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Paragon's Android app mounts almost any external hard drive on a phone or tablet

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Paragon has launched NTFS and HFS+ for Android, which allows users to mount a Mac or PC-formatted hard drive on any Android device that supports USB storage.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (STOCK)
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (STOCK)

Even on desktop computers, hard drive formatting can make it difficult to swap external drives between machines running different operating systems. On mobile devices, it's even less convenient, but software company Paragon hopes to make Android phones and tablets compatible with drives formatted for Mac or Windows. NTFS and HFS+ for Android, launched today in beta, is free on the Play Store. It will work on anything running Android 2.3 or higher, but you'll need to be running one of the devices that support USB storage, like the Xoom, Galaxy Tab, or Galaxy S III, have root access, and use an adapter to connect the hard drive.

The chances of being able to use this app aren't incredibly high, but for phones or tablets that support loading USB storage, this has some obvious practical applications. It's also interesting to see Paragon, which originally launched its compatibility software only for manufacturers, reaching out to consumers directly.