Prolific launches Android SDK for USB Serial Devices

Prolific has just announced the release of their USB serial adapter SDK for Android. We’ve just completed quick testing on an Android 4.1 tablet (Asus Transformer TF300) of the recently released Prolific USB Serial “QuickTest” App, using our Plugable USB Serial Adapter (which uses the Prolific PL2303HXD chipset). More details on the SDK are available on prolific’s site here.

It is exciting to see support for USB serial converters on Android since so many of the quick configuration tasks for network equipment are ideally performed from a highly mobile device like a tablet. In our testing we were able to consistently transfer data at a 9600 baud rate by using the OS X screen command on one side, and the Prolific Android Quick Test application.

Setup is very quick and easy: just download the .zip file from the Prolific site linked above, extract it, and copy the “pl2303HXDSimpleTest.apk” to your Android device. You may need to enable the option to install applications from non market (Google Play) sources. While the application should run on any Android 3.2 or later device, only tablets with USB OTG “on-the-go” support will be able to access the USB serial device. For example the ASUS TF300 worked, however a Motorola Droid 4 did not.

After installing the application, you’ll need to “open” the connection, and a quick notification will appear for a few seconds in the app (not the “normal” Android notification system). If your system doesn’t offer a connection verification, it may be that your Android device does not support USB OTG. To verify an active connection, watch for the Baud rate notification message pictured below.

android_serial_connection

3 comments on “Prolific launches Android SDK for USB Serial Devices”

  1. 99guspuppet Reply

    I eagerly tried out the Prolific test app. Kudos to Prolific for creating it. The app partially worked for me. I continue to check it out with an Archos 80 G9 tablet. I see flaws in the implementation in any case.

    If an error occurs, there seems no easy way to reset the app. I will study the documentation to see what can be improve at my end.

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