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Interview with a Dev – BGill55 – Mr. Incognito

Aaron: First off thanks for taking the time to hook up with me, I know it has been hectic trying to get together

bgill55: Yeah different times zones and my work and sleep schedule is not like others

Aaron: Please introduce yourself and if you don’t mind tell us a little about what you do for a living and anything else you would like to include.

bgill55: ok. Well my name is Brian Gill. I was born and raised in Las Vegas Nevada! it was kinda a different place to grow up, but I loved it! I recently moved from Las Vegas to St. George UT It is about 1 hour away from Las Vegas. I was a VIP host at a night club in LV for about 5 years and it really takes a toll on you. So I decided it was time for me to slow down and leave the scene. I have not regretted that move. I have a beautiful Wife and 2 great Kids Cameron 8 and Taelynn 6 I have my real estate License out here but the market is kinda sucky lol So on the side I do school and I am a Manager at a restaurant. I know its kinda strange work environment than everyone is used to in the Android community. I live and breathe Soccer and Android!!!

Aaron: Nice! Vegas is an easy place to get distracted, Though I’m sure living there puts a much different perspective on things. Wow raising a family and maintaining a normal lifestyle must have been a challenge. I’m glad to see that you’re enjoying the new home front!

Aaron: What got you interested in Android as an OS of choice for your Smartphone?

bgill55: Yeah in Vegas I worked Friday through Monday from about 9pm to 6am.

Well a lot of people know from my Windows Mobile days where I built ROMs for the Samsung Omnia. I think there are threads still going on from my work lol. That was really my first Smartphone but I grew tired of WM I had to do so much just to get the phone to work as it should.

bgill55:  there is that link Evidence=me I went by the name bga7x back then but had to change do to the constant PM’s and stuff like that.

Aaron: Always good to see a convert! So when you switched to Android what was your first device? And being a ROM developer for WinMo did you come into Android with the intent of developing for it?

Bgill55: yes that was the first thing I did. When I got my Android device, just started to research on how I could hack this thing WM and Android are worlds apart!!!!!! There is a lot more detail that comes into the ROM building with Android, so I had to take a step back and learn a lot more!!! This is when I got into themeing, I recently found CM and was amazed and the ROMs they were putting out but just didn’t like how they looked, and the themes that were out at the time was just Smoked glass variants. I grew tired of Smoked glass Fast!!

bgill55: So I just started to figure out how and what I needed to do to make themes! Cue in JaiThemes, I released about 3 sub-par themes at this time still trying to get my feet wet. We kind of just started talking. He knew I needed help and at the same time he was putting together his themeing guide. He would send a few pages to me to read and make sure it was easy to follow, after reading that thing over and over everything just clicked in my head .9 images were never a problem for me, Smali and baksmali became second nature! He then offered me server space and a place to put up my own stuff.  So I really am forever thankful for him and taking the time to show me the ropes so to speak.

Aaron: Hahaha! I agree there, Smoked Glass and its variants while cool do grow tiresome quickly, I never had a WM device myself but almost instantly I wanted to get into themeing on Android since my phone came with stock Android (Droid) I learned really quick though that themeing Android is not for the faint of heart. Speaking of JaiThemes! I managed to snag an Interview with him last week!

Aaron: What project(s) are you currently working on? Anything you can give a hint on coming down the pipeline? Are you currently working with any other community members on these projects?

bgill55: Well right now I have a few things going on. The Incognito Color Series is in full swing with about 6 different colors. We are trying to take the Brand to more devices. My good friend JsinLegacy has “joined” the Incognito team with his help we are going to port to the Droid X and that has really taken off. As far as Incognito goes Skurtz1313 (Steve) is really my right hand man, he does so much work and fast and good quality  a lot of people don’t know him he is fairly new to the themeing world but he is light years past where I was at that stage! hmmm “BS Themes” got a good ring to it lol. Droidforums.net was nice enough to give me my own section to keep all my stuff together!

Aaron: BS Themes, Hahaha! Thats great!

