Jul 02 AT 10:42 AM Brooks Barnard 41 Comments

Meet Android and Me: Brooks Barnard

Brooks Banard Fam

Hi AAM friends. I’m Brooks Barnard. I’m a graduate student at Washington State University. I’m married to a beautiful wife and we have two kids together. I enjoy watching sports, especially Formula 1 and BYU football.  I also really really like me some Android.

Brooks Barnard bio 1

I was born in San Diego, CA. During the time I spent there, I loved playing on the beaches and competing in BMX. When I was seven, my father picked up a job at this company named Microsoft and moved us to Redmond, WA. So, I don’t really claim California as where I’m from. I grew up in Redmond and it was pretty good to me.

197323_10100124334426544_1043184426_nWhile in Junior High, I met my wife. She wasn’t my wife at the time; we got married several years later. Those years I was more interested in skateboarding and punk music than anything else really.  My wife and I dated all through high school and got married while I was working on my undergraduate at Brigham Young University.

It was during this time that I purchased my first smartphone. I had always resisted having mobile phones. In high school my parents gave me a phone that was my dad’s old work phone but I “accidentally” lost it because I didn’t want my mom to always be able to get a hold of me. While at college, I finally gave in and began carrying a flip phone. My wife was way into phones, and when our contracts ended on our parents’ plans we obviously began shopping around for phones and providers.  I can’t remember where we read this exactly, but I specifically remember reading around 2009 to basically stay away from any smartphones that weren’t iPhones or BlackBerrys. We were planning to switch to T-Mobile, and I remember a rep trying to sell me on a G1, but we passed. My wife was set on the BlackBerry 8900 and had to beg me to get a smartphone. She convinced me to also pick up an 8900, and the joke’s on her, I basically became obsessed with mobile technology after that.

About a month before I graduated with my BS in Mechanical Engineering, we had our son. Our son will choose watching Myth Busters over Yo Gabba Gabba any day (I’m the one that likes Yo Gabba Gabba), and I’m sure he’s another engineer in the making. His current favorite things to learn about are volcanoes and dams. He tells everyone he’s a vulcanologist and is pretty sure he knows EVERYTHING at the ripe old age of four because “he’s a scientist.”

Brooks Barnard Bio 2After graduating from BYU, I left to pursue a graduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Washington State University. I’ve always had a passion for aerospace and, later in life, a passion for auto racing. So, I pursued an education in advanced materials. I currently research aerospace materials, which keeps me pretty busy. I basically try to come up with new materials or processes, make the materials and then burn or break the materials and try to learn about them. It’s not a bad gig.

I mentioned I also have a daughter. We had her about 22 months ago and she’s a perfect addition to our family. She’s all girl. She loves wearing necklaces and pretty shoes. She’s a little firecracker and we love having her around. Her current favorite things are: Not letting me help her climb or descend stairs anymore and pretending to change her doll’s diapers.

While I was on T-Mobile and was looking around for my next device after the 8900, I stumbled upon TmoNews. I followed David’s blog pretty religiously and bought my first Android phone on T-Mobile the day it was released, the T-Mobile G2x made by LG. I actually strongly disliked that phone, but it didn’t stop me from sticking with Android

Then one day, David was looking for some interns at DroidDog and I applied. This was a little over a year ago. One of my favorite things about writing for an Android news source is sharing apps and ways to improve the Android experience. It really makes my day when I’m able to help and interact with you. This is what makes this job really fun.

What I’m most excited about

I’m really excited to be writing for Android and Me. This is an amazing Android site with a great crew of writers. Coming over here has made me feel like a novice all over again, but I enjoy learning and I’m excited to learn how I can best contribute here. I’m super excited about the future and interacting with you though posts, comments and threads. The Android and Me readers love to comment and interact, and I couldn’t be more excited. At DroidDog we didn’t have a forum, and I’m super excited to have a forum to ask and answer questions. I recently wrote a post about improving your experience with your Nexus 7, and it was clear to me that there are plenty of readers here who are very technical and know their stuff regarding Android. I’m excited provide help and ideas as well as get help and ideas from you friends. I’m way excited to be here.

What I’m going to do here at Android and Me

For now, it looks like I’ll be contributing with a little bit of everything. I’ll do a little news, editorials, reviews, and I’d like to get some more polls going with AAM. I’ll be sharing my opinions that will be my own. They may or may not be the same as other writers on the site. Additionally, as I already stated, as I find out awesome things to do with my Android devices I want to share them with you. I want everyone to have a rad experience with Android. I think Android is awesome.

What devices have I owned?

I’m just going to list smartphones here (in order): BlackBerry 8900, T-Mobile G2x by LG, Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Sprint Samsung Galaxy Nexus, GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a Nexus 4.Brooks Barnard Screen shot

Tablets (in order): Vizio Vtab1008 (I obviously pick my first Android devices wisely #sarcasm), Nexus 7, I owned 2 different Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0s at different times, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

What phone do I daily drive?

