Welcome to the very first installment in our new Android Influencers series. Every week or so, we'll highlight some of the Android community's most influential players, whether they're app developers, die-hard fans, phone company execs, or anyone else who has made a huge impact on the ecosystem surrounding Google's mobile operating system.
We're kicking things off with a familiar face: Marques Brownlee (Mahr-keez Brown-lee). Often referred to by his stage name, MKBHD, he's the star and producer of his own YouTube channel where he reviews all the latest Android-powered smartphones. His reviews are often promoted by other sites and he's particularly well known for "hanging out" on air with Android's bigwigs, like Motorola's CEO, Dennis Woodside. We made the interviewer the interviewee to find out why he does what he does, and where he'll go from here.
Greenbot: How did you even get started making videos?
Brownlee: I started making software tutorials in the form of screencasts about 6 years ago. I made dozens of "how-to" videos about software for months and eventually started covering paid software. Then, I finally bought a camera and started talking about hardware. Since day one, the whole point has been to make videos about what interests me and produce stuff that I'd want to watch.
Why do you think your videos have resonated so well with so many Android users?
I think my videos are a bit closer to home than the typical phone reviewer who's trying to review six other phones at the same time. I actually take time to get out and use the devices I review as a daily driver, and then I come back with my opinions as a user. It's more of a buddy giving advice to a friend, rather than a cold, objective review video.
Do you plan on making this your lifelong career or are you just riding it out as a hobby until you move on to something else?
I never want to stop making videos. It's too much fun!
How long have you been an Android user?
I've been using Android off-and-on since the original Motorola Droid was released—2009!
What's the phone you're sporting now and why?
I'm currently rocking the OnePlus One. It's a weird phone, but I love it. I'll be reviewing it soon! [Ed. note: Since our interview, Brownlee published his review.]
What's one app you can't live without?
I can't live without Google Now, but that's too easy. I'll go with Spotify. I take my music with me wherever I go.