Aaron: A lot of people just don’t understand what it takes to get quality work out there, I have seen developers putting in anywhere from 10-15 hours a week all the way to 30-40 hrs a week. I think people are sometimes put off by the “donation” links but I also believe it’s because they just don’t understand what it takes. About how much time are you able to devote to Android developement in an Average week?

bgill55: It really is a full time job. The amount of time we put into this is mind blowing. I can honestly say I put in about 25-30 hours a week. 18 of those are all on twitter 😉 no seriously though 25-30 hours. The time we put in and the “donations” we get in return are not equal I can honestly say if people are doing this for money they are in the wrong field! Yes donations are nice, not for the money but I like it because people enjoy what you put out and give you a small token of their appreciation, it feels good!

Aaron: I can totally understand the analogy to a full time job. That is one of the main reasons I ask that question in all my interviews, People need to know the blood sweat and beers that go into making a good looking Android device.

Aaron: I know you mentioned starting to work on porting your themes to the Droid X are there any other devices you are looking at supporting? What device(s) are you looking forward to in the coming months?

bgill55: I want to hit all the big ones. The ROM team I’m am working for (Crystal Clear ROMs) are building multi device ROMs and the way they are setting it up, is that one theme will work on any device. So if I build a theme for Sapphire(Droid 1) it will work on Ruby(Incredible) and Obsidian(Droid X) so that will be nice but with the team that I’m setting up I’m hoping to do multiple devices and multiple ROM Developers.

Aaron: Excellent, They (CCROMs) are a pretty good team! I have played with Sapphire a few times on my Droid and was really impressed with it. For being a relatively new crew they are making serious headway in the ROM community starting out very small with just a source built Droid ROM! It’s very nice to see that they are looking cross platform, I’m sure that may not make your life easiest as a themer but in the end it helps Android and it helps get your name out there on more devices without having to own all the devices out there! Very exciting stuff!

bgill55: yes indeed!

Aaron: That does it for the formal Q & A session. Now it’s time for the more entertaining questions…

bgill55: lol ok cool these are fun!

Aaron: Do you have anything you would like to say to the community at large?

bgill55: hmm! Well I’m not sure if you were aware of the Ultimate Droid fiasco about 3 weeks ago!!

bgill55: I guess I would like to say sorry! But I was defending my work and still fell it was the only way to get things across to them 🙂

Aaron: What handset are you rocking now?

bgill55: Droid 1!  Trying to save up for the Droid X but it is slow going lol, family and Coach Purses come first I guess lol

Aaron: I love my Droid! I don’t really see a better device out there right now… I’m not really fond of the Droid X’s physical buttons I really dig the Droid’s capacitive buttons! Have you told your wife about the AndroidSwag purses? They are cheaper 😉

Aaron: Do you have any good Android convert stories?

bgill55: My Wife, She rocks the Droid 1 as well and I have to make a pretty theme for here once every 2 months that is why she lets me do this stuff!!!

Bgill55: Yes My little Brother was a die-hard iPhone users he kept showing be how he could jail break it and do all this stuff to it. I was like cool I really don’t push Android on anyone to much, to me its like talking about religion people have their beliefs nothing I say or do will change their mind, but it got to the point of him calling me stupid for being on android. So I pulled out my Phone and showed him what it could do then I took him to my computer and compiled a quick ROM for him with little things he asked for then I put it on my phone. (credit CM source) 🙂 needless to say he does a lot of my bitch work on his droid now! Lol

Aaron: HAHAHA! Now thats a good convert! What is your #1 Android must have app?

bgill55: well I flash my phone about 30 times a day so I really never truly have a complete setup, I just make sure it isn’t broke before I leave the house, but the app right now I’m most interested in and enjoying is Anderwebs and Eliot Stoker’s fLockscreen it has been really fun to theme!

Here are a couple of screenshots of fLockscreen themed: number 1 and number 2

Aaron: Ahhh of course the app I somehow fell asleep while he asked for beta tester requests! It sounds like it’s going to be a great app for sure! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Aaron: Ok last one! Are you coming to the Big Android BBQ!

bgill55: Yes got my Plane ticket last week and Just got my BBQ ticket yesterday in my email!! Cant wait to meet everybody!!! Wife thinks I’m a freak!!! or I’m cheating on her one of the two lol

Aaron: Its definitely going to a great time for sure! I will be great getting to meet the community members and have a good time have a few beers and enjoy some good food!

bgill55: yes indeed!! You will be there right? I want to say hello!

Aaron: I’m going to be there, I’m driving out of Tampa on Thursday evening.
Thanks again for taking the time to sit down with me, I really appreciate it! And thanks for what you do for the community!

bgill55: thank you for chatting with me!