USB ANT Stick
As of version 1.0.1 of IpBike and IpSensorMan you can have ANT support without having ANT support built into your phone as announced in this ANT press release. Basically you need a phone that supports USB Host mode with a suitable version of Android. The version of Android needs to be 3.1 or above. Some tablets with 3.1 may have a full-sized USB-A port like you would have on a PC. Phones will need to be Android 4.0+ and you will normally need a USB OTG cable. You then need a USB ANT stick. There are a number of manufacturers. The Garmin one is readily available but the Sunnto Movestick mini being far smaller is probably a better choice. With a suitable phone and the ability to plug in a suitable USB ANT stick you need the ANT USB Service application which acts as the driver level between the USB ANT stick and the ANT Radio Services application which IpSensorMan interfaces with.
So how to tell if a phone is USB HOST capable. This is far from easy the manufacturers are not advertising the feature at all well, and as well as the phone being capable at the hardware level you need suitable support in the Android version. If the 1.0.1 version of IpSensorMan is installed on a none natively ANT capable phone that has not had ANT USB Service installed on it then it will check if the phone thinks it is USB Host mode capable. If so you get a dialog message with a link to install ANT USB Service. If it is not capable you get a simple message saying you have no need for IpSensorMan. Even this invitation to install ANT USB Services is unfortunatly no garantee that things will work just an indication that they may.
Looking at reports on the web it looks like the Galaxy SII, SIII, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note all have the necessary hardware for USB Host mode and with an ICS update they should hopefully get the necessary Android support. The Nexus and the Note and S III all have pressure sensors so should make good bike computers with an ANT USB stick. Outside of the ANT capable phones the SII is the most common phone amongst IpBike users which is good to see.
I have done some testing of this now and made some improvements in the 1.0.2 version of IpSensorMan. After installing the ANT USB Service application and the ANT Radio Services application I had to restart the phone. After this IpSensorMan / IpBike will use your ANT USB stick if it is plugged in. The first time you try and use the stick after plugging it in you have to click though the following system dialog to give permission.
Unfortunately selecting Use by default for this USB device did not look to stop the dialog if you unplugged the stick and then plugged it back in again. You should not take too long pressing OK as I only wait about 20 seconds before timing out. If it does time out just start the sensor again.
Feedback welcome in the forum post or direct by email to me.
Here is a review on Google Play from someone with it working OK on an S III.