It's Wednesday afternoon and you're thirsting for an APK of the latest Google app update, because Google Play hasn't pushed it out to your phone yet. Where do you go? Android Police, of course.
The site is not only known as offering up apps before they're available on the Google Play store, but it's also the go-to site for software teardowns, often finding hidden or upcoming features in the latest Android OS and app releases. If you're aching to know what Google won't tell you about Android, you'll likely find it at Android Police.
We've often been inspired by the site and its intrepid team of bloggers, too, which is why we asked Artem Russakovskii to chat with us for our Android Influencers series. Here's what he has to say about the site's infamous APK teardowns and what he thinks the Android blogosphere is lacking.
Greenbot: Android Police is famous for its APK teardowns. When did you guys start tearing apart apps and why? How do you decide who does what?
Russakovski: We started tearing down APKs in mid-2012, and once Ron Amadeo [Ed. note: former reviewer extraordinaire] and I had done the first few, it was obvious to us that this is the kind of content people really liked. It's somewhere between rumors and facts—stuff found in APK teardowns is based on facts, but it's not guaranteed to come true.
Until Ron's departure to Ars Technica, he was the primary teardown master. When he left, I formed a teardown team—currently 6 people strong—all with skills of doing or aiding in doing complete teardowns. Once a new APK arrives, whoever is available jumps in and starts poking around.
Greenbot: Does most of your team have a development background? Is that a criteria for working at Android Police?
Russakovski: I have a background in Computer Science and, prior to starting Android Police, was a software engineer and System Administrator/Database Administrator. These skills are very useful in running a self-hosted site and dealing with developer-oriented topics. Three other team members are currently developers as well.
While it's not a criteria for working at AP, having a developer background is a huge plus.
Greenbot: What do you think the Android blogosphere is lacking, and what does it desperately need?
Russakovski: I think a higher standard for posting rumors and passing off rumors as news is needed, but is, unfortunately, oftentimes traded for page views instead. Some sites are guilty of this more than others, and we oftentimes pass on stories deemed unreliable and full of fluff. One thing I'd really love to see is a comprehensive and up-to-date list of rumors, their origins, and statuses. Sorsed is an attempt to do just that, but it's lacking data and users.
Greenbot: How long have you personally been an Android user?
Russakovski: I started using Android in 2009 with the HTC Hero.
Greenbot: What's the phone you're currently sporting and why?
Russakovski: I am using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 after voting down the Nexus 5 last October. The plan is to switch to a OnePlus One in the nearest future, as I'm tired of carrier locks, TouchWiz bloat, slow updates, and eventual abandonment.
I picked the Note 3 because it was at the time one of the best devices in the phablet range, which is the size I prefer.
What's one app you can't live without?
Russakovski: FolderSync is a must for anyone looking to sync files between various storage mediums and their Android devices. It's highly configurable and is usually one of the first apps I install.