I’m currently using the 16 GB Nexus 4 on AT&T. I’m running CM10.1 stable build and I typically run the stable Franco.Kernel. I basically run this Rom-kernel combo because I’ve been really lazy about modding my device lately, and these offer the customization I want with stability and little effort. However, lately I’m dealing with this issue where my Nexus 4 won’t charge beyond 85% and I’m trying to work that out. This device may be going back to warranty soon.

Facts about me

  • I’m not vegan, but I pretty much eat a vegan diet. When I cheat I go out for BBQ and have a pulled pork sandwich.
  • My favorite beverage is water. I really love to drink a lot of water.
  • I played bass guitar in a punk band in high school. I later had a solo act with my acoustic guitar where I wrote songs about items on the Taco Bell menu.
  • I once won a Vespa in a drawing at Target.
  • My wife thinks she’s hilarious.
  • I wore braces for 7 years. I think I got them on when I was in 4th grade and wore them until my junior year in high school.
  • I’ve pretty much been going to school full time since the fall of 2006 (summers included). I took off half a summer in 2009 before starting grad school.
  • I never watch or go to the movies. My wife and I like to spend our evening watching or re-watching sitcoms. We’re big fans of Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, etc.
  • I once worked for an iPod repair company but I quit around the time the iPhone came out, so I’ve never repaired one of those. I was pretty handy at repairing those old iPod Videos, Minis, 2nd gen Nanos…  That era.

Well, that’s probably enough about me. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ll try to be around as often as I can today to answer back and comment. You will most likely find me on Twitter, and I’d love to talk to you there. I also have neglected Facebook and G+ profiles. THANK YOU for the warm welcome here. I’m super excited to be a part of your community.

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • triangle

    Welcome. I love the yo gabba gabba outfits.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Thanks! My wife made my daughter’s Muno costume.

  • jerrbomb

    Thank you for contributing… You definitely inspire me to continue on being a techy.. This site is as real as it gets and yiu just proved it..

  • Andy_jr

    Welcome aboard!

  • Thomas Biard

    Brooks, are you wanting to pursue the materials side of mobile devices, and eventually get into that aspect of design, or is AAM just a hobby/moonlighting thing? Just curious.

    What types of materials do you currently test? Composites? Steels? Plastics?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      It was initially Formula 1 and a boyhood interest in fighter jets that drove me to pursue engineering and then advanced materials. I’d say writing and Android in general is a hobby to me and something that allows me to take my mind off of school and research for a little while.

      I currently research composites, specifically polymer nanocomposites. The materials I currently work with aren’t very practical for consumer products at this time. They’d be more useful in places like aerospace where you’re trying to squeeze every once of performance out of a material you can while trying to save weight. I do think it would be cool to do design and material selection for the mobile industry. I would be pretty stoked if I ended up with a job in mobile.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Welcome sir. I look Forward to your opinions on Everything Android related in the ccoming months. How close are you to inventing materials for a battery that phone doesn’t burn through in less than 5 hours?
    Also on a scale of 1-10 how much did you hate the name of sprints galaxy s 2?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I’m nowhere near inventing new batteries, but I know several people doing university research that are working pretty hard on it. It’s a pretty hot topic right now. Next generation batteries and green batteries are definitely buzzwords in the research field and there seems to be a lot of funding headed that way.

      In regards to the SGSII E4GT, a 10 for hate. The name is ridiculous. I really really liked the device but it had a stupid name.

  • franrich

    Welcome to the huddle. As you know the mobile arena is as fast as formula 1. Again welcome.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      It sure seems like it… It’s definitely a chore trying to keep up with both.

  • jamal adam

    Welcome to the AAM family.

  • Pravas

    Welcome.. :)

  • Ross Pendleton

    Hey Brooks! I recently joined AndroidDoes, so I know exactly how you’re feeling! Good luck, and I look forward to reading your posts! And by the way, I also have a N4! :)

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Well, best of luck with your work with AndroidDoes! I love my Nexus 4. I biggest complaint is that I feel like I have to always have a case on it. This is the first time I’ve ever consistently used a case on a phone. I definitely prefer my phones naked.

  • Jonathan Baker

    Welcome! I also love the YGG outfits and am thinking about doing that this year with my son and daughter. I’m a Brobee fan, but he really likes Muno better.

  • nivekkev

    Welcome, glad to meet you and your nice family. Looking forward to reading more of your post. Nice job so far, keep up the good work.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Thanks! We actually paired up with another family that had a boy and two girls, so we had the whole crew that Halloween. Muno was a little short though…

      • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

        I just realized that this reply was supposed to go to Jonathan Baker. Thanks for the welcome!

