Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.
Our regular smattering of questions returns this week with Android Central's Phil Nickinson. The editor-in-chief chats technogological milestones, clever codenames and much more. Join us after the break for the full collection of answers.
Which do you look back upon most fondly?
The Treo 750 -- my first smartphone and the one that ultimately led me to this job.
Which company does the most to push the industry?
Probably Google (and Apple, though not quite as much lately) because of services. Google really ushered in the cloud for normal folks. Apple changed the world with iTunes. Maybe toss Skype in there for consumer-friendly VoIP.
What is your operating system of choice?
I was a Windows guy for years, but hopped over to OS X a couple years ago. Android for mobile, natch.
What are your favorite gadget names?
The internal codenamed ones used by HTC and Sony often end up being better than the release names. (Especially when the US carriers get involved.)
What are your least favorite?
Anything thought up by BlackBerry. Too many numbers. ASUS has done its part to add to the confusion as well (even if the products are great).
Which app do you depend on most?
Gmail. Always Gmail. (And then TripIt for keeping all my travel straight.)
"I still remember the Apple //e being rolled into my kindergarten class. Couldn't take my eyes off it."
What traits do you most deplore in a smartphone?
Half-assed cameras. It's inexcusable. It's not really the phone's fault, but the way we buy phones in the US is beyond broken. If you're theoretically going to use something that much over two years, you need to buy something good. Not something free.
Which do you most admire?
When manufacturers add features without getting in the way of the overall experience. That's not easy to do, either.
What is your idea of the perfect device?
Something short of five inches, with curves in all the right places. Doesn't have to run "all day," but 12 to 15 hours is about right. Has to have a camera that doesn't make me wonder if I should be carrying a second device. Running Android, of course.
What is your earliest gadget memory?
I still remember the Apple //e being rolled into my kindergarten class. Couldn't take my eyes off it.
What technological advancement do you most admire?
Fire, then the wheel, then electricity. Skip ahead to the internet, I reckon. Maybe add booze into that timeline somewhere, too.
Which do you most despise?
"Moto X needs a better camera. HTC One needed better manufacturing, QA and a lighter touch on software."
What fault are you most tolerant of in a gadget?
Little design flaws. Parts that don't quite fit as well as they should because of the manufacturing process.
Which are you most intolerant of?
Bad cameras, poor battery life, unusable displays.
When has your smartphone been of the most help?
It became ever more important after I had kids. Helps me feel a little closer (yet simultaneously farther away) when I'm on the road. Oh, and it lets me do work and get paid, too. That's also important.
What device do you covet most?
Is a Tesla Model S a device?
If you could change one thing about your phone what would it be?
Depends on the phone, of course. Moto X needs a better camera. HTC One needed better manufacturing, QA and a lighter touch on software.
What does being connected mean to you?
Back to the family thing. I can be on the other side of the world and see my wife and kids, even if but for a few minutes.
When are you least likely to reply to an email?
Either right away, or maybe not at all. I'm really inconsistent about that.
When did you last disconnect?
The nine-hour flight last week from Paris to Atlanta.