178 episodes

WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast breaks down which gadgets, apps, and services you need to know about, and which ones you can move to the virtual trash bin. Learn how today’s tech shapes our lives—plus get your hosts’ personal recommendations at the end of each episode.

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED WIRED

    • Technology
    • 4.1 • 203 Ratings

WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast breaks down which gadgets, apps, and services you need to know about, and which ones you can move to the virtual trash bin. Learn how today’s tech shapes our lives—plus get your hosts’ personal recommendations at the end of each episode.

    The Weird Phone Future

    The Weird Phone Future

    Samsung's mobile phone design philosophy could best be described as "if it ain't broke, bend it." The company—one of the top smartphone manufacturers in the world—announced some new foldable devices this week, and they don't exactly break the mold. Even the Galaxy Z Fold, once Samsung's flagship showcase of wacky innovation, looks and bends more or less the same as last year’s model. But while the designs may not be the most exciting, they do mean interesting things for Android, the mobile software that powers them.
    This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Samsung announced this week, plus what it all means for the next versions of Android.
    Show Notes
    Here’s everything Samsung announced at its Unpacked event this week. Here’s Julian’s review of last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3.
    Recommendations
    Julian recommends the Ampere Shower Power Pro, a speaker for your shower. Lauren recommends oatmeal and not watching The Northman. Mike recommends the book The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman.
    Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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    • 39 min
    NFT Frames

    NFT Frames

    Maybe you’re intrigued by NFTs. (They can often be pretty fun.) Maybe you’ve even felt the urge to buy a piece of digital art, only to give up once all the talk of wallets, blockchain transactions, gas fees, and digital ownership restrictions made the experience feel too daunting. And the NFT world is daunting! Especially for non-technical folks. Some companies are trying to make the acquisition process less onerous by selling NFT videos pre-installed in digital photo frames that you can buy, have shipped to you, and then display on your desk or wall next to your photos and other artworks.
    This week, Lauren Goode takes us into this world of pre-framed NFTs and the marketplaces that power them. She also tells us about the looping Steph Curry video currently brightening her kitchen counter.
    Show Notes
    Read Lauren’s story about framed NFT art. Listen to our episode last year about WTF is an NFT. Here’s that Infinite Objects Elon Musk NFT if your stomach can take it.
    Recommendations
    Lauren recommends mineral sunscreen. Mike recommends the casual mobile game Holedown.
    Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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    • 36 min
    Reel Talk About Instagram

    Reel Talk About Instagram

    If you've opened Instagram recently, you've certainly seen Reels. The photo-sharing app has started aggressively pushing the TikTok-like video feeds onto its users, a move that has sparked a heated response. Longtime users, and even celebrities like Kylie Jenner, have been urging Instagram to ditch the feature, which in addition to showing you more viral videos also shows you fewer updates from your friends and loved ones. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has defended the move, saying that Instagram is sticking with Reels and showing more videos in general, no matter how you or the Kardashians feel about that.
    This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Kate Knibbs joins us to rant about Reels and why all the social media platforms are copying TikTok now.
    Show Notes
    Watch Mosseri’s recent video about Reels (on Twitter, of course). Read Kate’s story about how Instagram keeps showing her sick kids.
    Recommendations
    Kate recommends the book The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism by Adrienne Buller. Lauren recommends the Jordan Peele movie Nope and also Jason Parham’s WIRED review of the film. Mike recommends the Netflix show How to Change Your Mind and John Semley’s WIRED story about the companies racing to engineer new psychedelic drugs.
    Kate Knibbs can be found on Twitter @Knibbs. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 33 min
    Zucka Kappa Meta

    Zucka Kappa Meta

    Facebook has nearly three billion users, which means that when it makes a change to its business, it affects nearly half the planet. Facebook's ambitions have often manifested in chaotic, unpredictable ways and had profound societal impacts for years after they've been implemented. So when the company decided to rebrand to Meta and funnel billions of dollars toward building its own virtual alternate reality, it's a move that's bound to come with some big consequences—if nothing else, for Meta itself.
    This week on Gadget Lab, we're joined by Shirin Ghaffary from Recode and Alex Heath from The Verge. The new season of their podcast, Land of the Giants, is all about Facebook's transformation into Meta and what it means for the billions of people on Facebook, and in the world at large.
    Show Notes
    Listen to the Land of the Giants podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Read Alex’s interview with Mark Zuckerburg about Facebook rebranding as Meta.
    Recommendations
    Shirin recommends the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Alex recommends the show The Bear on Hulu. Lauren recommends Taylor Blake’s TikTok channel and the viral videos of her emu, Emmanuel. Mike recommends the book Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand, by John Markoff.
    Shirin Ghaffary can be found on Twitter @shiringhaffary. Alex Heath is @alexeheath. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 37 min
    Too Cool for Juul

    Too Cool for Juul

    Do you even vape, bro? Well if the United States Food and Drug Administration has its way, that answer might soon be a hard "no." Last month, the FDA went after Juul, the reigning champ of the e-cigarette industry, and effectively banned the selling of all Juul products in the US. Of course, Juul fought back, and a judge stayed the order. Now, as Juul fights for its life, the rest of the multibillion dollar market of nicotine-dispensing tech has billowed in to fill the space.
    This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about Juul's battle with the FDA and what it means for vaping and nicotine products as a whole.
    Show Notes
    Read Arielle’s story about the battle between Juul and the FDA. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of Juul and vaping. Read the GQ profile on actor Jeremy Allen White.
    Recommendations
    Arielle recommends Nixta licor de elote, if you’re of booze drinking age. Lauren recommends the show The Bear on Hulu. Mike recommends The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen.
    Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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    • 30 min
    Seriously, What Is the Metaverse?

    Seriously, What Is the Metaverse?

    Technologists have been crowing about “the metaverse” for a long time now, and here at WIRED we’ve written about it quite a bit, too. But sometimes we’re still unsure exactly how to define this next generation of the internet, which is contingent on 3D experiences (instead of the flat, 2D screens we’re currently glued to) and also a persistent, continuous federated identity. Still confused? It’s OK: On this week’s Gadget Lab, we talk to Matthew Ball, a strategist, venture capitalist, and author, whose new book The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, hits shelves July 19. 
    We ask Ball how he defines the metaverse, how the internet can possibly be reinvented when the current version is so driven by corporate interests, whether the metaverse should be regulated, and what a realistic vision of “interoperability” might be. 
    Show Notes
    Matthew Ball’s book is The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything. Read Gilad’s June cover story about Web3. Follow all of WIRED’s metaverse coverage here.
    Recommendations
    Matthew recommends the show The Old Man on FX and the legal podcast about the US Supreme Court Strict Scrutiny. Gilad recommends trying out an electric car sometime. Lauren recommends the 5-4 podcast, also about analyzing the Supreme Court.
    Matthew Ball can be found on Twitter @ballmatthew. Gilad Edelman is @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
203 Ratings

203 Ratings

HullyGulley ,

Great podcast

I love this podcast, it provides a great mix of information, humor, and good sense. Thank you

slapsh0t11 ,

Opinions on tech by people who seem to loathe it

Over the years this podcast has really fallen off the wagon, the hosts seem to hate the content they cover as part of their job. They frequently bring so much snark to what they’re covering (ie “it’s time to talk about X. Ugh do we have to??”), why even bother?

Science Nerd👩🏽‍🔬 ,

Awesome podcast 🤩

This is a good podcast. It is very informative and helpful.

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