-USB to USB 2.0 Adapter High Speed Data-Transfer Cable for connecting any compatible USB Accessory/Device/Drive/Flash/ and truly On-The-Go! (Black)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2015 4:37:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2015 4:37:27 PM PDT
The 4th Gen Fires support connecting peripherals. The earlier models do not. there are two model years for the 8.9" HDX. Do you have the 2013 model or the 2014?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2015 9:10:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2015 9:11:11 PM PDT
PS56k says:
I wish that Amazon would at some point clearly physically indicate which "model" a particular device was.... with some major differences between the calendar year models - like OTG-USB and HDMI-USB for my HD6

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2015 6:33:57 PM PDT
They do that, sort of:

This link is fairly informative:

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2015 2:35:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2015 2:36:46 PM PDT
PS56k says:
BTW - in all of those matrix entries, I don't see anything about USB-OTG or USB-HDMI support for some of these latest models... It's hard for a customer, when you have a family of models, and can't really tell one from another, and then to have subtle, yet major, hardware additions in a particular model year and not have it listed in the usual Feature/Function/Benefit marketing matrix for that model.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2015 11:39:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2015 11:48:45 PM PDT
jamok says:
I appreciate your post, but it's really only 'fairly informative' if you're sophisticated enough to be an app developer for the Amazon tablets. Given the near-total lack of clarity about whether and how one can do things that are pretty critical to the usability of tablets (such as - can I play a movie file (whatever formats might be supported - DVD (vob files), .H264, .H265, avi, etc.) by using an external storage device (OTG flash drive, powered usb drive, unpowered usb drive, etc.) seems at least partly meant to discourage anyone from (easily - key word) using any files that are not in the 'Amazon Universe' (which mostly seems to mean that Amazon isn't making money from such 'outside' sources of data.
Unless one understands, and doesn't mind being 'locked in tight' to Amazon's 'universe' (i.e., everything comes through them and a profit is made, if possible), it become a form of 'indentured servitude' - much like the almost universally despised Microsoft 'model' - e.g., the only major operating system that charges users for upgrades at this point (and one might note that users *avoid* MSFT upgrades as long as possible, since Microsoft OS's always prove to be bug-infested junk. It's why so many people are still using XP, never mind Win 7, which was the last reasonably good OS from MSFT.)
Amazon can keep this policy up if they want to 'control' users completely. But if so, they risk users eventually figuring out that buying 'real' Google OS tablets like the Nexus line gives them a more 'authentic' OS experience, and is much less restricted than buying Amazon's offerings.
In some ways, it comes down to what Amazon want to make its policy: User satisfaction? or maximum control and profits? Admittedly, your $99 Prime membership gives you access to a library of streamable content for free. But after you've covered that shows worth watching, the pickings become extremely thin in quality, and 'newly added' movies and such are rarely top-shelf - and/or anywhere near current (e.g., 'Goodwill Hunting' is one of the best movies of all time - but having been released in the 1990's, Amazon probably had to outlay almost nothing to offer it.)

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 10:36:10 AM PDT
Soniclegend says:
Do the Kindle Fire HD 3rd Gen support OTG?
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  29
Initial post:  Oct 16, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 22, 2016

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