There’s a simple hack to use your Motorola Droid phone as a USB host. It is a hardware-only hack that doesn’t require you to crack open your phone, root it, or even to change firmware (although device drivers in the stock Android image may be quite limited). The dongle above is used as a key to enable the mode while the phone is booting. This was repurposed from a car charging cable by removing the wires and resistor and shorting the resistor pads. Once the phone is in host mode the dongle is swapped for a simple USB-mini to USB-A socket adapter, built from two cables you probably have lying around. Now you can plug in any device you want.
We’re fans of pinch-zooming and that means multitouch. Although the interface is natively supported by both the hardware and operating systems of the Nexus One and Droid phones, it is locked out of the stock installation. You can make multitouch work on both handsets if you’re willing to do a little firmware alteration.
The coding has already been done for you, it’s a matter of loading a custom kernel. Both the Nexus One and the Droid have been rooted, and that’s what you’ll need to do to unlock multitouch with new firmware. In addition to gaining full access to the device OS, you’ll need to load up some different apps that support pinch zooming, etc. Luckily, these are readily available and you may like them better than the stock browser, maps, and photo applications.
Droid has been rooted. It was only a matter of time but we do like to celebrate this sort of thing. Why? Because if you pay for it you should own it. This will probably spark a flame war about licensing agreements and such in the comments but answer this: if it breaks, who pays to fix it? If you’re the one paying for it, you should be able to do what you want with it.
The process seems simple. Copy the magic file onto your SD card and go through the firmware upgrade process. Just make sure you know what you’re doing so that you don’t brick this sexy device.