For those of you just tuning in, I figured it’d be a great time to tell you a little bit about myself and about Android Unfiltered’s history, mission and goals as a site. And for those who don’t already know, my name is Tony Simons and I am the founder and creator of Android Unfiltered. I also write all of the articles you see here on the site – I hope you like ’em!
I have a background in IT and a bachelors degree in web design. Unfortunately, my work history doesn’t support my previous statement, as I was a long-time waiter in several different restaurants, and I’m currently a Medicaid Billing Specialist for a company that provides supports to individuals with mental illness.
It’s a decent enough job, but it’s not what I was put on this planet to do. That’s a completely different story for another time and place, though.
I also have 4 amazing kids, a wonderful girlfriend and an annoyingly lovable mutt, named Carl.
The untold history of Android Unfiltered
I got into writing back in 2011, when I launched an Android website called OMG!Droid. It started off as a blog, but quickly evolved into a legitimate website with a massive following. It probably grew too quickly for its own good, because I still had a lot of learning to do and wasn’t necessarily ready to take on a task of that magnitude.
It isn’t easy running a well-respected publication. There were many sleepless nights and sacrifices made in those days. As I’m sure there will be in the future – but now, I’m a bit more prepared.
Learning from my mistakes
OMG!Droid unfortunately met its untimely demise sometime in 2013, after an excellent two-year run. Long story short, life got in the way. Finances were tough, I was approached with an offer by someone who wanted to buy the domain name for $500. I accepted their offer.
It sounded like a great idea at the time, but turned out to be the worst mistake of my life. I sold the domain name and lost my entire two years’ worth of work – my entire soul – for a lousy half-grand. I also sold out on some folks who were near and dear to me.
But enough about the past. Let’s talk about how the concept for Android Unfiltered came about. I had been wanting to get back into the business for quite some time. I actually built another site, but never went through with the launch because I wasn’t 100% in love with the concept. I won’t even tell you the name of it, because I hated it so badly.
The idea that forever changed the future
I was sitting around listening to the UFC Unfiltered podcast – great show for MMA fans, by the way. That’s when it hit me – ANDROID UNFILTERED! It’s the perfect name to compliment my unfiltered views and snarky ways.
I asked my girlfriend, Lauren, if she thought it was a good idea. Being the awesome, supportive woman she is, she was on board. She could give a shit about tech, honestly, but she wants to see me happy. Android and creating content are what make me happy, so she gave it the green light and I didn’t look back.
On July 1st, I dove in head first. I bought a hosting package and the AU domain name, and I got to work. I promoted the hell out of the brand on social media, while building the site itself and stocking up with content for launch.
We went live on August 1st, 2017.
Since I still had the old OMG!Droid accounts for Google+ (76k+ followers) and Facebook, I just re-branded the Google+ page to match the new digs. There are a number of our old friends still active over there, luckily.
You can’t change a Facebook page’s name, that I’m aware of, so the OMG!Droid Facebook still exits. I share our posts there still, as it has over 1,000 followers. Might as well, right?
The launch itself went smooth, with about 25 articles on the site at the time. That total continues to grow, as I put wear and tear on my keyboard, which I look forward to putting plenty of miles on in the coming years here at Android Unfiltered.
Our initial responses from the community have been great. Folks have been visiting the site and commenting on our articles, which makes this all worthwhile.
Upcoming site redesign
I built everything and designed all of the graphics you see here on the site, at the time of this post. While it looks decent, I am by no means a professional web or graphic designer, even with my IT background and – ironically enough – degree in web design.
As such, I’ve recruited the help of Nitish Saxena to completely redo the site and get everything looking a bit more professional. He’s already hard at work on the back-end, so I’ve been focusing on creating content and making new contacts, so that we stay with a steady stream of stuff to review for you here on the site.
Speaking of which, while we are an Android site, we love all sorts of tech. We’ll be reviewing all types of stuff here, even if it’s not 100% Android-related. This isn’t a common practice in the industry, which makes us stand out from the crowd.
We strive to be unique and create as much 100% hand-crafted content as humanly possible. That said, we only focus on the biggest new stories, as we don’t want to regurgitate the same headlines you read on every other site.
Android Headlines, I’m lookin’ at you here.
Nitish did the entire site design for my good friend, Cliff Wade, over at TechDissected – another excellent site I suggest you give a look. His work there speaks volumes for itself, so he’s a great addition to the AU family.
What I’d like to see for the future of Android Unfiltered
I want this site to grow into an even bigger and better site than OMG!Droid ever was. That was a great learning experience, but it was more of a stepping stone to this next level. I won’t stop, even after I accomplish this goal, as there’s no rest for the wicked.
I’d like to make this into my full-time job. At the current time, that’s a ways down the line. We’re just barely getting our feet wet, in terms of monetization. We have Amazon Affiliates set up, Adsense, and now Best Buy is on board, as well. I’ve also started a paid app review service, that I hope will eventually take off and create another stream of income to help keep the site afloat.
I don’t want, nor do I expect to get rich. But I know I can turn this thing into a respectful and legitimate business with a little blood, sweat and tears, and a ton of legwork along the way. I’m fully on board and committed to doing so. And, if there’s one thing I learned from past mistakes, I’ll never sell out again. I’m here for the long haul.
I’d like to thank each and ever person reading this. I’d also like to thank everyone who’s ever helped me out along the way on this wild ride. If it wasn’t for you guys, there’s no telling where I’d be.
I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible. If there’s ever any content you’d like to see here on the site, of if you have any ideas on ways we can improve things, don’t hesitate to reach out via the Contact page. Providing a top-notch user experience is at the forefront of our priorities.
With that, I’ll apologize for the long read and drop the mic now. Thanks again for stopping by to learn a little bit more about myself and Android Unfiltered.
While I still have your attention, let me point you in the direction of our social media channels. Feel free to follow us wherever you’d like.