One of the big benefits of the Ars Technica UK office is that it’s right next to Wired UK. It means that, aside from chastising Wired over its 9-out-of-10 LG G6 review, we can work together on projects that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. The first of those projects, Kelly and Rowland’s excellent political podcast UpVote, launched alongside Theresa May’s call for a snap general election. The second, an all-new podcast devoted to the latest technological gear and gadgetry, launches today.
The Gearhead podcast, hosted by myself, Wired product editor Jeremy White, and Wired senior editor Victoria Turk, is a monthly (maybe even more often!) deep dive into what’s hot in tech. Gearhead isn’t a news show—we won’t be reading out the headlines—but rather wrangling over new tech purchases, nonsense announcements, and how tech fits into our daily lives.
Episode one is all about digital assistants. Amazon’s Alexa—which lives in devices like the Echo and Echo Dot—was the talk of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, showing up in everything from smart fridges to wireless headphones. Since then, Alexa has found new homes inside the camera-based Echo Look, and the touchscreen-equipped Echo Show, as well as phones like the Huawei Mate 9 and HTC U11.
Google has its rapidly improving Google Home device and Google Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana, Android creator Andy Rubin has the all-new Essential Home, and just last night Apple announced the Homepod, a £350 smart speaker with Siri built in. Samsung tried to get in on the action too with Bixby in the Galaxy S8, although it’s fair to say it’s hardly been a roaring success.
Alongside our digital assistant stories, we also talk to superstar DJ and multi-Grammy-Award-winning artist Mark Ronson about his favourite gear, and pitch him against Amazon’s Alexa in an assistant-powered Q&A. And there’s a wee bit of Nokia 3310 bashing in there too for good measure.
The Gearhead podcast is available to download on iTunes, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed or download the raw MP3 file. If you like what you hear, please give us a thumbs up on iTunes, it really helps give the show an extra push.
This post originated on Ars Technica UK