The Gear of ZDNet: How Matt Miller stays mobile

This installment of the Gear of ZDNet has me talking tech with my good friend Matt Miller. He owns more gadgets than anyone I know, and he shares the best of them in this interview.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Today in this installment of The Gear of ZDNet, my buddy Matt Miller details his mobile gear of the moment, and explains why it works well for him.

Previous installments:

Matt is a naval architect by trade, and blogs about mobile tech on the ZDNet The Mobile Gadgeteer and Smartphones and Cellphones blogs. Matt has owned more smartphones than anyone I know, and it's a safe bet he always has at least two on him at any given time. He is the busiest person on the planet, and has proven that sleep is not a necessity on a routine basis.

JK: Thanks for speaking with me, Matt. I am sure most of my readers are very familiar with your work, but just in case how would you describe who you are and what you do to the Mobile News audience?

I have been using Palm Pilots and mobile devices since 1997 and started writing about them on Geek.com in 2001. I have been writing on ZDNet since 2006 and now change phones nearly as often as I change my socks. I am also a professional naval architect by day, but when I am not designing shipsI am using or writing about smartphones and mobile devices.

JK: To be clear for the audience, your socks are not dirty, you just switch phones a lot. :) What is your current smartphone and why? How do you use it daily, and how is it working out for you?

I currently have two cellular accounts, one for T-Mobile (with 5 lines on a family plan) and one with Verizon. My primary T-Mobile phone is the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich phone with the HTC Radar 4G, Nokia N9, and several others ready to take the SIM anytime it comes out of the Nexus. On Verizon I use the Apple iPhone 4S almost exclusively.

With a 2+ hour daily roundtrip commute on the Sounder train I use my smartphones for social networking (@palmsolo on Twitter), email, web browsing, ebook reading, gaming, and streaming music.

See also: Why I ordered an iPhone 4S

JK: No one can accuse you of not walking the walk when it comes to using the mobile gear you cover. Is there a particular phone you are jonesing for?

Right now, there is no phone I desire since I already bought nearly all the latest and greatest. I would like to see a higher end Windows Phone come to T-Mobile, maybe from Nokia, in 2012.

JK: He's not kidding, folks. When a new phone is announced Matt's friends have a pool going to guess how long before he buys it. Phones aside, what tablet(s) are you currently using and why? How do you like it? Does it fit in your work/lifestyle well?

I have an iPad 2 and an HTC Flyer 3G and use them both. The iPad is primarily used for media consumption (Netflix, ABC Player, and rentals) while the HTC Flyer is used for creation with the ink pen and Evernote. They trade places in my bag for daily commuting with the iPad staying at home more often due to the size. Seven inch tablets are much easier to carry around and are not as awkward to use in public.

See also: iPad 2 as a serious writing machine (how-to)Typical day in the life of the iPad 2

JK: I can see you with one tablet in each hand now. Is there another tablet you have your eyes on?

The only tablet I am thinking of at the moment is one running Windows 8, but it's not available yet so I am satisfied.

JK: How has mobile technology impacted your work/life?

Mobile technology has given me the chance to write and express my enthusiasm and passion for the sector. I am an early adopter and it is exciting to see that consumers are now using the products I have been using and writing about for years. I have also gained more real friends through mobile technology and can now stay in touch with my family and friends on a level never seen before. I can also travel for work and not feel like I am missing something back at the office.

JK: How does the mobile gear you are using today play a significant role in your work?

For my day job as an engineer I am able to stay in touch with clients, work on proposals, and research for jobs wherever I may be and do not feel that travel limits my ability to be efficient and effective. People at work are now discovering smartphones and are able to communicate more effectively because they are able to become more informed in a faster way than ever before.

JK: Given all the phones and tablets you use, what mobile accessory do you recommend to readers?

My most used mobile accessory is headphones. I enjoy listening to music while working, commuting, and running so don't mind spending a couple hundred dollars on a nice pair of headphones. I currently use the Jaybird Endorphin and Freedom (Bluetooth) ones for commuting and running.

JK: Matt, as always it is a joy talking mobile tech with you. Thanks for sharing your gear with readers.

This wraps up a great conversation with Matt Miller in the continuing series, the Gear of ZDNet. Be sure and check out Matt's work on the ZDNet The Mobile Gadgeteer and Smartphones and Cellphones blogs.

Editorial standards