        • nivekkev

          LOL. NP

  • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

    I’ve gotten a lot of welcomes and I’m kind of lazy so I’m going to combine the thanks for the welcomes received thus far here. Again, I’m really excited about being a part of the AAM community and I really feel like we have an awesome bunch of writers with awesomely different backgrounds. There will be lots of good material to read…

  • Steve Barry

    Brooks, welcome aboard. Sounds like a good background, but I have an issue with one specific part:

    I played bass guitar in a punk band in high school. I later had a solo act with my acoustic guitar where I wrote songs about items on the Taco Bell menu.

    I don’t buy it for a minute and the only way to sway the masses (yes, I consider myself the masses) is to give us a few lines from one of these songs about items on the Taco Bell menu. Mad bonus points if you have one about the Chili Cheese Burrito, which is probably their greatest invention ever.

    • Steve Barry

      Oh yeah, and I can totally relate to the daughter wanting to do everything themselves. I have a little more than 2-year old and her new favorite phrase is “I do it” when it comes to EVERYTHING, especially buckling herself into her car seat. Kids are awesome.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Well, it all started with being involved with this Taco Lovers Club in high school. I was the vice vice president. I wrote a song about Tacos as a joke and it kind of turned out to be a hit with everyone I share it with. I tried to follow it up with a song about burritos, but it hasn’t been as well received. I should add also that the Taco Song’s popularity among friends is probably due to the act more than the lyrics. That being said, here are some lyrics to the Burrito song:

      So there’s that special person standing there
      in the colorful Taco Bell wear
      They have a twinkle in their eye
      They ask me, “What would you like to buy?”
      And I say, “Two tacos, two burritos no onions
      and a cinnamon twist and a water.”
      Then I think to myself and I smile
      cause it’ll all be under five dollars.

      Then I say, Taaaaaco Bell, you’re the one for me…
      Cause Taco Bell, you’re practically for freeeeeeeee

      I’ve never actually written down these lyrics before… just keep them up in my noggin…

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    If your wife wants to go to a movie, take her out to a movie!

    I was in school from Fall 2000 – Spring 2008 full time, but not all summers did I take summer school. Still, 16 straight semesters plus maybe 4-5 summer sessions is a lot of school. That was for a BA in history and an MBA. Thought about doing some courses to get a CPA but I decided not to after taking a few classes. Got other things going.

    I’m presuming you are new (honestly I do not keep up with who writes what, so if you’re not new new then sorry), welcome to the site!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      My wife doesn’t want to go to movies. We just like to watch TV shows on Netfilx and fall asleep on the couch.

      I’m not sure I’d recommend plowing through school like I did and it sounds like you did I really don’t know any other way. I have a family to support so it seemed like the most logical, but I have to battle burn out all the time. It’s pretty exhausting. Research can keep things exciting though…

      • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

        If I was in materials science I think I would be less burnt out dude. Sounds like an awesome job/position. I’m just a commercial property appraiser and it is boooorrringggg. Going into the restaurant business though with my buddy and business partner. Currently we have a gyro shop and want to expand.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

          I LOVE gyros. Best of luck serving the public with great food!

  • Max.Steel

    Welcome to A&Me. How do you juggle family life with graduate school work with blogging and keeping up with F1 and mobile tech?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Well, my post frequency will definitely vary on here. David has been super flexible with me, kind of using me as a floater. I help out where I can. I used to contribute a lot more, but haven’t been able to lately.

      The big answer to your question is very little sleep.

  • scubabum

    Welcome to A&Me. Nice family & good article.

  • Norman Mormon

    Im not down with the Mormons. Good luck making it to Kolob! Also Knope? So a Mormon, racist, Republican. Goodbye AAM!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      You’re making some pretty big assumptions there buddy.

      I am Mormon, but I’m here to write about Android. I’m pretty bummed that you feel this is some type of issue.

      Your comments were pretty offensive. I’m sorry if someone offended you that is/was a member of my faith. If these things are actually something you care to discuss we can talk elsewhere. If you just want to argue and point fingers I’ll pass because it’s unproductive, this isn’t the appropriate forum, and I don’t have time.

      • William

        now that provo has google fiber, would you move back? i live in slc, but couldnt bring myself to move to provo.

        look forward to reading your stuff!

        • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

          My wife and I couldn’t wait to get out of Provo, but we’d love to end back up in Utah. I feel like there isn’t a better state for recreation and we have lots of friends there. Google Fiber makes Provo tempting, but I think we’d try pretty hard to avoid Provo.

          • william

            my wife and i say the same thing. she said “i’d rather move to KC than to provo”

            *fingers crossed* one day it comes to SLC, that’d be great.

  • Norman Mormon

    I mean am I the only one who caught this?

    • -_-

      You’re the only one is is looking too much into it.

  • donger


  • cb2000a

    Welcome aboard….my son graduated from WSU a few years ago…good school.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      We really really like it out here in Pullman and I’m really enjoying the education and research opportunities here.