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Dual Flash Drives (2-in-1 micro-USB): Connect Phones and PCs for easy file transfers

A dual flash drive has a micro-USB connector on one end and a USB connector on the other, which is why it is also called a 2-in-1 micro-USB drive or OTG flash drive. It is perfect for moving files between your OTG-enabled smartphones and tablets and your PC, laptop or other computer. Let’s say that the dual flash drive is a bridge between mobile computing and PC computing.

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If you are like me, there must have been times when you needed to copy files from one mobile device to another, or from mobile to PC, or PC to mobile. It may just be a need to backup the content on your smartphone to a flash drive for use in a possible number of scenarios later. The problem is that the existing flash drives can be plugged into smartphones that have USB-on-the-go functionality only with an adapter. Should the adapter go missing (or be forgotten at home), you are unable to do anything. A dual flash drive solves this problem.

In addition to the standard USB connector that plugs into a PC, a dual flash drive has a second connector that plugs into the smaller USB port of a smartphone. Just as there are dual flash drives for Android smartphones and tablets, there are dual flash drives for iPhone and iPad devices as well.

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A dual flash drive is also called a 2-in-1 micro-USB drive
A dual flash drive or OTG flash drive

What Is OTG?

OTG is an abbreviation of USB On-The-Go. It is also often referred to as USB OTG. It is a technology that lets you plug in and use USB devices like USB flash drive, mouse, or keyboard with smartphones and other gadgets. So, an OTG-enabled smartphone can read a flash drive just like a PC does.

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How To Use A Dual Flash Drive or OTG flash drive

You can use a dual flash drive with any standard PC by plugging the USB end into a USB port. To use it with a smartphone, however, the phone must be USB-OTG enabled. USB-OTG is the technical term for phones that can recognise a flash drive when it is plugged in. Not all smartphones have the feature.

OTG flash drive plugged into a phone

To use with a smartphone tablet, plug the micro-USB end into the appropriate slot on your phone. You should get a prompt in the notification centre showing you that a USB drive is plugged in, with the option to explore or eject it. Tap “Explore” and the file manager will be launched to show you the contents of the flash drive.

You can also directly launch the file manager and you will see the dual flash drive listed as an external USB storage.

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Eject Safely!

Do not forget to safely eject the flash drive before unplugging it. On your phone, go to Settings – Storage, and tap the USB drive eject button. You see a message that says the drive has been safely ejected. Now, you can pull out the flash drive.

Alternative To Dual Flash Drives

An alternative to getting a dual flash drive is to get an OTG cable or OTG adapter. This lets you use any standard flash drive with your OTG-enabled smartphone. USB OTG cables and adapters come in all shapes and sizes. Here is an example of one:

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A USB OTG cable is an alternative to dual flash drives
USB otg cable is an alternative to dual flash drives

If your smartphone and PC both have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi direct, you can also move files between them that way.

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Share Your Files

Now, you can easily share files and documents between your PC and smartphone with a dual flash drive or with any regular flash drive. The advantage of using a dual flash drive or regular flash drive with a cable is that you can actually keep the files on the dual flash drive and just plug it into whichever of the two devices you need to use it on per time.

Like all regular flash drives, dual flash drives come in various storage capacities. The price of each is dependent on the storage available and transfer speed. Get one that meets your specifications and discover a painless way to move files between your mobile and PC.

Sony USB flash drive
Sony was one of the first manufacturers of USB flash drives

USB Dual Flash Drive Apps

Some dual flash drives come with a compatible mobile app that you can install on your smartphone for better file management. The drives work without the app, using the smartphone’s built-in file manager, so the apps are not essential. They however tend to offer some extra convenience that might make them worth installing for you.

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Where To Buy Dual Flash Drives

While dual drives are not as popular as the standard drives yet, they are fairly commonly available already. They can be purchased from your favourite smartphone and PC accessories store, as well as from online stores like Amazon, Best buy, Jumia, Konga, AliExpress, GearBest, and others.

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