Are you from an Android or iOS state? If you haven't seen this map which highlights the dominant smartphone platform in each state, it's worth a look. And as you'd expect, the founders of the largest online Android community on the Web, Taylor and Clark Wimberley are from an Android state. Android and Me covers all the latest Android news, phone launches, app reviews, software updates, Android hacks, phone accessories ... anything that touches the world of Android users.
For quick update on the world of Android before the upcoming CES show in Vegas, we checked in with the brothers about what the big stories of 2012 will be for Android – and their current favorite apps and hardware.
There isn't much about you on the site apart from your reviews ... We know you're brothers. What else should we know about you?
CLARK: We grew up in South Texas, where our dad serviced computers and our mom was a teacher. As you can imagine, we grew up pretty nerdy - Taylor getting into hardware while I took to design and code.
TAYLOR: Our dad sold and serviced computers when we were young, so we grew up geeks. Clark's first job was as a professional web developer for the videogame company NC Soft and my first job was at CompUSA where I was hired as a door greeter and went on to become the Technical Sales Manager. Before we started Android and Me, we considered building a networked community site about cooking called BBQheroes.com. I left Android and Me in 2011 to work for NetShelter as a Product Manager. After six months away, I decided to return to the site since it was my true passion.
And how did 2 brothers decide to build the largest Android community on the Web?
TAYLOR: We always wanted to build an active online community, but didn't want to follow the traditional forums experience. Clark started getting into WordPress development and that provided us the platform to do what we wanted. I purchased the first Android phone when I pre-ordered the T-Mobile G1 and I instantly knew it was going to be a hit. At first I started blogging as a hobby, but then Clark joined full-time and helped take the site to the level it is today.
What's unique about the Android community you’ve built?
CLARK: We've got the most active community that isn't forum-based. We have a unique ranking system that allows users to score points for leaving comments or having other users upvoting those comments. All active users are ranked on a true percentile and everyone carries their influence with them around the site. We added 7,000 users in the month of December alone and we've now got more repeat users than guests leaving comments.
You're based in Austin Texas, home of SXSW and outside the Silicon Valley reality distortion field. How does that give you an edge – or does it?
TAYLOR: Being based in Texas gives us a huge advantage. Austin has a growing talent pool and the cost of doing business is much less than California. We are able to maintain a lean operation and move more quickly than some of our larger competitors. SXSW has become the premier launchpad for mobile applications and a growing number of mobile developers are located in Austin.
What are your favorite Android hardware products right now and why?
TAYLOR: My favorite phone is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Samsung makes the best displays, Verizon has the largest 4G LTE network, and Ice Cream Sandwich offers the best user experience of any version of Android. The ASUS Transformer Prime is my favorite Android tablet. It features NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor which offers the fastest performance and longest battery life. ASUS has also demonstrated some of the best customer support with their frequent, speedy software updates.
CLARK: I'm currently using the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I love the 1280x720 screen and the stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience is totally my favorite yet. Before the Galaxy Nexus, I had a Nexus S, and before that a Nexus One, so you could say I'm a fan of the pure experience. My favorite tablet right now is the Samsung Tab 7.0 Plus, which is the smallest tablet I own but somehow feels just right. It's also got a built-in IR port that can control my TV, which is pretty rad.
What are your Top 5 must-have Android apps?
There were 3.7 million Android devices activated over the holidays. Is 2012 the year Android eclipses iOS?
CLARK: Android is already passing iOS, but 2012 is going to be the year you see Android everywhere. It's going to be in your car, in your fridge, in your TV, and in the robots that build all those things.
TAYLOR: Android has already eclipsed iOS in popularity and sales in the US and many countries around the world. In 2012, we will see Android make strong gains in tablets, TVs, smartwatches, netbooks, and other connected devices.
What will be the big Android stories of 2012?
TAYLOR: Mobile market continues to consolidate, Android tablets overtake iOS, Intel finally enters the mobile processor market and does poorly, Google expands voice input options, a focus on longer battery life, Quad-core processors, Google TV goes mainstream, Android-powered smartwatches that don't suck, wireless charging gains popularity, new low-power display technologies like Qualcomm's Mirasol, Chrome Browser comes to Android.
Android and Me is a SAY Media partner. Follow your new Android friends on Twitter @androidandme