There’s an old joke about Steve Jobs, that he never wore a suit because he hated buttons. There’s some truth to that old trope about designers always trying to refine their creations to their absolute core. Minimize the clutter, clear the mind, purify the experience. That’s what consumer electronics manufacturers are still doing, and we explore this trend by pointing at two recent developments in our world: new smartphone designs totally devoid of buttons, and the rising numbers of one-wheeled vehicles on the streets and bike lanes designed for two- and four-wheelers.
This week on Gadget Lab, we first talk with show producer Boone Ashworth about why people are obsessed with single-wheeled devices. Then, a conversation with WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu about the coming wave of buttonless phones.
Julian recommends SwitchPod. Boone recommends I’m Sorry on truTV. Mike recommends the Muji 2020 Monthly Weekly Planner. Lauren recommends the latest episode of the Scriptnotes podcast with guest Greta Gerwig.
Lauren Goode can be found on Twitter @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Julian is @JulianChokkattu. Boone is @BooneAshworth. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Google Podcasts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.
More Great WIRED Stories
- Inside the Feds’ battle against Huawei
- Here’s what directing a Star Wars movie is really like
- Artificial intelligence makes bad medicine even worse
- How the extreme art of dropping stuff could upend physics
- Cities struggle to boost ridership with “Uber for transit” schemes
- ? The case for a light hand with AI. Plus, the latest news on artificial intelligence
- ? Torn between the latest phones? Never fear—check out our iPhone buying guide and favorite Android phones